Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Truly Happy Halloween!

October 31st is fast approaching. If you are like me, this holiday has many happy memories associated with it. What is also true is that Halloween is a challenge for those who are suffering with food allergies, weight issues or the desire to have the celebration not take such a toll on the planet.

Retail does quite well on Halloween, with sales usually topping 7 billion per year. While this figure includes costumes and decoration, some resources state that $600 million will be spent on candy. 

There are several ingredients you should avoid when eating or purchasing candy. The best rule of thumb is to get organic, non-GMO certified candy. The great news is there are so many choices these days.

One of the best resources I found was at this site is full of options for every, I mean EVERY nutritional issue, with many snack sizes of chocolates, gummy worms, caramels and all the gooey deliciousness that makes Halloween so fun.

One of my personal favorites that I have found at several health food stores is There website has this funny saying, say yes to sweet, no to scary ingredients. A percentage of their sales goes towards environmental preservation.

If you listen to the podcast on how to have a Happy Halloween, I talk quite a bit on how High Fructose Corn Syrup is probably not the best thing for anyone to eat, particularly children. Industrially produced candy is basically full of this "biologically novel" product, that is full of things like herbicides and other toxic metals like mercury. Don't worry, if you stick to organic, you will be OK.

Some ideas for non food trick or treats:

Raisin Boxes: Organic selections are available, like Newman's Own, Made in Nature, Earthbound Organic Farms to name a few.



Tooth Brushes


For after trick or treat snacks, try the ones below, they are gluten and sugar free and so cute!

These are made with fruit. The ghosts are made by peeling firm bananas, slice in half and use raisins or organic chocolates for the eyes and mouth, you can press them into the banana. 

For the "pumpkins" peel tangerines, leave whole, then place slices of celery in the center to be the "stem."

Hot Spiced Cider is a seasonal favorite. Place un filtered Apple Cider in a crock pot, add a sliced orange or lemon, a few sticks of cinnamon, a tablespoon of whole cloves and a couple slices of fresh ginger, place crock pot on low and let it simmer for an hour, it will be good for an entire evening, and your house will smell wonderful!

And finally, since Candy Corn is one of the most popular candies of the holiday, and I can not find an organic option, here is a recipe:

Homemade Candy Corn


2 1/2 c organic powdered sugar, sifted 
1/3 c organic powdered milk 
1 c organic granulated sugar 
2/3 c organic light agave syrup
1/3 c organic salted butter 
1 t organic vanilla extract 
Food coloring


1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and powdered milk together. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, agave syrup, and butter over high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add the vanilla and continue stirring frequently for five minutes— the mixture will begin to reduce and thicken.
4. Remove pan from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar/milk mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition until all the dry mixture has been mixed into the wet mixture. 5. You can either leave the dough in the saucepan or turn it out into a bowl sprinkled with
powdered sugar until it is cool enough to be handled. 6. Divide the dough into as many sections as you’d like to create colored segments for your
finished candy, and place them in small separate bowls. Mix each mound of dough with food coloring until you reach your desired color. Hint—you may want to wear gloves so your hands don’t get stained, and the longer you wait the harder the dough will be to work with.
7. On top of a sheet of waxed or parchment paper, roll out each color of dough into a long thin rope. The thinner the rope, the smaller that segment of color will be in your finished candy. I divided my dough into three colors and made four 17” ropes of each color (they were about 3/8” thick).
8. Press together your ropes of dough in whatever color combination you’d like. To make sure that each segment sticks together, press a second sheet of waxed or parchment paper on top and press with a rolling-pin or your hands.
9. Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into triangle segments. Keep a damp, clean cloth on hand to wipe off the knife if it gets sticky.
10. Let the finished kernels set for an hour or two before serving.

What ever you decide to do on Halloween, I hope you try some of these ideas. Your body and the planet will thank you!

You can listen to the podcast here:

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