Halloween is one big candy-fest. We know it, our kids know it, yet the food rules usually fly out the window on Oct. 31. We might not like a whole evening of unbridled candy acquisition and consumption, but there actually is something we can do about it.
Pace yourself. No wait, that should be make the kids pace themselves. Wink, wink.
The key to avoid eating too much sugar is to temper it with fiber and protein. Popcorn is a great source of fiber and a healthy accompaniment to all that candy. And it’s easy to make your own. Simply put ¼ cup canola oil, 1 tablespoon salt and 3 tablespoons yogurt butter (found in tubs) in a large pot, then top with ½ cup popcorn kernels.
Cover and cook on high. As the butter begins to melt, shake the pan with the lid still on to disperse the ingredients. Shake several more times during cooking. Be certain to turn the heat off when more than one or two seconds passes between each “pop.”
Allow to cool, then mix with dry-roasted peanuts, pretzels and your favorite chocolate candy. The fiber in the popcorn and the protein in the nuts will fill you up, and the sweetness of the candy provides a nice contrast to the saltiness of the nuts, pretzels and popcorn. (NOTE: If you’d like to make this without candy, simply add dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries or even dates).
Another way to spread out the candy is to use it as a topping for frozen yogurt. It’s not as hard to make yourself as you might think. The secret is to use frozen fruit and a food processor.
Pour 1 cup frozen fruit (berries, peaches, bananas, etc.) into your food processor, along with 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar. Turn on the food processor and let it run until the mixture begins to thicken.
When the mixture is well-blended, you can eat it right away and top with some of the Halloween candy. It can also be turned into parfaits by layering the frozen yogurt with vanilla yogurt and chocolate candy. If you have leftover yogurt, put in an airtight container and keep in the freezer so you can snack another day!
While you might not like your kids eating a ton of candy on Halloween night, the point to remember is that they had a blast getting it. So sneak in a little protein and let them enjoy themselves. And you, too, for that matter.
– Tiffany Hughes, an Acworth resident and is volunteer coordinator/scheduler for the Booth Western Art Museum.