If you are looking to make this Halloween a little more wholesome, here are some delicious and nutritious homemade non-candy sweets to treat. Instead of the refined sugars, artificial avours, colours and hydrogenated oils that make up most conventional Halloween candies, these sweet delights use natural ingredients like dates, nuts, seed butters, honey and vanilla.

Spending some time in the kitchen before Halloween allows you to exert some quality control in this sugary season, minimizing the familiar spike and crash phenomenon induced by store – bought candies. Your better blood-sugar-balanced little ones can also get creative with you on the shaping, coating and wrapping, which can be part of the fun of Halloween!

My Healthier Halloween recipes can all be:
» Made into a number of shapes (balls, squares or logs).
» Rolled in coconut cakes, hemp seeds or dusted in cocoa powder.
» Wrapped in unbleached parchment paper squares twisted at the ends like Tootsie Rolls.
» Easily doubled or tripled, depending on the quantity you would like.

A few options for shaping:
Balls: Shape the mix into small balls using a small ice cream scooper or rounded teaspoon, roll in coconut or hemp seeds and place in fridge in an airtight container to set before wrapping.
Classic Squares: Spread into a small square or rectangular dish lined with parchment, place in fridge to set for 15 minutes and then lift out and place on cutting board. Let sit for a few minutes to warm before cutting into squares. Next “roll” in hemp seeds if desired before wrapping.
Tootsie Rolls: Line pieces of wax or parchment paper, wax (shiny) side up and roll the mix into thin logs. Place in the fridge to set, then cut into one inch pieces and roll in coconut or hemp seeds if desired before wrapping.

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CARAMEL NUT BALLS as published in EcoParent Magazine

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 cup pitted dates (medjool dates are the softest and creamiest)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: 4-6 Tbsp of fine unsweetened coconut flakes or hemp seeds for rolling.

Instructions
1. Process the nuts in a food processor until they become ne crumbs.
2. Add the dates, vanilla and cinnamon and process again until uniformly blended.
3. Scoop out a rounded teaspoon and see if you can form a ball in your fingers. If too dry, add more dates (some dates are more moist than others).

Shaping recommendation: Balls rolled in coconut cakes. Best stored in the fridge to let texture set and keep for longer term.

Makes 20 one inch balls.

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