Healthy Halloween

It's not the fake fangs, spiders, or haunted houses that scare my friends most this time of year. Oh, no — it's the pillowcases full of chocolate and candy corn! My advice: Never stock your house with your absolute favorite candy (you know who'll eat most of it).  In my case, I don't stock the house at all.  This evening I made cookies for a friend of mine that just had a baby and the smell of the cookies was making me drool.  I am almost 6 months into eating clean and I still have weak moments.  That's why I never even give it a chance.  I packaged up the cookies and hauled them off to her house. 
While I was driving I realized that I'm not the only person that is struggling with the pressures of halloween candy and sweet holiday treats.  How are we ever going to make it through the Holidays without gaining the freshman 15!!!  Well here are some great recipes that I found from the gracious pantry that will give you something sweet to enjoy without all of the processed ingredients!  Hopefully this will satisfy your sweet tooth!  Note:  I don't reccomend that you eat an entire batch in one sitting!  Remeber sweet treat, once a week!

Clean Eating Caramel Chews
Ingredients
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I used raw walnuts)
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips. non-dairy chips can be used as well for those avoiding dairy)
6 tbsp. brown rice syrup
Directions
Prep: Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Step 1 – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix your walnuts and chocolate chips.
Step 2 – Using a regular dinner-style teaspoon or tablespoon, shovel spoonfuls of the mixture on to a parchment lined cookie sheet (much like you would do with cookies), allowing some space between each cluster in case your syrup spreads a bit.
Step 3 – No place your brown rice syrup in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 4 – Allow syrup to cool for about 2 minutes.
Step 5 – Using a regular dinner-style teaspoon, spoon small amounts of syrup over your clusters, being sure to give even coverage. Remember that whatever part of the cluster doesn’t touch the syrup, will not stick in the chew when it’s cooled. So try to cover as much as possible with that one teaspoon of syrup.
Step 6 – Place cookie sheet into the fridge and cool for 1 hour.
Step 7 – If you want to leave them flat as they are now, use a spatula to transfer each cluster on to a small piece of plastic wrap and wrap well.
Step 8 – If you want to create small “balls” the way I’ve done in the photos, simply set the cookie sheet back out on the counter and allow to warm until it’s pliable. Shape with your fingers, and wrap each cluster in plastic wrap.

Best stored in the freezer if you are making ahead of time. Otherwise, store them in the fridge if they will be eaten within a few days.
Eat and Enjoy!

Clean Eating Brownies

(Makes 20 brownies)
Note: You will want to read through ALL of the directions before decorating these brownies.
Brownie Ingredients
1 (16 oz.) container almond butter
4 egg whites
1 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (non-dairy chips for those avoiding dairy)

Decorating “Paint” Ingredients
1/2 tsp. Cocoa powder
Water
Marshmallow Ingredients
3 tbsp water
1 packets unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract

Brownie Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Step 1 – Add each ingredient, in the order listed, to a large mixing bowl, one at a time. Whisk in each ingredient completely before adding the next.
Step 2 – Pour into an oiled baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Decorating “Paint” Directions
Step 1 – Mix cocoa powder with two drops of water. Continue to add water, two drops at a time until you have a somewhat thick “paint”.

Marshmallow Directions
Step 1 – It’s best to get all your ingredients out and ready before proceeding with this because everything comes together pretty quickly. Be sure to have your brownies cooled, cut and ready to decorate BEFORE you start making the marshmallow topping. Once the marshmallow topping is made, you will need to move very quickly before it solidifies. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sloppy mess of marshmallow fluff instead of a smooth spread for your brownies.
Step 2 - Stir gelatin into water in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.
Step 3 – While that’s in the microwave, pour your honey into a mixing bowl. Add the almond extract. Add warm gelatin/water mixture.
Step 4 – Blend for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is thick and fluffy and has more than doubled in size.
Step 5 – Now you must work quickly. Using a knife, spread your marshmallow topping over your brownies.
Step 6 – Using a toothpick and anything with a small edge, dip into your cocoa paint and decorate your brownies any way you’d like!
Note: For a spider web, simply draw two circles, one inside the other (like a target) and then draw squiggly lines from the center, out. (Like rays of the sun)
Eat and Enjoy!

You can find more delicious Halloween and fall recipes at the GraciousPantry.com!  Love that site!