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Halloween, for children, is almost always synonymous with candy. It is a rite of passage, to go trick or treating with friends the entire evening, and then compare to see who managed to acquire the best selection of candy.
Candy sales have been known to skyrocket during the month of October, and with it, visits to the dentist. I have vivid recollections of having fillings done most winters when I was a child, owing, no doubt, to my massive consumption of Halloween candy.
Apart from their obvious threat to dental health, Halloween candy is, by all accounts, not healthy. They are as good as saturated with sugar, contain preservatives, and boast no health benefits. But as obvious as the shortcomings of Halloween candy are, they are also pretty unavoidable in the general scheme of things.
Or, so I thought until recently. There are, perhaps, not many candy substitutes for Halloween candy, but noncandy snack ideas galore on the internet. These alternatives are not only healthy but also taste quite delicious and are packed with nutrition!
1. Mummy Toast
A piece of bread that resembles a mummy. This recipe is simple and fun- all it requires is buttered toast and skillful placing of cheese trips( representative of the bandages) and olives for the eyes.
For a non-vegetarian option, use bacon instead of the olives.
2. Candy Corn Veggie Platter
A skillful way to get children to like vegetables is to arrange them in a color scheme similar to that of candy corn. Serve with a selection of complimentary sauces, hummus, or a tangy dip.
3. Pizza Fingers
Made to look like mangled fingers, this tasty treat is made using pizza slices shaped like fingers and ketchup for a bloody fingernail.
Not the healthiest alternative that there is perhaps, but always preferable to a sugar rush.
4. Fruit Spider Snacks
Made of fruits to look like a spider with edible eyeballs- what could be more in keeping with the theme of Halloween?
Pro Tip: I like to construct the spiders with different kinds of berries for variety and color.
5. Spider Web Pizza
Simpler than it sounds, this recipe involves making spider web cheese patterns on mini pizzas. The perfect Halloween snack and rather spooky too!
6. Cheese Broomsticks
A spooky season take on what is essentially a cheese stick, cheese broomsticks are bits of cheese mounted on the end of pretzel sticks. There is also an attention to detail- the cheese is secured using fresh sprigs of parsley.
7. Banana Ghosts
Sheet ghosts are possibly a child’s first idea of what a ghost is supposed to look like. Recreate this using a simple banana recipe- chocolate balls embedded into a banana as its sightless eyes.
8. Spiderweb Nacho Spread
Nachos, tortilla chips, fresh guacamole and salsa, thinly diced tomatoes- and, of course, a sour cream spiderweb.
This recipe is a hit with children and adults alike.
9. Jack O’ Lantern Hummus Spread
A classic Halloween image- recreated with the help of hummus, peppers, and olives. Works equally well with vegetables AND crackers, aside from always eliciting admiration from those who willingly partake of it.
10. Clementine Pumpkins
Turn a peeled clementine into a pumpkin, with a celery stick masquerading as the stem.
11. Cheese Pumpkins
A different take on pumpkins, this one includes balls crafted from soft cheese, followed by lines etched onto the surface using a toothpick.
12. Octopus Hot Dogs
This recipe involves careful splicing of hot dogs- so as to make them look like they have eight legs. Use ketchup or hot mustard as the eyes. Serve with relish.
13. Bread Bones
A personal favorite, owing to the judicious combination this recipe upholds, a perfect balance of taste and nutrition.
The bones, in this case- are made of breadsticks, twisted at the end. They are baked with a light sprinkling of rock salt and can be served with hot soup.
14. Demon Apple
Apples are autumnal fruits and see a burgeoning representation in Halloween treats. Here is a way to implement it with a spooky twist- a demon apple, with almond slivers for teeth. One can use marshmallows for jutting eyes, and perhaps a dab of peanut butter for the tongue.
15. Olive Snake
A slithering snake constructed out of black olives, with little cheese balls for eyes and a carrot tongue. Delicious when served with spicy hummus or a veggie dip.
This recipe can also be executed to perfection by substituting the olives for grapes. The accompaniments would, of course, have to be suitably altered.
16. Hot Dog Mummies
Hot dogs bandaged with cheese string to resemble mummies. Or, for a more carbohydrate-based option, the cheese can be replaced by baked strips of bread.
Use ketchup or hot mustard for the eyes.
17. Celery Mummies
This recipe involves using hollowed-out celery sticks as the base in which to lay the ‘mummy’- in this case, made of cream cheese and deli meat, the latter forming the bandages.
Use dried cranberries or raisins as the eyes.
18. Candy Corn Fruit Cup
A healthier take on candy corn- this recipe uses fruit in a cup, arranging the individual items in a color schema akin to that of candy corn.
Pineapple goes at the bottom, followed by slices of peeled clementine and the cup is topped by whipped cream.
19. Hot Dog Fingers
Similar in concept to pizza fingers, here the main finger is composed out of sliced hot dogs. Use a piece of pickled onion for a realistic-looking fingernail. Peppering the edges of it with ketchup is a small trick that goes a long way- it is, after all, a spooky holiday.
20. Veggie Skeleton
No particular recipe that adheres to this idea- it is entirely open to the individual’s preference. The possibilities are endless- peppers as the ribs, celery sticks for arms and legs, lettuce for a mane of curly hair, while cherry tomatoes can get the coveted role of being the face of the skeleton.
21. Deviled Eggs
Not much space to go wrong when ‘devil’ is part of the name. This particular recipe involves topping the eggs with olive spiders.
22. Eye-Popping Soup
Plain old tomato soup, or gazpacho( if you prefer that), but with a spooky edge. This recipe puts to use cheese balls that make very convincing eyeballs, and pimento-stuffed green olives to masquerade as perched spiders.
Delicious, and chilling.
23. Carroty Eyeballs
A vegetarian take on the ‘eyeball’ trope- this three-layered structure has carrots, cream cheese, and sliced black/green olives.
Perfect finger food.
24. Stuffed Pepper Jack O’Lanterns
This recipe uses whole peppers, complete with carvings. A healthy dinner option, these peppers can be stuffed with a wide range of possible fillings- cream cheese, minced meat, pineapples & prawns, etc.
25. Bloody Band-Aids
A careful concoction of graham crackers, cream cheese, and strawberry jelly. The strawberry jelly can be replaced by another scarlet edible- ketchup, raspberry jam, or even salsa.
A grisly offering, indeed!
26. Spiders on a Log
Celery sticks as the base, peanut butter as an accompanying condiment and to impart to the structure a convincing ‘woody’ color. The spiders are made out of either black olives, black grapes or blackberries.
27. Haunted Pizza
A pizza offering fit for ghosts, and, lovers of the supernatural.
The recipe is simple- bake a pizza first. Follow this up by using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter to warm up blobs of cheese. Once melted, lay them carefully onto the surface of the pizza so they meld to form a cohesive unit. Use peppercorn as beady eyes for the cheese ghosts.
28. Tombstone Sandwiches
Turn an ordinary sandwich into a tombstone, with a spooky epitaph.
Use a tombstone shaped cookie cutter for shaping the sandwich. One may use any edible liquid with the necessary viscosity to write the dedication- ketchup, mustard, jelly, or even edible food coloring.
29. Cucumber Monsters
Crunchy veggie snacks using cucumber disks, cherry tomato eyes, a carrot tongue, and a dollop of cream cheese to hold the disks together!
30. Frankenstein Veggie Platter
A veggie platter constructed with the Frankenstein color scheme as inspiration- a medley of green and purple.
Use kohlrabi, red lettuce, peas, beans, and all sorts of leafy greens in the array. Serve with hummus and dip.
31. Owl Crackers
Deceptively simple, yet highly decorative. Owl crackers are made of a number of select, easily available ingredients- crackers, cream cheese, raisins, and almonds.
And there you have it, 31 recipes for Halloween snacks that do not involve candy. And honestly, once your kids have tried them all- will they even want candy?
I think not!