Sinless Sweets for Halloween

Eager to indulge in all the spooktacular treats Halloween has to offer? Not so fast. Using this holiday as an excuse to gobble up every single piece of candy or chocolate in sight will only leave you feeling guilty the next day. That’s why I partnered with food blogger Monica Rose Grant to bring you ten healthy Halloween treat recipes that are not only nutritious and delicious but so boo-tiful.

1. Ghost Meringues (Low-Fat, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Yields 30 meringues

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

  • ¼ cup dark chocolate

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)

  • A pinch of salt (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 215°F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  3. Begin whisking the egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium-low. Place the egg whites in the mixer bowl and begin whisking. Be sure that the mixing bowl and whisk are free from grease and that the egg whites do not have any bits of egg yolk in them. Add in the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt (if using).

  4. Increase speed to medium and start adding sugar. After the whites begin to foam, bump up the mixer to medium speed and gradually start adding in the sugar. As the eggs whites are whisked, air is incorporated. Little air bubbles will start to form and the egg whites will foam. They will still be too liquidy to hold any shape. Once they begin to foam, begin adding in the sugar a little bit at a time.

  5. Watch for the "soft plop" stage. The foam and air bubbles will start to tighten and the whites will become opaque. The "soft plop" stage describes eggs whites that hold onto the whisk but do not form peaks.

  6. Add the remaining sugar as the whites turn into soft peaks. Continue adding in the sugar until the whites begin to form soft peaks. Here, the whites will begin to hold their shape, but will eventually slump over and melt back into the bowl.

  7. Increase the speed to medium-high. After the whites begin to hold their shape, bump up the mixer to medium-high until they hold firm peaks. Watch for the "firm peaks" stage. Firm peaks are achieved when whites hold their shape. If you pull the whisk straight out of the bowl, a peak will form. At this stage, the tip of the peak will fold back over onto itself.

  8. Watch for the "stiff peaks" stage. The stiff peaks stage is what we are trying to achieve. At this point, the peaks should stand up nice and straight. The whites will be glossy and smooth. If you rub a bit between your fingertips, it should feel silky (meaning the sugar has completely dissolved).

  9. Fill the piping bag with meringue and attach a plain tip to the bottom. Unfold the top of the piping bag about halfway, then use a rubber spatula to fill the bag with the meringue. Fill the bag only ½ to ¾ of the way full to prevent the meringue from spilling out the top of the bag.

  10. Pipe out the meringue. Gently squeeze the piping bag to push out any air pockets before getting started. Pipe meringue ghost by holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet. Hover the top slightly over the sheet and pipe a large round of meringue. Stop, then pipe the meringue again with a smaller round. Then, stop again, pressing the bag, and then pull up on the bag.

  11. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of your meringue. Watch for when the outside is crisp and the inside is dry yet chewy. They should feel light and hollow. When done, the meringue should easily peel off the parchment paper. Turn the oven off, crack the door open, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.

  12. Melt chocolate and place in piping can with a small round tip, carefully pipe eyes on your ghost and let the chocolate set.

2. Bone Macarons (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Yields 25 macarons

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg whites

  • ¼ tsp sea salt

  • ½ cup honey

  • 1 tbsp vanilla

  • 3 cups shredded coconut


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

  2. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and remember to grease the paper!

  3. Put egg whites and salt into a large bowl and beat them with a whisk or beaters until they form stiff peaks. This means the egg whites will get really foamy and form tiny mountains when you move the foam upward. It takes at least 5 minutes of high-speed whisking so don’t rush.

  4. Add the honey and vanilla carefully so you don’t lose your stiff peaks. Beat again for a little bit to make sure your egg whites stay foamy with the peaks.

  5. Gently mix in the shredded coconut one cup at a time.

  6. Prepare your piping bag (or a large zip lock bag) and gently place macaroon mix in the bag. Snip the end of your bag and pipe into bone shapes.

  7. Step 6: Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the coconut starts to brown a bit. Don’t wait for all of it to brown, or the bottom will get burned.

  8. Let cool completely, so the macarons get nice and chewy. They cool faster on a wire rack.

3. Candy Corn Yogurt Banana Pops (Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Yields 6 pops

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas

  • 6 popsicle sticks

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened yogurt

  • ¼ honey

  • ½ tsp dried turmeric*

  • 1 tsp carrot juice powder*


*Note: Tumeric and carrot juice powder are natural alternatives to food coloring, making it a more healthy approach in baking the pops.

Instructions:

  1. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cut bananas in half and insert stick in the cut side on banana. Place on cookie sheet.

  3. Mix honey and yogurt together, then separate ½ cup portions into three separate bowls. In one bowl mix in the dried turmeric with the yogurt to make yellow and in another, add carrot juice powder to make orange. Leave the last bowl white.

  4. Starting from the bottom of the banana, coat ⅓ of the banana in the yellow yogurt, the next ⅓ in the orange yogurt, and the top in white yogurt. Gently place on cookie sheet and repeat with the rest of the bananas.

  5. Freeze banana pops for 5-6 hours or until frozen.

4. Dirty Mummy Apples (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 green apple

  • 1 red apple

  • ⅓ cup raw chocolate

  • ⅓ cup raw almond butter

  • ⅓ cup raw, unsweetened shredded coconut

  • Candy eyeballs


Instructions:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate.

  2. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, warm almond butter for 15 seconds. Set both bowls aside.

  3. Cut apples into slices, preferably on the thicker side.

  4. Lay apples on cutting board and make sure they are not touching.

  5. Drizzle almond butter over the apples, trying to do so in thick strands.

  6. Repeat the drizzling with the chocolate.

  7. Sprinkle the apples with the shredded coconut and then gently press the coconut into the apples.

  8. Dip the bottom of your candy eyes in chocolate and stick to the apples.

  9. Place apples in the fridge just long enough for the chocolate to set, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Black Cat Donuts (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free)

Yields 10 donuts

Ingredients for the donuts:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 3 tbsp water

  • ¾ cup gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour (see notes below)

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp coconut sugar

  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla


Ingredients for the donuts for the ganache frosting:

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk

  • ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate

  • 1 tbsp activated charcoal powder (*this is a superfood!*)


Ingredients for the donuts for the decoration:

  • Candy eyes

  • Melted chocolate


Instructions for the donuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Grease your donut pan if needed.

  3. Prepare your flax egg by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar.

  5. In a small bowl, mix the milk, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and flax mixture together.

  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

  7. Using a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag, pipe the mixture into each cavity of your donut pan.

  8. Bake for 10 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and let the pan sit for a few minutes before removing the donuts.

  10. Remove the donuts from the pan and place on a cooling rack.


Instructions for the ganache frosting:

  1. Warm coconut milk in the microwave until very warm, but not hot.

  2. Add chopped chocolate to warm coconut milk along with charcoal powder. Let stand for 5 minutes then stir until all are combined and smooth.


Instructions for the decoration:

  1. While your doughnuts are cooling, spoon the ganache over the tops of the doughnuts and let it drip down the sides to the bottom of the pan. This will make a smooth chocolate coating on your doughnuts.

  2. While your doughnuts are setting, melt the chocolate and place in piping bag with small round tip. On a parchment covered pan, pipe small thin lines for your cat whiskers. Place in freezer to cool quickly cool.

  3. Take 1 doughnut and cut it up into triangles for your cat ears. Use your leftover melted chocolate to attach the ears to the doughnuts. Then place in the freezer for 2 minutes to set.

  4. Take out doughnuts with set ears and the chocolate whiskers. With the last of your chocolate, attach your chocolate whiskers and candy eyes.

  5. Let doughnuts set for a bit before serving.

6. Dark Chocolate Banana Moon Cake (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Yields 1 6” cake (approximately 6-8 servings)

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 3 tbsp water

  • ¾ cup oat flour

  • ¼ cup brown rice flour

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tbsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 cup pureed bananas (approximately 2 large bananas or 2-3 small ones)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ cup chocolate chips

  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips


Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 stick Earth Balance butter (soft)

  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Yellow, black and blue food coloring

  • Gold and silver sprinkles


Instructions for the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Grease a 6” cake pan or line with parchment paper.

  3. Prepare your flax egg by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, brown rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  5. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, unsweetened applesauce, pureed bananas, vanilla, and flax mixture.

  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  8. Pour batter into greased baking dish and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.

  9. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly on top of the batter.

  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

  11. Allow cake to fully cool before frosting.


Instructions for the frosting:

  1. Beat butter in mixer for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add half of your powdered sugar and whipping cream mix for another 2 minutes until it reaches the same texture. Add the rest of your powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. Beat for another 2 minutes.

  2. Split frosting into two bowls and take a small amount of the frosting (around 3 tbsp) and place it in another small bowl.

  3. Color one of the larger bowls of frosting yellow, the other blue, and the smallest bowl black.

  4. With a cake spatula or another flat spreader make the yellow moon on one side of the cake. It’s okay if the moon isn't precise--you will use the black frosting to outline the moon’s face.

  5. With the blue frosting, spread the sky on the cake, being careful not to mix it with your yellow moon. Use the silver sprinkles for the stars on the blue side and the gold on the yellow.

  6. Place your black frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe the outline of the moon, as well as its closed eye and a shy smile.

7. Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Pie (Low-Fat, Refined Sugar-Free)

Yields 1 9” pie or 6 mini pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes pie crust

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin purée

  • ¼ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup nonfat milk

  • 10 dried dates

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ⅛ tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature & lightly beaten


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat one 9’’ or 6’’ mini pie tin with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Gently press the dough into the pie plate and trim the overhang.

  3. Line the center of the pie with foil, ensuring that it is touching the dough all the way around the steep sides of the pie plate. Pour pie weights or uncooked rice into the center.

  4. Bake the crust at 375°F for 15 minutes, or if you are using mini tins, for 7 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and pie weights or rice.

  5. Stir together the pumpkin purée and Greek yogurt in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, warm milk and dates in the microwave for 2 minutes and then blend until smooth in a blender. Whisk together the milk/dates and cornstarch.

  6. Stir the milk mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and pepper, stirring until fully incorporated. Pour in the maple syrup and vanilla. Gradually fold in the egg whites until fully incorporated.

  7. To make the jack-o-lantern top crust, use a sharp knife (ask a parent for help if necessary) and cut out the shape of a pumpkin as well as your jack-o-lantern’s face! If you used the mini pie tins, use a pumpkin cookie cutter and make your jack-o-lantern’s face with the knife.

  8. Pour the filling into the center of the crust.

  9. Bake the pie at 350°F for an additional 35-40 minutes or bake for 20 minutes if using mini pie tins. Watch for the pies until the center barely jiggles when lightly shaken.

  10. Cool completely to room temperature, then chill the pie set for an additional 8 hours before serving

8. Monster Macarons (Gluten-Free)

Yields 14 macarons

Ingredients for the macarons:

  • 200g confectioners' sugar (close to 2 cups)

  • 100g almond flour (close to 1 cup)

  • 120g room temperature egg whites (around 3 large egg whites)

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

  • 40g sifted granulated sugar or caster sugar (equivalent to 3 tbsp)

  • ½ tsp almond flavoring

  • A bottle of purple and green food coloring


Ingredients for the buttercream:

  • 1 stick butter

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Black food coloring

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • Sprinkles

  • Candy eyes


Instructions:

  1. Place the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and fine in texture. Set aside.

  2. In a completely dry and grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites and salt together on medium speed for 1 minute. Switch to high speed and bea *just* until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Do not overbeat. Using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the sifted granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.

  3. On low speed, beat in any flavor or color at this point. Do not overmix.

  4. Using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the confectioners' sugar/almond flour mixture until combined. Be very gentle and light-handed while doing so. Once completely combined, the mixture will be smooth, sticky, and glossy.

  5. Let the batter sit uncovered at room temperature for 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile, attach a piping tip to your piping bag and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  6. Fill the piping bag with the batter and pipe evenly sized rounds onto the baking sheets. Make sure you are holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet. While piping, keep in mind that the batter will slightly spread out. You want around 2-inch circles. Gently tap the bottom of the baking sheets on your counter to rid any large air bubbles. Gently sprinkle the sprinkles all over the macarons.

  7. Let the piped rounds sit for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour. The air will help the rounds set and form a dry shell. They should not be sticky going into the oven.

  8. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Bake the macarons for 10 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. Rotate the pan at the 5-minute mark. The tops should be crisp and the macarons should form their signature crinkly "feet." Allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling.

  9. Take 3 tablespoons of the buttercream and mix with the black food coloring. Then place in piping bag with small round tip. This will be used for mouths, noses, and eyebrows of your monsters.

  10. Fill and sandwich two shells together to form a macaron cookie.

  11. Use white buttercream to stick on eyes and the black buttercream to personalize your monsters.

9. Polyjuice Potion Matcha Milkshake (Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan

Yields 4 milkshakes

Ingredients for the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • ½ teaspoon activated charcoal


Ingredients for the milkshake:

  • 1 can coconut milk (plus reserved coconut water from whipped cream)

  • 1 tbsp matcha

  • 2 frozen bananas

  • 3 dates ice cubes


Ingredients for the decoration:

  • Colored sprinkles of your choice


Instructions for the coconut cream:

  1. The day before you want to make the milkshakes, freeze bananas and place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight.

  2. Carefully open the can of refrigerated coconut milk, being careful to keep it level. There will be a firm, waxy, thick white layer of coconut cream on top.

  3. Scoop the coconut cream into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. (If it is hot in your kitchen, place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes or so). Stop scooping when you reach the water at the bottom of the can. Save this for the milkshake, but don't add it into the solid cream for whipping.

  4. Using a mixer or hand beater on high speed. whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes fluffy and light with soft peaks. Mix in your sweetener and vanilla (if using).

  5. Whipped coconut cream is best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. The longer it stays chilled, the harder its texture will be. Simply mix until creamy again when ready to serve.

Instructions for the milkshake:

  1. In the jar of your blender, add 1 can coconut milk plus reserved coconut water from whipped cream, frozen bananas, dates, matcha, and ice. Blend until creamy and smooth.

  2. Pour in glasses and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

10. Candy Corn Fruit Pops (Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Yields 8 pops

Ingredients:

  • 8 cake pop sticks

  • 8 rectangular slices of cantaloupe

  • 8 rectangular slices of pineapple

  • 8 1” pieces of banana

Instructions:

  1. Insert your cake pop into the cantaloupe, then the pineapple, and then carefully place the banana on top.

  2. Lay the pops flat on a cutting board and get a sharp knife (ask an adult for help if needed).

  3. Cut the fruit at an angle to make a triangle.

  4. Serve fresh or freeze for later.

If you try out any of the recipes, make sure to post a picture on social media and tag @carrieberkk @monicarosegrant #carrieschronicles for the chance to have your photo featured on our social media!