I’d like to surmise that Halloween is the most unhealthy holiday of the year. It’s literally a day for collecting and indulging processed sweets. While I love all the traditions of making your own costume and dressing up, carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds, or even just spending the night with your family and neighbors, I wish there was something we could do about all that candy! I know as a kid, we were allowed to pick out five treats from our loot to eat as soon as we got home; and then until the candy was gone, we could have one each night if we behaved.
However, no one needs to be eating one processed sweet a day for two, sometimes three, months in a row. Overconsumption of processed sugar has been related to higher rates of diabetes, cancer, and even heart failure. And while we all know processed sugar helps us pack on the pounds, did you know it has the same toxic effect as alcohol to your liver? It’s a damaging substance and not good for the developing bodies of children, let alone full grown adults!
I know lots of parents are turning to the “Switch Witch” tradition, where a nice witch comes and takes children’s bags of candy on Halloween night, leaving a toy in its place. I think this is a great idea as long as the child gets to pick out a few treats to keep. Candy is part of the fun of Halloween, and it’s perfectly fine to have a treat once in a while.
There are also options of handing out non-candy treats for kids. Ideas could be crayons, coloring books, or other art supplies, silly putty or homemade play-dough, or even chapstick, nail polish, and trading cards for older kids.
I’d also like to suggest these Halloween Rice Treats. If you live in a close knit neighborhood, these treats are perfect for Halloween night. (If you don’t know your neighbors that well, I wouldn’t try baking for kids as parents might be concerned to let their children eat food that wasn’t manufactured and sealed. It’s sad, but true. You just never know these days…) However, they are also perfect for Halloween party at work, school, or home!
These Halloween Rice Treats are inspired by a recipe in The Kind Diet. They are made from Brown Rice Puffs, Brown Rice Syrup, a nut butter of your choice, and either chocolate, carob, or dried fruit, giving you the option to play around with flavors. They are super simple to make and easy to assemble.
You can let the treats cool in a baking dish where you can slice squares out, or you can mold them around Whole Wheat Pretzels to make little pumpkins. Wrap your ‘pumpkins’ in plastic wrap with an orange ribbon at the top and you’ve got a healthy option for your trick-or-treaters! I added an arugula leaf to the tops of mine just for a dash of color and fun.
I wish you all a happy (and healthy) Halloween! Let me know what you’re passing out to your trick-or-treaters, or if you have any other ideas on non-candy treats!
- 1 10 ounce Box of Brown Rice Puffs, unsweetened
- 1¾ Cups of Brown Rice Syrup
- Sea Salt
- ¾ Cup of a Nut Butter of Your Choice, unsweetened (I like Peanut Butter)
- ½ Cup of Chocolate Chips, Carob Chips, or Dried Fruit Pieces (I like Carob and Raisins)
- Mini Pretzel Rods
- Pour the Rice Puffs into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the Brown Rice Syrup on low heat until it becomes liquid. Add in a pinch of Sea Salt and the Nut Butter to the Syrup, mixing with a whisk until well combined.
- Pour the Syrup mixture over the Rice Puffs, stirring with a spatula until all the Puffs are coated. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool, you can add in your mixture of Chocolate, Carob or Dried Fruit. (If you add the Chocolate or Carob before the Puffs have cooled, they will melt.) If you are making the Pumpkins, gather a ½ Cup of the Rice Treats together and form a sphere around the bottom of a Mini Pretzel Rod. Add the Arugula leaf as garnish and set aside to cool. If you are cutting the Rice Treats into squares, turn the mixture out into a 9x13 baking dish and using your spatula, press the Rice Treats evenly into the pan. Allow them to cool in the pan for 1 hour before cutting them into bars.