Everyone loves Halloween. That’s probably because it’s the first holiday after the summer and signals a new holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas just ahead. I have friends with children who like to trick-or-treat in my neighborhood. It’s fun to have them over after they’ve collected their candy to check out their costumes.
Usually the kids are hungry, and rather than letting them dine on candy I like to serve them treats that are delicious, but that they’d never suspect are healthy, too. Their parents sure appreciate that!
The recipes below from my cookbook, The Age Beautifully Cookbook, deliver on delicious taste and healthy benefits. Your little goblins will gobble them up and will never know they’re good for them, too.
1 large frozen banana, cut into chunks
½ cup coffee, cooled
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. smooth almond butter
2 Tbs. cocoa powder, divided in half
3–5 whole or crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, as garnish
½ fresh banana as garnish
Immunity Booster: Supports the body’s resistance to infection and strengthens immune vigilance and response
Mind: Improves mood, memory and focus.
These cupcakes are both sweet and a little bit savory—a classic flavor combination in Southeast Asia, where I grew up. My American friends usually haven’t encountered cupcakes like these before, but once they taste them, they’re hooked. Kids will love the cheesiness. Rice flour is a good source of the antioxidant mineral selenium and a particularly good source of manganese, which helps build strong bones. Milk and cheddar cheese provide protein and calcium for strong bones and muscles. Important for all of us, but especially kids!
Yields 24 mini-cupcakes
1 cup rice flour
1 cup cake flour
1 cup xylitol or sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups low-fat milk
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese
Beauty: Promotes vibrant skin and hair and helps keep eyes healthy.
Strength – Builds strength for bones, muscles and joints. Increases bone density, builds and repairs tissues.
It’s hard to believe, but this tofu version of chocolate mousse offers the same satisfaction as its less-healthy sibling. This recipe is from my friend, Dr. Lynn Blair and it has all the creaminess, the satiny melt-in-your-mouth pleasure and the rich, indulgent taste of non-vegan mousse. You may want to leave out the Grand Marnier if you’re serving this to the kids. Soy contains isoflavones, which help preserve bone density, lower risk of certain cancers. Dark chocolate has catechins, which are neuroprotective, and theobromine, which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. All those benefits rolled into a delicious dessert. You’ll love it!
8 oz. high-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs. soy or almond milk
¼ cup water
⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur
¼ cup xylitol or sugar
¼ cup honey
1 package (9–10 oz.) or 1¼ cups silken tofu, well drained
½ cup sliced kumquats, or 12 fresh mandarin orange segments as garnish
Disease prevention: Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
Here are more delicious après Halloween treats from my The Age Beautifully Cookbook:
Banana Citrus Cake – Loaded with bananas, walnuts, dried cranberries and semisweet chocolate chips.
Baobab Butter Squares – One of my favorites! Sweet and tart like a lemon bar, but made with baobab which is a good source of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
Moringa Chiffon Muffins – Powdered moringa leaves give these muffins their many health benefits and their eerie green color!