Defeating the Curse of Halloween Candy

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

shannon_natalie

It’s almost here…the most frightening holiday for those of us whose children thrive on wholesome, organic, GMO-free, healthfully delicious food. My darling daughter Natalie turns 4 this month. Her idea of an amazing treat is fresh fruit with a small squirt of Ah!Laska Organic Chocolate Syrup. While this is the case, I am not going to deny her the trick-or-treating experience. She does love M&Ms after all. How do we manage the mountain of candy?

#1: We look at the ingredients and if they contain any of the following, we only keep 10 of them and she can only have one of them a day.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

High-Fructose Corn Syrup is so ubiquitous in candy because it is cheap. We know that too much sugar all together is a bad thing, but the reason why I am especially concerned with high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener is because in addition to a ridiculously high content of fructose, it also contains other chemical toxins. What we know, for example, is that chloralkali is used in making HFCS, and it contains mercury. While some may argue that it is a “trace” amount of mercury, I am going to do whatever I can to limit the amount of mercury entering my daughter’s bloodstream.

Partially-Hydrogenated Oils

Partially-hydrogenated oils are trans fats and trans fats contribute to high cholesterol, obesity, and subsequently heart disease. It is also important for children to avoid trans fats because they block the utilization of healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids that children need for optimal brain development.

Artificial Dyes

Commonly-used food dyes like Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Red #40 are made from petroleum and have been shown to be carcinogenic in various research studies. Additionally, studies have shown that consumption of artificial dyes contribute to hyperactivity and behavioral problems and should especially be avoided by children on the autism spectrum or those who have ADHD. Note that “caramel color” is also an artificial dye.

#2: The Candy Fairy Visits

Natalie and I put the not-so-offensive candies back in the bag along with her 10 chemically-laden food picks. We take all the remaining chemically-laden food (there is a lot) and then lay them out for the candy fairy. She replaces them with stickers, temporary tattoos, and healthy dark chocolate (such as the Endangered Species brand we carry here at Natur-Tyme).

What Else you Can Do?

Check out halloweenbuyback.com. It is a national organization whereby participating dentists will pay your child $1 for every pound of candy they bring in. They then send the candy to the U.S. Military. Unfortunately, the closest participating dentist in this organization is in Binghamton. Talk to your dentist and encourage him or her to participate!

Give Away Non-Candy Options and Talk to Your Neighbors about Doing the Same

Here are some great non-candy options (mix and match to appeal to kids of all ages):

• Stickers

• Temporary Tattoos

• Bouncy Balls

• Halloween-themed Pencils

• Halloween-themed Erasers

• Halloween-themed rings (spiders—eek!)

• Bottled Water

• Swirly Straws

• Bubbles

• Glow sticks

• Whistles

• Crayons

Be-witching Maca Chocolate Fondue with Apple Bats

0785 Vega Halloween Recipe Book.inddSubmitted by Vega

1 un-poisoned, washed, unpeeled apple
Lemon juice
Souls of 10 Maca Chocolate bars, dispatched into tiny bits
1 pumpkin, gruesomely gutted (for serving)

1 Take 1 washed, unpeeled apple and cut it into thin, flat slices leaving the core intact. (Slices should be about a 1⁄4“ thick).

2 Take one of the hexed slices and cut it in half (removing the
core bits) and start shaping your apples into bats (or ghosts, or tombstones, or spiders, as strikes your fancy) with a knife. If you have a small sharp metal cookie cutter in your shape of choice, better yet.

3 Pour a small amount of lemon juice onto the hexed apple shapes to keep them from turning brown.

4 Melt 10 Maca Chocolate bars in either a double boiler or in the microwave.

5 Hollow out pumpkin and place fondue bowl base and fondue bowl inside the pumpkin bowl. Carefully spoon the chocolate into the fondue bowl and enjoy quickly before the
chocolate thickens or the zombies get you.

Hauntingly Delicious Spellcakes

0785 Vega Halloween Recipe Book.indd

Submitted by Vega

VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE

SERVES 12

1 c of enchanted almond milk
1 tsp evil apple cider vinegar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c of light olive or melted coconut oil
2 tsp vampire vanilla extract
1/2 c gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
1 scoop or single-serving pack of Vega Sport Performance Protein (37g)
1/3 c cackling cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp magic baking powder 1/4 tsp salt

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2 Whisk together the almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to cackle and curdle.

3 Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the almond milk mixture
and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and bludgeon them until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay). Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way.

4 Bake for 20 minutes, until a pitch fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

5 Top with any vegan butter cream icing and die a hundred times from wicked deliciousness!

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