While kids across the country are gearing up for an action-packed Halloween season, parents are bracing themselves for this candy extravaganza! At HealthBarn USA, we are all about indulging without going overboard, and making sure it’s with the good stuff—CHOCOLATE! We love semi-sweet dark chocolate because it tastes so good, it’s easy to cook and bake with, and it’s loaded with antioxidants. And, while treats are the focus, we think it’s important to have fun with all aspects of this spooky holiday. Make this Halloween magical with our top tricks and treats for the whole family:
- Shades of Darkness! Go for the darkest chocolate your family will eat because the darker it is, the more antioxidants it has. BONUS: Choose fair trade chocolate and teach an important lesson, too.
- The Green Costume. Visit your home recycling bins or local secondhand stores for unique costume ideas that are good for the environment. Everyone will be buzzing about your creativity and it will get others thinking, too!
- The Haunted House Party. Transform your home into a haunted house for a cool Halloween party this year, so you can keep tabs on activities and candy intake! Involve the whole family in planning a variety of fun activities, e.g., bobbing for apples, relay races, and themed scavenger hunts.
- The Witches’ Brew! Water and chocolate milk (cow, soy, rice or almond) using cocoa powder are the recommended beverages for the day of fun and excitement.
For hands-on Halloween fun with the kids, make The Perfect Pop recipe from Appetite for Life: The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Get Your Kid to Be a Great Eater. It serves up chocolate on a banana, and gets double thumbs-up from kids:
3 ounces of semisweet chocolate bar
½ cup silken light tofu, drained
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ripe but firm medium bananas
15 wooden ice cream–bar sticks
1. Roughly chop chocolate bar in small pieces.
2. In metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, heat chocolate until it melts, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan; cool chocolate slightly.
3. Meanwhile, line tray with waxed paper; set aside.
4. In food processor, blend tofu until smooth. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; blend until well mixed.
5. Peel bananas and cut each crosswise into thirds. Insert an ice cream–bar stick, ½ inch deep, in one end of each banana piece.
6. Place chocolate mixture in pie plate. Roll each banana piece in chocolate mixture to lightly coat and eat right away. Or, if not serving right away, freeze immediately for at least 1 hour, then place frozen pops in freezer-weight plastic bag and freeze up to 1 week.
Makes 15 servings (1 pop per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 70 calories; 2g fat (1g sat fat, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 13g carbohydrates (1g fiber, 8g sugar); 1g protein; 5mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 6% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.
Enjoy this “trick or treat” season with your witches and goblins by offering treats but balancing them with a lot of tricks, too! And, remember to set a timeframe for the disposal of the candy-packed jack-o-lantern or it will haunt you for months.