Cooking Clean and Simple:
A Healthier Halloween!

Oh, Halloween. The holiday filled with begging, entitlement and junk food. It’s one of my favorite memories–running around town, asking neighbors for candy, and getting it. No questions asked! 

Unfortunately, I grew up and then realized all the candy is no bueno. I mean, a bit of sugar every now and then is no big deal, but now that I know about the negative health effects of food dyes, sugar and genetically modified (GMO) foods, I can’t unlearn it! I can try to remain ignorant, but it doesn’t erase that little voice in the back of my head reminding me what those foods do to my body, or my kids’ bodies.

Thankfully, the Internet is filled with lots of healthier options!

But, what about all that candy? I mean, who wants to tell their kids they can’t go trick-or-treating? I don’t. Like I said, it’s one of my favorite memories.

Related: 10 From GEM: 10 Hearty And Healthy Fall Foods

The last few years, the Switch Witch came to our house. She was a welcome visitor. The kids would eat their fill of candy on Halloween night, and then leave everything they didn’t eat out in a big pile for the switch witch. That night, she would come, snatch away their candy, and leave something fun in return. Last year, it was a tetherball. Before that, board games. The possibilities are endless.

This year?

This year I’m offering straight-up cash. $20 if they don’t eat ANY of it. Seems pretty steep, but it’s worth it to me. I’d rather them eat a bunch of homemade treats rather than go into sugar shock Halloween night, and then inevitably get sick a couple days later. We’ll see if any of them can hack it.

If you’re looking for some great alternative options to those GMO-laden, hyper-inducing pieces of kid-crack, here you go:

Chocolate Caramel Almond Bars

Coconut Sugar Snickerdoodle Bombs

Copycat Almond Joy Bites

Maple Pecan Candies

Looking for a great healthy snack for while you’re passing out candy? These are amazing, and won’t leave you with a sugar crash!

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Coconut Chips

Maple Cinnamon Coconut Chips

2 cups raw coconut chips (you can pick these up at Whole Foods, too)–they’re pretty cheap!

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 TBSP pure maple syrup

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and mix the coconut chips, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add to skillet, stirring consistently so it doesn’t burn. After about 3-4 minutes, when the coconut chips are beginning to brown, stir in the 2 TBSP syrup. Continue to stir until the coconut chips are browned. Pour out onto a large piece of parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


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Shanti Landon is the founder of “Clean Eats in the Zoo,” (soon to be changing to “Life Made Full”), a blog focused on faith, family and {clean} food. She is a homeschooling mom to 5 young children and wife to her Superman. They reside in Northern California on a small farm.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. I earn a small percentage of your purchase should you choose to go through my Amazon links. Thank you!