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Tricks to Healthy Halloween Treats

October 13, 2016
By: Stephanie Loui, FoodCorps Hawai'i Service Member

October is finally here and the ʻĀINA in Schools Team is thrilled to be celebrating the best holiday of the year… Farm to School Month!  Throughout the month of October, schools, farms, and community organizations across the country are celebrating healthy, locally grown food. Here on Oʻahu, we are gearing up for school visits from local Chefs, Garden Harvest Parties, Health Fairs, Farm Field trips, and other food education events in schools. To join in on the celebration, check out these five fun, easy, recipes in the spirit of Halloween with a healthy, Farm to School twist.

For savvy social media users, be sure to tag photos of you eating your healthy, homemade creations with #CHOMP and #FarmtoSchool.

Spider Sliders
These versatile “slider” sandwiches are your chance to get creepy <i>and</i> creative. For optimal nutrition, use whole grain products and choose spreads with as few ingredients as possible. For jams and jellies, look for products where fruit is the first ingredient on the list, not sugar.

Ingredients:

  • Round whole wheat crackers or whole wheat bread cut into circles
  • Nut butter or other spreads, jam
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Raisins or cranberries

Assemble small sandwich rounds. For an oozy, congealed look, add a dark red, fruit jelly to your spread. Stick pretzel “legs” into the filling on both sides of your sandwich rounds. Place two dots of spread on the outer rim of the circle and stick raisin or cranberry “eyes” on top.

Aunty Kathy’s “Guacobats”
Try this savory Halloween recipe by ‘ĀINA in Schools Partner Chef, Kathy Maddox of Mohala Farms in Waialua. Those who miss out on these bats will be green with envy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of cilantro
  • ½ of a lime
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Whole grain, triangular tortilla chips

Combine first 5 ingredients with a mortar and pestle. Add salt to taste and adjust flavors as needed. Tip: for picky eaters, omit the cilantro or introduce only a small amount. If the flavors are too spicy, up the amount of avocado and olive oil.

Using an ice cream scoop, plop a round of guacamole onto a plate. Stick each side with a chip “wing” and add extra “wings” around the plate.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carving a pumpkin this year? Be sure to save your seeds for roasting or planting!

To roast the seeds, first remove the stringy pulp under running water or by soaking. Boil seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and dry.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with oil. Roast pumpkin seeds 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add spices of your choice!

Freaky Finger Popcorn
While the salt and fat content of microwave popcorn is not ideal, homemade popcorn can pack just as much flavor and fiber, minus the not-so-good stuff. Use an oil that can withstand high heat—safflower and coconut are a few favorites—and buy bulk popcorn kernels.

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3-4 Tbs safflower or coconut oil (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Clear plastic gloves
  • Dried fruit
  • Pot with a tight fitting lid

Place pot over medium-high heat. Add popcorn kernels and oil and cover with lid. Holding the lid to the pot,gently shake to coat kernels with oil. Heat until kernels begin to pop. Shake pot occasionally until popping slows to 3 second intervals. Turn off heat.

Remove from heat and toss with salt. Place a piece of dried fruit in each finger of a clear glove to create “nails”. Fill with popcorn and tie off with a piece of string.

No-Carve Decorated Snacks
Does your post-Halloween pumpkin sit out on the stoop until it’s truly a frightening mess? Cut the waste and consider decorating other, smaller edibles! From "Boo-nanas" to tangerine “pumpkins,” get creative with delicious, “close to the source” snacks.

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • Tangerines
  • Orange
  • Bananas
  • Washable Markers

Using washable markers, decorate fruits as you would a pumpkin. Be sure to use non-toxic markers. Serve and enjoy!

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