Happy Halloween — have these healthy treats

Halloween is synonymous with sugary sweets and treats. While kids may trick or treat for their favorite finds, here are some guilt-free goodies you can whip up at home that contain significantly less refined sugar and empty calories — without sacrificing taste, so kids won’t even know the difference. Provide your family and friends with one of these guilt-free, decadent and festive treat ideas instead.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes With Pumpkin Spice Frosting

Swap out regular, high-sugar versions with these festive black and orange cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:

1 tbsp ground chia

1/4 cup warm water (a great vegan egg replacement)

1 ripe large banana

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup walnut butter (or almond butter)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 cup brown rice flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp non-aluminum baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Chopped walnuts

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

Place ground chia in a small bowl. Add water and mix with a fork. Set aside for gel to form.

Mash banana in a large bowl, then add oil, nut butter, vanilla, and milk and stir to mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil. Drop in batter and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For frosting:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups raw cashews

1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened coconut (or almond) milk

1 tbs coconut oil

1/3 coconut sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

To make the frosting:

Add the cashews and coconut milk to high power blender (such as Vitamix or blendtec), and blend until smooth (you might need the plunger for this one!). The frosting should be thick. Then add pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut oil, and continue blending until smooth. The frosting should be really, really thick, but if it’s still chunky, add more coconut milk to smooth it out. Set frosting in fridge for about 20 minutes, then transfer to piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.

Caramel Candy Apples


8 apples (I like gala or pink lady)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

pinch sea salt

2 tsp fresh lemon juice


Wash and completely dry apples, then insert popsicle stick into the stem end of each apple.

For the caramel:

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup and lemon juice over medium heat until it reaches a light boil. Then slowly stir in coconut milk, sea salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil and let cook about three minutes, lower temperature slightly and let simmer until mixture becomes thick and dark. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat, and let cool down completely to room temperature.

Once cool, dip apple into caramel, roll into coating of choice (chopped nuts, shredded coconut or mini chocolate chips), and then arrange standing up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cool in refrigerator at least two hours before serving.

More from U.S. News

10 Healthy Meals You Can Make in 10 Minutes

Unusual Uses for Pumpkins

12 Psychological Tricks to Get You Through a Workout or Race

Happy Halloween — Have These Healthy Treats originally appeared on usnews.com

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