Healthier Halloween treat recipes

Sunrise Senior Living  |  October 14, 2016
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Halloween is right around the corner and your grandchildren might be expecting treats to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings. But don't drown them in packaged chocolates and high-calorie desserts. Instead, try these recipes that offer healthier alternatives.

Halloween is right around the corner and your grandchildren might be expecting treats to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings. But don't drown them in packaged chocolates and high-calorie desserts. Instead, try these recipes that offer healthier alternatives:

1. Sugarless Apple Cookies
This sugarless treat from Recipe4Living is surprisingly sweet and only 54 calories per serving!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup and 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt - optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. liquid sugar substitute

Directions:

First, heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour dates, apples, raisins and water into a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about three minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt if desired. Gradually pour in the apple mixture, stirring well to combine.

In a small, separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sweetener until fully mixed. Fold into cookie batter.

Drop tablespoons of dough 1 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Use your favorite apples to create this healthy dessert.Use your favorite apples to create this healthy dessert.

2. Frozen "Boo"-nana Pops
Did you know that frozen bananas have the consistency of an ice cream pop? What's best is they're lower in calories, fat and sugar than traditional frozen treats! Try this recipe from SkinnyTaste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 8 mini chocolate chips - for the eyes
  • 4 popsicle sticks

Directions:

First, prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper.

Cut the banana in half lengthwise, then in half widthwise to create four quarters.

Insert the popsicle sticks in the bottom of the banana, place on the prepared cookie sheet and move to the freezer. Take them out once they're completely frozen - this should take about 2 hours. 

When the bananas are ready, remove them from the freezer and set aside.

Then, fill a coffee mug or large bowl with the white chocolate chips. Place chocolate in the microwave and heat in 10 second increments, stirring until it's completely melted and smooth.

One at a time, dip each banana pop into the chocolate, scraping off the excess. Once it appears smooth, place it back on the prepared cookie sheet. Quickly add two milk chocolate chips for eyes before the white chocolate hardens. Repeat process until all bananas are finished.

Return sheet to freezer for another 2 hours before eating. Enjoy!

3. Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies
Surprise your family with these festive cookies from Cooking Light for only 102 calories a piece!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening 
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg white  
  • 2 cups powdered sugar - sifted 
  • 3 tablespoons 2 percent reduced-fat milk            

Directions:

First, prepare your dough. It's recommended to let it freeze for at least 2 hours before baking your cookies, so plan accordingly.

"It's recommended to let the dough freeze for at least 2 hours."

Combine your flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. 

In a separate bowl, beat the shortening until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and egg white, beat well, and then add the flour mixture until blended.

Turn out onto a piece of wax paper, then shape it into a 6-inch log. Wrap it up, place it in the freezer and let set until firm - this should take about 2 hours.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

When the time is up, remove the dough log and cut it into 24 1/4-inch slices. Place each slice 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove pan and transfer cookies to cool completely on wire racks.

To create your frosting, combine the powdered sugar and milk in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Spoon mixture into a small plastic bag and seal. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag, then pipe three circles from the middle of each cookie to the edge. Then, use a toothpick to pull the edges of each circle from the inside out together to create a "web." Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.