Even though Halloween is a modern holiday, you can bet our primitive ancestors got a kick out of scaring each other with skulls and spiders. What they didn’t do, however, was worry about finding holiday recipes free of refined sugar that also taste good.
Our food doesn’t always walk on the ground, swim in the ocean or hang off of a tree like it did for our ancestors. It’s wearing its own costume of sorts and can be pretty scary when you take a closer look. Health consciousness, combined with intolerances, food allergies and sensitivities, leaves a lot of people either paying a high price for safe foods or challenged to make their own goodies.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
While making Halloween treats paleo can seem tricky at first, it’s important to remember what paleo foods are—they’re simply real, whole foods that nature has treated us with. Pumpkin? Check. Apples? Check. Coconut? Check. Nuts? Check.
With that said, the challenge with paleo comes in eliminating grains, refined sugar, vegetable oils and man-made fats, dairy, soy (found in chocolate as soy lecithin), and legumes (sorry, peanut butter filling!). Fortunately, there are a myriad of chefs, bloggers and amateur cooks turning out paleo recipes so tasty that you’ll be convinced it’s a trick.
So, before you get spooked by how many grams of added sugar are in those Halloween mainstays, check out these 6 easy recipes for a “Paleoween.”
1) Pumpkin Bread and Muffins by Wellness Mama. Super moist and not too sweet, these are made with coconut flour for the nut-free crowd. The Choice team has devoured these several times. . .we’re hoping we don’t turn into pumpkins.
2) Pumpkin Almond Fudge Cups by Hallie Klecker of Simply Gluten-Free magazine. These bite-sized cups of deliciousness are creamy-dreamy! Plus, they’re hardened in the freezer so no baking is required. To keep them paleo, use dairy and soy-free chocolate chips such as Enjoy Life.
3) DIY Banana Mummies (and “Things”) from Flo & Grace. They have four ingredients and even come on a stick a la cavemen. And they’re watching you right now . . .
4) Halloween Sticky Chocolate Cups by PaleOMG, for when you’re missing those peanut butter cups you used to eat by the handful (we sure did). Keep them paleo with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. And did we mention PaleOMG is a Denverite like us? Even more reason to check out her witty and drool-worthy blog.
5) Another festive food on a stick – Raw Caramel Apples from Fork & Beans. Research suggests that the nutrients in whole apples lower blood triglyceride levels, a key factor in staving off heart disease. Eating whole apples may be more satisfying than applesauce or apple juice, making them a great way to fill up between meals.
6) Sweet Potato No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies by Paleo Running Momma. Just break out the food processor and you’re on your way to doughy goodness. Eating fat with sweet potatoes, such as the nut butter in these, increases absorption of beta-carotene, which helps your body repair damage. Bonus – if you skip the chocolate chips, they’re completely free of refined sugar. Free of refined sugar . . .now where have we heard that before?
We hope these recipes put you in the Halloween spirit. And if you’re looking for allergen-friendly treats, check out this post on what to give out that’s not candy.