Halloween has been my favorite holiday for the longest time. Although I’m not a scary movie fan I do love the Halloween classics like Frankenstein and Dracula, not to forget to mention The Nightmare Before Christmas. These movies however require festive treats to go with them. Here are my top five favorite recipes and food ideas to have at your next Halloween party or movie night.
I love a good apple cider! Playing with different spice blends, additional fruits, and messing around with the apples themselves. I make a big pot of this any time I have friends over this time of year and it couldn’t be easier. I start by adding unfiltered apple juice to a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot, then adding whole spices. Avoid adding ground spices as these can make the end product gritty and it can be overpowering. If you put the whole spice blend in a bag you can easily take them out when it’s spiced to your liking. You can play around with the spice to fit your tastes, but my favorites are allspice berries, star anise, cinnamon, fresh or crystallized ginger, cloves, and cardamom pods. Another way to add flavors to your apple cider is by adding different fruits to the mix. I love adding oranges to mine, letting sliced circles of oranges simmer in the apple cider adds a nice tartness that nicely balances the sweetness of the apple juice. Adding slices of apples is also a great way to emphasize the apple flavor of the cider and I love eating the pieces of apple that have been cooked in the apple cider. But if you want to make it spooky try peeling the apples and then carving faces in them. While the little apple heads cook they will turn into creepy yet tasty shrunken heads floating in the apple cider. You could do a similar thing with whole oranges or clementines by making faces in them by stabbing cloves into the oranges, just be careful as if you add too many cloves they can overpower the taste which is not a personal favourite.
Who doesn’t like a good muffin?! When the leaves start turning color I like to swap out my banana muffins for the seasonally appropriate pumpkin muffins. This recipe is one that I have been making since I was in high school and love it. If you want to reduce the sweetness, switching out the streusel topping for pumpkin seeds is a delicious alternative.
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Granola:
This is a recipe that I have been hooked on for the last month and was a featured recipe in my October newsletter. This recipe is based on a recipe by the Minimalist Baker who is one of my favourite sources of simple and easy recipes. In the process of trying to make the original recipe, I realized that I didn’t have some of the ingredients and made changes to the recipe based on what I had on hand; that was how this recipe was born. This makes the fall mornings quick, easy, and tasty when prepped ahead over time and paired with milk and fresh fruits, or eaten by itself as a snack.
Wild Rice & Squash Salad
Taking a turn from the sweet to the savoury, with this seasonal favorite. Nothing feels more like fall than a hardy wild rice salad with seasonal veggies like squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and a hint of sweetness from cranberries. I learned this recipe while in my nutrition program in 2015 and it has since been a favorite whenever fall rolls around.
I love chickpeas and roasted chickpeas are super versatile. They make a great snack or salad topper. As a lover of salt and vinegar chips this salt and vinegar chickpeas by Oh She Glows is a goto movie snack for me. If salt and vinegar is not your jam, then cover the chickpeas in oil and a generous amount of your favorite seasoning and roast until crispy, and you’ll have a tasty snack with all the protein, vitamins, and minerals that chickpeas have to offer.
Don’t forget to have fun, eat the food you love, and spend time with your loved ones. Healthy eating is more than just macro and micro-nutrients so play with your food and have fun with seasonal flavors.