Bingeing on a bottomless bag of Halloween candy may have lost a little of novel shiny appeal now that you’re fully aware of the artificial junk packed into your favorite treats, but let’s be real: On October 31, we’re eating something sweet, even if it’s not a pound of plastic-y candy corn.
As far as other candy goes, you don’t have to completely give up your beloved peanut M&M obsession this Halloween though—instead, just try a healthier, DIY alternative. That’s right: With just a little effort, you can make substitutes for most of your favorite treats at home—so you know exactly what’s going into each sweet (and into your body).
Ahead, we rounded up a few of our favorite Halloween treats that you can DIY at home.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
1/4 cup rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters).
Two pitted dates (medjool or deglet nour).
½ cup raw almonds.
½ cup roasted salted peanuts.
½ cup roasted, salted natural peanut butter.
1 cup (eight ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate (non-dairy for vegan).
(makes roughly 50 pieces)
Add your oats to the food processor and mix until small pieces remain. Then add dates and process again until only small bits remain. Remove from processor and set aside.
Next add almonds and peanuts to the food processor and mix until they turn to meal.
Next add peanut butter to the nut meal and pulse until well combined. Add in the dates and oats, and then process the mixture until it becomes a loose dough process. If it seems too wet to handle, add more oats. If it seems too dry, add a couple more dates.
Scoop out small bits of dough and form them into small round balls that measure about 1/2 tablespoon. Place all on a parchment lined cookie sheet and pop in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes.
After 25 minutes, melt your dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Then work in small batches to coat the cookies. Take only five “M&Ms” out of the freezer at a time for dipping.
To dip, drop cookies one at a time into the chocolate, flip once, pick up with a fork or your finger and tap on the rim of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place back on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop back in the freezer to set.
Repeat until all of the candy pieces are dipped, and re-heat the chocolate when you need to.
For optimum freshness, store cookies in an air-tight container in the freezer or fridge until serving.
Photo: Peachy Palate
For the nougat
One cup (120g) raw cashews soaked overnight
1/4 cup (60ml) full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup (60g) coconut oil
Two tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp maca powder
1/4 cup (55g) raw cacao paste
For the caramel
1/4 cup (30g) roasted cashew butter
3/4 cup (130g) pitted Medjool dates
2 tbsp (28g) organic unrefined coconut oil
Two tbsp water
Pinch of Himilayan Rock salt
For the chocolate
170g (3/4 cup) raw cacao paste
Two or three tbsp raw honey
Two tbsp (28g) organic unrefined coconut oil
(makes eight large bars)
Melt cacao paste in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each 30 seconds; add coconut oil once the cacao paste is almost melted and continue until the mixture is liquid.
Add melted cacao paste to the blender along with maca powder and honey and blend to combine.
Pour mixture in to a loose bottom 6 inch square tin that has been lined with baking paper and lightly greased with coconut oil.
Place in the fridge for one or two hours, until firm to the touch.
Blend dates to a paste for the caramel. Combine with all other ingredients and spread evenly over firm nougat. Return to the fridge for two hours or leave overnight.
Remove from the tin and slice in to eight bars. Slice a tiny bit off each corner of the bars and smooth with your finger to round them off.
Place on a tray in the freezer for a minimum of two hours or overnight before coating them in chocolate.
Melt cacao paste in the same fashion as for the nougat filling.
Blend or whisk together all chocolate ingredients until smooth. Place in to a jug and one at a time dunk the bars in to the chocolate. Use a fork to remove and shake off excess chocolate before transferring to a baking paper lined tray.
Once chocolate is beginning to set drizzle with remainder to achieve a prettier finish. This is optional but recommended for additional chocolate thickness on top.
Place in the fridge for an hour to allow the chocolate to firm up completely. Serve from the fridge in a container covered with a layer of baking paper were they will keep for up to five days or freeze for up to one month. Note the chocolate will loose its glossy sheen with time, but will still taste just as great.
Photo: Fork and Beans
For chocolate middle
One cup cashews
1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
One tsp vanilla
Two tsp agave
3/4 cup water
two tbsp melted coconut oil
Rice Chex cereal
Two cups melted non-dairy chocolate
For the fluffy chocolate center, place all ingredients into a high speed bender until smooth and fluffy (about five minutes). Place in the fridge while you’re assembling everything else.
In the 8×8 parchment paper lined pan, coat with a thin layer of chocolate.
Layer the chocolate with one layer of Rice Chex cereal. Then, layer in the third layer: A thin coat of chocolate, and place in the freezer. Do not allow to completely freeze, as you’ll need to score the chocolate later.
Wait until the chocolate is just at freezing point, and take a knife to mark where you’ll be making the incisions. It helps to go along the lines between the Rice Chex. Cut half-way through, and then freeze for another 20 minutes.
Remove parchment paper out of the pan and begin to cut your candy into Kit Kat-sized pieces.
Melt the rest of the chocolate if needed, and quickly dip the sides of the candy pieces into the chocolate, then freeze until set, and eat!
Photo: Fit Foodie Finds
Two tbsp coconut oil, melted
¼ cup smooth peanut butter (all-natural)
One tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Eight drops of liquid stevia (or to taste)
For the top layer
Two tbsp coconut oil, melted
¼ cup natural smooth peanut butter
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
optional: unsweetened coconut
Line a mini muffin tray with 12 cupcake lines.
Stir all ingredients for the bottom layer together until smooth. You may have to melt the coconut oil and peanut butter for 20 seconds to get them to mix well. Divide between the wells so that they’re each half full.
Put the tray in the freezer on a flat surface and freeze until solid, which may take around 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir all ingredients together for the top layer until smooth. Again, you may have to heat the coconut oil and peanut butter for 20 seconds to get them to mix well. Divide on top of the set chocolate mixture.
Return to the freezer and freeze until solid, which will take about another 10 minutes. Store in the freezer.