Healthy Fall Snack Options by Christina Jez, ERC Dallas Dietary Assistant
Remember when Halloween was an event we looked forward to for months in advance? Planning the perfect costume, checking out which neighborhood had the spookiest decorations, and recalling which houses gave a toothbrush or a pencil were some of the activities that occupied much time and deliberation in school. Halloween can be a difficult time for those with an eating disorder as it is a time when people are typically offered candy and not much else. It can be especially difficult for those suffering from binge eating disorder. Here are some healthy ways to enjoy the seasonal flavors of fall.
- Apples with Caramel Sauce
- The Pioneer Woman offers a great recipe here. Many other premade options are available in the produce department of your local grocery store. Simply slice one apple and serve with two tablespoons of caramel sauce for a snack that is delicious and nutritious.
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Packed with nutrients like zinc and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds pack a mean punch in terms of great nutrition. Roasting pumpkin seeds are a fun option for a family activity as well. After scooping the pulp out of the pumpkin, separate the seeds and rinse them under cool water. Toss the seeds in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven (300 degrees) for 30-40 minutes. Check out an instructional video here.
- Caramel Corn or Kettle Korn Popcorn
- Popcorn can be a great snack item; providing a low-fat source of dietary fiber. Choose low-sodium options. You can make your own by checking out this recipe from the Chocolate Covered Katie blog. Other great store-bought options include Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop! Kettle Korn microwave popcorn.
- Baked Apples
- Scoop out the core of 4 apples using a melon baller, leaving the bottoms intact. Mix 3 tablespoons each brown sugar and butter with 1/8 cup fresh breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; stuff into the apples. Put in a baking dish with 1/8 cup apple cider and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.
- Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars
- I love this five-minute recipe All you need is rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, raisins, peanut butter, agave nectar, and sea salt. You don’t even need to bake them! Just refrigerate for 4 hours and cut into bar shape and ta-da! You are finished.
Autumn brings a bounty of nature’s finest that should not be missed out on! Plenty of delicious options await, allowing us to turn fall’s best fruits and flavors into Halloween snacks, party bites, and more. Let’s get cooking!