For many of us, the scariest thing about Halloween is our growing waistlines. Halloween tends to mark the time of year where the tempting treats start flowing – and they don’t stop until the New Year.
To get a healthy grip on the holiday season, start with a fresh and fit Halloween! There are plenty of ways to enjoy the spooky season without turning into a candy-gobbling monster. Here are some of the most delicious ways to indulge this fight night.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
Skip the sugar and dairy-laden lattes for a pumpkin spice treat that will not only satisfy your cravings but will boost your energy and fuel your body with healthy nutrients.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup (120g) vanilla Greek yogurt or dairy-free alternative
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 scoop vanilla pea protein powder
- 1/2 cup (120ml) oat or other plant-based milk
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup (150g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
- 1 cup ice
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend on high for a few minutes or until smooth. If your smoothie is too thick, add extra oat milk. Pour into a large glass and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice to finish.
Jack-o-Lantern Stuffed Peppers
Does your family usually stick to take out or order a pizza on busy Halloween night? Well, if you’re like many families this year, you may have a little more time on your hands by celebrating at home. Why not whip up something deliciously ghoulish, yet healthy and nutritious, like these Jack-o-Lantern Stuffed Peppers?
- 4 medium to large bell peppers (a mix of orange, red and yellow looks nice)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small eggplant, chopped into small pieces
- 1 ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- zest of 1 lemon
- bunch of basil, chopped
Cut the tops off the peppers and set them aside for later. Remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside the peppers. Carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces add to chopped onions. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden, then set aside.
Heat the oil in your pan and pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cook the onions in the oil for 8-10 minutes or until softened and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and eggplant and cook for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked quinoa and tomato paste and stir to warm through. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts.
Fill each pepper with the mixture, top with their lids, and use toothpicks to hold them in place. Put the peppers in a deep roasting pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Cover the peppers with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil cover and bake for another 10.
Black Sesame Halloween Cupcakes
There’s no reason to skip the treats on Halloween just because you’re eating right. These black and orange cupcakes are decadent, but they’re also made with natural, antioxidant-rich ingredients like black sesame seeds and goji berries.
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Baking spray with flour
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup oat or almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.5 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the Frosting
To make the frosting, place goji berries and 1/3 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let stand 20 minutes to soak. Place goji berry mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture through fine-mesh strainer to discard seeds. Set aside.
Add cream cheese and 1/2 cup yogurt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat on low until combined. Add goji mixture and beat on medium until combined. Chill 30 minutes.
Make the Cupcakes
To make the cupcakes, first preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with Halloween liners and coat with the baking spray. Add sesame seeds to a small food processor and process until the seeds form a paste. Place in a bowl. Whisk in eggs, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup yogurt, milk, oil, and vanilla to the paste.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sesame seed mixture to flour mixture; whisk to combine.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 17 to 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on wire rack. Once completely cooled, spread frosting evenly on cupcakes, and garnish with black sesame seeds.