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Cutting Down Halloween-Candy Intake: Healthy Sweet Alternatives

When we hear the word "Halloween" one of the first things that comes to our minds is CANDY! And that word means processed sugar. Refined, processed, sugary, and high fat foods are the cause of many of the health and behavior issues of the adults and youth of today, from obesity to arthritis to ADHD. Additionally, refined sugar can:

  • depress the immune system by fueling the bad bacteria in the gut
  • contribute to infertility
  • increase blood glucose levels, which can deteriorate blood vessels and lead to heart disease
  • increase the risk of many cancers
  • cause Type II Diabetes
  • contribute to candida, which is a yeast overgrowth in the body
  • cause hormone imbalances
  • cause headaches

Furthermore, refined sugar is addictive and sugar cravings are related to stress, meaning that when you eat sugar because you're stressed, you're going to end up wanting more sugar when stress returns. Refined sugar is a 'dead,' empty food that doesn't supply any nutrients or benefits to the body.

So what are some ways we can feed ourselves and our families sweets for Halloween and still avoid this damaging, processed, refined sugar? Below are some suggestions for some healthy alternatives for your Halloween holiday! Fruit Kabobs Make fruit kabobs and drizzle the top with a touch of dark chocolate. To make your kabobs more festive, choose colors such as purple grapes, green kiwi, and orange mango. You can also make frozen banana ghosts by drawing chocolate faces on halved bananas. Popcorn BallsrnPop your own popcorn and use honey as the combined holding and sweetening agent. To make it look more like a Halloween treat, add a drop or two of natural dye and some raisins.

Dried FruitrnFruit is always a great replacement for candy. Get creative! Use apple rings, dried apricots, and raisins to shape Halloween eyeballs! Stack an apricot on an apple ring to form the iris and place a raisin in the center for the pupil.

Apple SlicesrnCut apple slices to look like a monster's gaping mouth and use slivered almonds as the jagged teeth.

Caramel Applesrn20 Medjool dates 6 Tbsp almond butter 6 Tbsp maple syrup, honey, or agave pinch of salt (optional) Pit your dates if necessary, and they should be soft (soak in warm water for 5 minutes to soften). Once soft, add the dates and all other ingredients together and process or blend until you get a thick, gooey caramel sauce. Roll your apples in the sauce and set in the fridge to let the caramel topping harden. Can roll them in nuts and other toppings, as desired. Chocolate Moussern4 ripe avocados 6 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder 10 dates (turned into date paste in blender with water) 2 Tbsp maple syrup, honey, or agave 2 pinches of (Himalayan) salt Blend the dates with a bit of fresh water as a paste and set aside with the syrup. Blend all of the other ingredients and slowly add in your sweetener. Pumpkin Butterscotch Puddingrn1/2 cup pumpkin puree or real pumpkin 1/2 cup coconut meat date paste (5 dates + 1/4 cup water and blend to a paste) 1 tsp pumpkin spice 2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave 2 tsp vanilla pinch of salt Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve in bowls or cups and sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

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