Halloween Recipe Rehab: The Trick for Healthier Treats

This recipe? A re-do of typical Halloween party fare, complete with nutrition information — wow. And the kids won’t even know it!
Ingredients (adapted from original recipe):
– whole grain or sprouted crackers (see Recipe Roundup below for many cracker options)
– raw almond butter
– grain sweetened dark chocolate chips
– organic sprinkles

Take crackers and make sandwich cookies out of them using almond butter for the filling. Then coat each one in melted chocolate chips. Place on wax paper. Put some organic sprinkles on top and put in the refrigerator to cool and set. Store in air-tight container for up to one week.

Rehab Rundown

The original recipe calls for white chocolate, but you don’t get the antioxidants from the dark chocolate if you use white, and you also end up with a bunch of processed dairy powders you don’t need.

You can use any type of nut butter that you like, but please, please, please, don’t buy the typical brands from the supermarket. They have added refined sugar and hydrogenated fats.

Organic sprinkles, am I nuts? Well, yes, but there really are some good reasons for choosing organic sprinkles. They are colored with fruit and vegetable extracts, not chemical food colorings. No refined sugar for these sprinkles; they are made with evaporated cane juice. And no hydrogenated fats? I’m sold!

Rehab Reveal

Not too much to reveal this week, and I have yet to find a nutritional facts program that has sprouted crackers (let alone sprouted flour). Know that the sprouted crackers will digest like a vegetable and make the protein more readily available so you will get the most nutrition from the crackers. Not only is today’s recipe more nutrient rich because of the substitutions, but it is also void of the bad stuff, like refined sugar, hydrogenated fats and empty calories.

Rehab Roundup

Where to find the healthiest cracker possible?

  • Dr. John’s VitaCrisp crackers are sprouted, organic and full of healthy goodies.
  • Goldmine brown rice crackers with black sesame seeds are perfect for Halloween, because they really are black. They are made with whole grains instead of flour, which equals more nutrition.
  • Simple Sprouted Flax Crackers are a little spendier than your average Ritz to be sure, but sprouted flax and sesame seeds are the only ingredients in these super-healthy crackers.
  • Lydia’s Organics has a variety of sprouted crackers that don’t contain any grains at all, only seeds and veggies.
  • Can you use a whole grain cracker from the health food store? Sure, but don’t expect as much nutrition as the alternatives listed above. Would they be better than Ritz? Oh, yes.

My very favorite grain-sweetened chocolate chips are Sunspire brand. Food coops, health food stores, natural foods markets all have these, and you can also purchase them online.

Raw almond butter is available in the same places you can find the coconut oil. Or, if you live near a Trader Joe’s, you can grab a 1-lb. jar for a mere 5.99. It retails for about 11.00 elsewhere. Trader Joe’s (as well as the above mentioned places) also has a good selection of all-natural nut butters, from organic peanut butter to cashew macadamia nut butter.

Yes, organic sprinkles do exist! Check them out — the carnival colors will look perfectly Halloween-y against the dark chocolate.

So only you will know that your Halloween treats this year are really a trick — a trick to make a healthy treat out of what could have been a food no-no any which way you sliced it. Although I wouldn’t try slicing these . . . too crumbly . . .

Our weekly feature, Recipe Rehab, takes a recipe — sometimes basic, sometimes decadent and sometimes just plain unhealthy — and turns it into a scrumptious and healthy dish, pumped up with nutrition. Sometimes all it takes is a few alterations to cook a dish that would make even your nutritionist proud.