Halloween treats that say “boo” to sugar
It’s Halloween this weekend, which means your kids are likely to be drowning in lollies. While it can be hard to stop kids from reaching for the sweet stuff at this time of year, there are some sneaky yet suitably spooky ways to satisfy their Halloween hankerings while keeping the sugar ghouls at bay. To help you give your kids a sweet All Hallows’ Eve, try these toothsomely terrifying healthy Halloween treats from Mayver’s.
28 founder and Mayver’s ambassador Sam Wood says that although Halloween and sugar do go hand in hand, we can still encourage our kids to enjoy nutritionally balanced snacks and sweets that won’t leave parents dealing with a scary sugar rush.
“Given Halloween is a special occasion, it’s okay to let your kids enjoy a few lollies,” Wood says. “However, we must be wary of the effect too much sugar can have on a child’s blood sugar levels and, in turn, their mood, concentration and hyperactivity levels.
“If you’re looking for some ways to balance out those sugar highs, get creative with healthier foods. Disguise nuts, fruit or vegies in themed decorations. Think stuffed orange capsicums carved like Halloween pumpkins or peanut butter and apple monster teeth.”
Summon some Halloween helpers
Wood says that when you include your children in the preparation and cooking of healthier Halloween recipes, they’re often more excited about eating what’s plated up.
“If your child is a fussy eater, get them involved with the food prep,” he says. “Once you give them a sous chef title, they’re more likely to fall in love with the process of cooking. Then the colour, texture and taste of more nutritious foods becomes an easier sell.
“My kids’ favourite Halloween treats are my choc chip PB muffin ghosts. They’re perfect for Halloween-themed parties and are super fun to make with the kids, too.”
Because Wood’s recipe includes a 100 percent natural protein source from Mayver’s peanut butter, your kids will probably only feel like eating one. Plus, they get a slower release of energy, instead of the intense sugar rush that normally results from Halloween treats.
For other low-sugar and nutrient-rich treats with ample fright factor, you can also try Susie Burrell’s Halloween pumpkin cupcakes or her ghost cookies. All the recipes are below.
Sam Wood’s choc chip PB muffin ghosts
Cooking time 25 minutes
For the muffins:
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup Mayver’s smooth peanut butter
2 free-range eggs
100g butter, melted
1½ cups coconut milk
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into small chunks
For the icing:
2 cans coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
1-2 tsp stevia, adjusted to your liking
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 mini dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C on a fan-forced setting. Grease 10 holes of a muffin tray.
2. Combine the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. Add peanut butter, eggs, melted butter and coconut milk to the bowl, stir well to combine. Stir through chocolate chips and divide the muffin mixture into the muffin tray.
4. Place muffins in the oven to cook for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry.
5. Remove muffins from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.
6. Remove the coconut cream from the fridge. Do not shake or mix the can. Scoop out all of the solid coconut cream and place it in a bowl. Save the liquid for another use.
7. Add stevia and vanilla to the bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip cream until smooth.
8. Place coconut cream icing in a piping bag with a round attachment. Pipe mixture onto each muffin. Once muffins are iced, make the eyes by adding 2 mini choc chips to each.
Susie Burrell’s Halloween pumpkin cupcakes
Makes 24 mini cupcakes
Cooking time 50 minutes
For the cupcakes:
⅓ cup Mayver’s Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
2 cups wholemeal plain flour
For the icing:
60g light cream cheese
20g butter, softened
Orange food colouring
12 pretzel twigs
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 24 mini muffin tray with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together the peanut butter and maple syrup with a whisk, then beat in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin purée, milk, baking soda, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and a pinch of salt.
3. Add the flour and stir through until just mixed; don’t over-mix.
4. Distribute the mixture between 24 mini muffin holes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and when a bamboo skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.
5. To make icing, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add a few drops of food colouring and mix. Continue to add drops of colour, mixing until icing is pumpkin orange.
6. Smear a heaped tablespoon of icing onto each cupcake with a butter knife, smooth out. Use back edge of knife to create 6 grooves from the middle of the cupcake to create the pumpkin look. Stick a pretzel twig into the middle of each to make the pumpkin stalk.
Susie Burrell’s ghost cookies
Cooking time 1 hour, 15 minutes
½ cup Mayver’s Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
3 tbsp butter
½ cup caster sugar (or sugar alternative)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1½ tsp baking powder
2 cups plain flour, sifted
White icing and candy eyes, to decorate
1. Place butter and peanut butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, egg and vanilla and pulse until well combined.
2. Stir in baking powder and flour. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to rest.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line three baking trays with baking paper.
4. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough on a large sheet of baking paper until dough is 4-5mm thick. Cut out ghost shapes with your desired cutter and place onto lined baking trays. Repeat with remaining mixture.
5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
6. Decorate with icing and candy eyes. Make a dot in the icing for a mouth.
Mayver’s products are available at Woolworths, Coles and independent retailers Australia-wide. For more information or recipe inspiration visit mayvers.com.au