October 26, 2011

Natural Foodie: Wholesome treats can be enjoyed without fear

Local healthful eating folks share recipes for nutrition-packed Halloween treats.

As the veil between the worlds thins and spirits and spooks walk the streets, goblins both big and little search for sweet treats.

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Pumpkin Bites are an easy way to satisfy Halloween sweet seekers while helping them stay healthy.

Courtesy photos

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Trick ’Em Treats

But if you're a health food fan like me, serving up sugar-soaked processed foods such as candy corn and Snickers bars is a frightening prospect. So I turned to three local health food experts to find out what they would be serving this Halloween.

Elizabeth Fraser, owner of the Girl Gone Raw cooking school; Meg Wolff, author of "A Life in Balance: Delicious, Plant-Based Recipes for Optimal Health"; and Lisa Silverman, owner of the Five Seasons Cooking School, kindly shared these seasonal treats.

Each is perfect for any ghoulish gatherings you plan to throw or attend. May you enjoy both a haunted and healthy Halloween.

PUMPKIN BITES

Elizabeth Fraser, Girl Gone Raw, girlgoneraw.com

Bites:

1 cup of cashews

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of goji berries, soaked 10 to 15 minutes in water

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 tablespoons raw coconut sugar OR agave, honey or maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Place ingredients together in a food processor and blend until a doughy mixture forms. Shape into balls roughly 11/2 inches wide.

Pumpkin features:

2 tablespoons raisins

Fresh herb stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Flatten raisins with your finger and cut into quarters to create the eyes. Cut raisins in half to create the mouths. Gently press features into pumpkin bites.

Cut herb stems into pieces and stick in the top of your pumpkins. Place pumpkins in fridge to firm up. Makes about 12 pumpkin bites.

TRICK 'EM TREATS -- TWO WAYS

Meg Wolff, megwolff.com

TRICK 'EM 1

1 1/4 cups pecans

10 dates, pitted

2 tablespoons cacao powder (unsweetened)

Pinch of sea salt (regular salt is OK too)

Put pecans into a food processor and blend (chop) for 15 to 30 seconds or until nuts are in tiny pieces, but not powder. Add the dried pitted dates and the cacao powder, and blend for another 15 to 30 seconds. Roll into balls. Makes 12 to 18 treats.

TRICK 'EM 2

3 ounces pecans

6 dried dates, pitted

3/4 cup golden raisins

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup of cacao nibs or powdered cacao to roll balls into

Put pecans into a food processor and blend (chop) for 15 to 30 seconds or until nuts are in tiny pieces, but not powder.

Add the dried pitted dates and golden raisins, and blend for another 15 to 30 seconds. Roll into balls.

Put the 1/4 cup cacao nibs or powdered cacao into a small dish, and roll balls into nibs or powder.

This combination is a little stickier, but still easy to roll into balls. Because they are a little stickier, if you roll them in the cacao nibs or powered cacao, the topping will hold easily. Makes about 12 treats.

ENLIGHTENMENT PUMPKIN SOUP

Lisa Silverman, Five Seasons Cooking School, fiveseasonscookingschool.net

2 cups each hubbard squash, Cinderella pumpkin and golden squash peeled and cubed (substitute delicata, Hokkaido pumpkin or any winter squash)

1 poblano pepper

1 other chile

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

3 carrots, diced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cups non-tomato vegetable stock

Olive oil

Chili powder, lime juice, tamari and black pepper (optional)

Fresh thyme and oregano to garnish

Saute the onions, garlic, carrots, peppers, sweet potato and squash in olive oil for 4 minutes, adding a bit of salt to help the vegetables sweat.

Add vegetable stock, making sure the stock covers all the vegetables. If you need more liquid, add more stock or add water.

Bring to a boil, and let simmer 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Add some chili powder or black pepper near the end or some lime juice and tamari on top.

Garnish with fresh chopped thyme and oregano.

Serves six to eight.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at: akamila@pressherald.com

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

 

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