Traditional recipes

Healthy Halloween treats from The Happy Pear

Healthy Halloween treats from The Happy Pear

These healthy, edible decorations will make any Halloween Party table gorgeously ghoulish and they’re an alternative healthier trick-or-treat idea for kids and big kids alike! The best news? They’re also really tasty, easy to assemble, and require no cooking at all.


Apples have always featured at Halloween time. These Monster mouths are not only great fun to make, they’re also a crunchy, juicy, and nutty natural snack that’s super-simple to put together.

Makes 10

  • 5 small eating apples
  • 4 to 5 strawberries
  • 1 handful of raisins
  • 1 handful of flaked almonds
  • 10 teaspoons of almond butter

Slice each apple in half (with the core removed). Cut a triangle slice from the top of each apple to form an open-mouth shape (as pictured). Cut the strawberries into slices to make the tongue shape.

Insert a teaspoon of almond nut butter into the cut-out groove in each apple (as pictured).

Place a slice of strawberry on the bottom half of the groove, with the wide side of the strawberry in the almond butter to hold it in place.

Then insert 3 to 4 flaked almonds into the top of the opposite side of the groove to form a row of teeth. For the eyes, place a little nut butter on the apple skin and place another almond flake on top as the white of the eye. Similarly, put a little nut butter on a raisin to hold it in place and place the raisin in the centre of the almond flake. Add one eye each side or just one in the middle to create a Cyclops-effect Monster mouth.

You can also substitute the almond butter with peanut butter or any other healthy spread of your choice.


These are nutty, chocolatey and frighteningly fabulous – they’re the tastiest fingers you’ll ever eat!

Makes around 20 small fingers

  • 150g raw walnuts
  • 150g cashew nuts (raw or roasted work great)
  • 100g dates
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Blend the walnuts and cashew nuts in a food processor till they reach a flour-like consistency.

Add the dates, vanilla and coconut oil then blend until everything is smooth and evenly mixed.

Remove the mixture from the food processor and roll into finger shapes. Place the flaked almonds at the end of each finger (as the nails) and enjoy!


These super-quick and easy Clementine pumpkins make a pretty tasty decoration and will help your kids eat more fruit! Clementines are just coming into season and are bursting with sweet, juicy loveliness!

Makes 5

  • 5 clementines
  • 1 stalk of celery

Simply peel five clementines and set aside. Cut a stalk of celery into small pieces (approx 2 inches in length) to make the pumpkin stems. Place a slice of celery into the centre of each clementine to form a pumpkin stem (as pictured).

What healthy halloween treats will you be making this year? We’d love to hear your ideas, so why not tweet us @JamieOliver.

Halloween with The Happy Pear

The Happy Pear was started in 2004 by Flynn twin brother Dave and Steve. The bubbly brothers had been traveling the world (separately) when their twin thing kicked in and saw them both switch to a plant-based diet within a week of each other. The Happy Pear was born!

The brothers have created a movement within Ireland's health food industry with shops, café, product ranges and a massive online presence with a successful Youtube channel, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and everything in between. Their high-energy personalities and effervescent attitude has clearly won Ireland over as their following grows bigger by the day.

Morning porridge for the win!! .
Go for broke today - imagine today is all we have - give it socks .

&mdash The Happy Pear (@thehappypear) October 27, 2016

We caught up with The Happy Pear to find out what they give their kids to keep them happy and healthy. Do they have a sugar free household? Are fizzy drinks the devils drink? Are a packet of crisps seen as contraband? Nah, everything in moderation say the boys.

"We focus on giving them really healthy food most of the time and when they're having a treat and they're going to a kids party, go to the party and get stuck in!"

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Halloween can be a tricky time for parents as children go door to door to barter for a bin-bag's worth of sugar. Then they want to stay up watching scary movies while stuffing their faces with said sugar. Sleep seems like a forgotten thing of days gone by.

We asked the Happy Pear if they had any healthy alternatives treats to give the kids to keep their energy steady and their parents sane. As always, the Flynn twins delivered. The brothers recommend bananas, nut butters, dates, dried fruit and maybe even a little ice-cream for the weekend.

"Dairy free ice-cream is what we'll often have on a Friday night"

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Do you love these Happy Pear treat tips? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Kitchen Essentials

Here are our top tips for anyone looking to stock up on food in the coming few weeks.
We based this on food that can be used in multiple ways and multiple recipes, is highly nutritious and is cheap and widely available.

Hope this is of some help. We hope you stay safe and healthy during this period and send all our love.

Beans and lentils – Dried will be cheaper and lighter to carry if buying in bulk. Choose your favourite such as split red lentils, dried black beans, mung beans etc etc. The good thing about cooking from dried is you can infused and more flavours and season the pulses from within. Canned pulses are a great choice too, relatively cheap and are v practical. In the Blue Zones where some of the longest living people in the planet live often over 50% of their diets are based around beans and lentils.


Higher in fibre, will fill you up for longer. Choose the likes of brown pasta, brown rice, oats, wholemeal bread – they are better for your health, are less processed and will fill you up for longer as well as being more nutritious.


Here we suggest 4 bases of sauce such as vegetable stock with which you can make a veloute (see link to recipe below), Tinned tomatoes and coconut milk & veg stock & flour to make a roux with which you can thicken non dairy milk to make a béchamel or veg stock to make a velouté or Espagnole sauce.


Condiments and flavour agents such as tamari or soy sauce or miso to add more base flavour to make your food taste nicer, vinegars will last longer than citrus fruit and can be used to cut through fatty sauces or add more zing to your food.


Higher energy dense wholefoods such as nuts, seeds nut butters, seed butters. Energy density refers to the amount of calories in a food relating to its weight. Higher energy dense food have more calories per gram than lower energy dense food which is much less calories per g. For example 1 tbsp of oil (15g) is 120 calories which is very energy dense versus the equivalent low energy dense comparison is 4 cucumbers which weight approx 800g and deliver 120 calories. So in terms of stocking up try to choose higher energy dense wholefoods such as un roasted or unsalted nuts, seeds. Nut butters or seed butters as they last for long periods of time and are high calories and are whole food sources meaning they contain their fibre and full nutrients

Spices last a long time when sealed and give you a huge opportunity to season your food in so many ways. Relatively they are cheap and really give you so much opportunity to make virtually any ethnicity of food. Some of our favourites are: curry powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, garlic powder, onion power, cumin seed, bay leaves, ground turmeric and ground chilli powder.

Frozen veg such as frozen spinach and peas are super practical, they will last for months and often are frozen at the peak of their freshness so can give you the opportunity to add some degree of freshness to your meals even if you cant make it to the shops.

Darkly Delicious Apples

Did you know that the pairing of dark chocolate and apples create an antioxidant-rich dynamic duo that may help protect your heart? Here's our heart-healthy and tooth-friendly twist on traditional candied and caramel apples.

You'll need: 4 apples, Sticks, 1 cup dark-chocolate baking discs or chips, Parchment paper

Directions: Remove the apple stems and insert the sticks into the top of the apples. Melt the dark chocolate baking discs or chips in a double boiler (or just insert metal bowl into a pot of boiling water). When the chocolate has melted, slowly rotate each apple until all sides are covered in chocolate. Place on a tray lined with parchment or wax paper and set in the fridge to cool.

Zingy citrus cream smoothie (page 24)

From The Happy Pear: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Food to Change Your Life The Happy Pear by David Flynn and Stephen Flynn

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  • Categories: Beverages / drinks (no-alcohol) Breakfast / brunch Cooking for 1 or 2 Vegan
  • Ingredients: avocados lemons apples ginger root

Spooky (but healthy) Halloween Treats!

These were a very last minute flash of inspiration, there was tiger nut milk pulp* to use up (but you can use nut milk pulp or rolled oats) and a family visit coming up, so something had to be done and pdq!

They are very fruity, soft and squishy with a very slight tartness due to the Bramley apple and lemon juice, offset by the sweetness of the carrot, raisins and mulberries.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and glutenfree and the only possible ‘nut’ allergin is the pine kernels used to decorate (which can be omitted), however I believe pine kernels are seeds rather than nuts. Tiger nuts are of course tubers, not nuts.

These are healthy treats, no refined sugar and won’t have the kids bouncing off the ceiling or in a funk next morning. They are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients.

All measurements are very approximate!

1/3 Cup Chopped Dried Sulphur-free Apricots

1 Cup Tiger Nut Milk Pulp (you could use any nut milk pulp or swap for ground oats moistened with a little apple juice, but the taste and texture will be a little different)

1 /2 Cup Grated Bramley Apple (or any tart apple)

1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Chia seeds* soaked in 3 Tbsps Water, stirred frequently for about 10-15 minutes until they swell)

1 1/2 Tsps Baobab Powder (we use Aduna)

1 Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter (we used 4 Pulsin’ cacao butter buttons)

1/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut

Good Squeeze of Lemon Juice – watch out for the pips!

Place all ingredients in a food processor, pulse and stir down as often as it takes for the mixture to come together and roll into balls.

Make small balls and decorate with cacao powder* or coconut for hair, goji berries*, dried mulberries* or pine kernels for eyes and mouths and slightly squash the sides or tops to distort the ‘faces’ a little.

The kids look adorable in their costumes and are counting down the days until October 31! Are you ready for the sugar rush? With a little creativity, you can find fun ways to include some healthy options in the mix, whether you&rsquore having a party with friends or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Try these tips to make your Halloween festivities a little healthier for your family, party guests and trick-or-treaters.

For the Trick-or-Treater

  • Fill up first. What kid doesn&rsquot want to eat their favorite candy right when it goes into their trick-or-treat bag? Having a healthy meal BEFORE your kids go trick-or-treating can reduce their temptation to snack while walking or to overindulge, because their tummies will be full.

For the Party Host

  • Up the fright factor. Serve healthy snacks dressed up in the Halloween theme. There are lots of creative ideas being shared online at this time of year, like banana ghosts, apple monster mouths, carrot witch fingers, and candy-corn-colored fruit popsicles or parfaits!

For the Stay-At-Home Crew

  • No self-service. Hand out treats to each trick-or-treater &ndash one per child &ndash instead of letting them decide how much to take. If you have more than one item, ask them to choose which they prefer. This can help you get control of your Halloween budget, too!

Healthier Treats:

  • Clementines, blood oranges, or oranges decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns (with non-toxic ink)
  • 100% juice boxes or pouches
  • Snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, dried fruit or vegetables, trail mix, nuts, or pumpkin seeds
  • 100% real fruit strips, ropes or leathers
  • Squeezable yogurt tubes or pouches
  • Single-serving containers of mandarin oranges
  • Sugar-free gum

    Non-edible items:
  • Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
  • Bouncy balls
  • Mini plush toys and wind-up toys
  • Crayons and coloring books (or intricate coloring pages for older kids)
  • Stickers or stamps
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Bubble makers
  • Spider rings or vampire teeth
  • Slime, putty or squishy toys
  • Friendship bracelets

Be careful to avoid giving very small items that could be a choking hazard to little ones.

What to Do with Excess Candy

  • Let each child keep enough candy to have one or two pieces a day for one or two weeks (long enough for the excitement to wane). Throw away, donate or re-purpose the rest.
  • When your child asks for a piece of candy, pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
  • &ldquoBuy back&rdquo candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at the park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentists&rsquo offices have buy-back or trade-in programs, too.
  • Save it for holiday baking.
  • Save it to fill the piñata at the next birthday celebration or give out with Valentine cards.
  • Use it in an arts and crafts project or to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
  • Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter, children&rsquos hospital, or care package program for troops overseas. A familiar sweet treat from home can be comforting at the holidays.

Have no fear &ndash you got this! Let&rsquos make Halloween fun, spooky, and a little healthier, too.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

Ghosts in the Graveyard (Healthy Alternative)

Ghosts in the Graveyard is one of the most popular desserts to make during Halloween. This healthy version is made with gluten-free and dairy-free brownies, banana chocolate chia pudding, and bananas as cute ghosts. Making this version of the popular Halloween treat much healthier but just as fun and tasty!

Ghosts in the Graveyard (Healthy Alternative)

We are just a few days away from Halloween. Who is excited? I am super excited for Halloween this year. It is Emma&rsquos second Halloween but it will be her first trick-or-treating. Last year I dressed her up as a little witch (the cutest witch ever I may add). She was only nine months so we didn&rsquot take her out for candy. Instead we just hung out with family and they got to see her in her cute costume.

There is so much candy everywhere during this holiday so keeping it clean and healthy for our usual meals and snacks is a must around this time. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I have been sharing some of the Halloween snacks I have been making for us the last couple of weeks. I have been feeling a bit inspired and creative and been having a lot of fun making these for my baby girl. These are all ideas I have come across Pinterest and I have just replaced some of the ingredients to make it healthier. (Follow me on Instagram to see some of these @thepeacheepear).

For my featured treat for this week&rsquos Fun Treat Fridays I wanted to feature a Halloween themed treat. I have come across many recipes for Ghosts in the Graveyard desserts. I thought it was so cute and a fun way to celebrate Halloween. It can also be a very nice treat to make with the kids and have them help out. Obviously I wanted to turn it into a healthy alternative and make it a nutritional treat.

This is a much healthier option to the original versions of this dessert. I made them in individual cups so that each person can have their own individual serving. This treat is perfect for a Halloween party. Especially a kids party where there may be kids who have allergies. There&rsquos no dairy, refined flours or sugars, and no preservatives. Uses real fruit and superfoods. You can actually even make these for your kids as a fun Halloween breakfast, or as a cool treat to enjoy this weekend while watching some Halloween movies and decorating your pumpkins. Hope you guys have a wonderful Halloween weekend and a fun and safe trick-or-treating.

What you need to make these Ghosts in the Graveyard (Healthy Alternative):


  • Bananas
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cacao Powder
  • Almond Milk
  • Maple Syrup
  • Almond Flour
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pink Salt
  • Eggs
  • Coconut Oil
  • Baking Powder
  • Dark Mini Chocolate Chips


To make these Ghosts in the Graveyard you need a couple of things. First off, you will need an 8 inch brownie baking pan. You will also need five 9 oz clear cups. It&rsquos better of they are clear (glass or plastic) so you can see the puddings and cumbles brownies in them. Makes them look very cute!

How to make Ghosts in the Graveyard:

These fun and decliosu treats are pretty easy to make. They take some prep work but everything is pretty quick to put together with few ingredients. To make these single servings Ghosts in the Graveyard you need to make some:

  • Brownies (gluten-free and dairy-free)
  • Banana Chocolate Chia Pudding
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Banana Ghosts

I like making the chia pudding the night before and letting it sit overnight. The brownies are also great to make ahead. Once you are ready to put the ghosts ready in each cup, make the chocolate sauce and put mini chocolate chips in you bananas to make the eyes and mouth. Crumble the brownies too and mix them with the chocolate sauce.

To start assembling these add a layer of crumbs on the bottom of each cup. Then add a layer of chia pudding followed by more crumbs. Finish by placing a banana ghost in the middle of each cup. Serve and enjoy!

Making this dessert as a fun Halloween activity with kids:

This dessert is great to make with kids. It&rsquos a great to get them involved in the kitchen. It can be a fun Halloween activity to do as a family. If you had toddlers have the crumble the brownies. They will love that! Have them pace the banana ghosts in the cups too. So many great options!

Comments from parents and kids who made Healthy Halloween Treats

  • "The best news is, they haven't been sick like they usually are this time of year".
  • "my kids loved the banana ghosts. And they are so easy to make!"
  • "I love that they aren’t all hung over and sniffly the next day from all the sugar."
  • "After attending your class, I was excited to implement some new Halloween traditions. The kids traded in their candy for whole grain cupcakes and the home-made chocolates I learned in your class and they were very happy. The best news is that they haven't been sick like they usually are this time of year. Thanks Dr. Ritamarie."

Healthy eating: The Happy Pear&rsquos peanut salad bowl packed with flavour

David and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear cafes, cookbooks, courses and food production company, are guest chefs in The Irish Times Health Month kitchen this week, sharing dishes from their newly published book, The Happy Health Plan.

The Flynns have spent the past 15 years introducing people to the benefits of their way of eating, and exercising, and their latest book, their fifth, has 90 new recipes, along with meal plans, lifestyle tips and shopping lists.

Just because we are trying to eat healthily doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice flavour, and plant-based meals can be just as tasty as their vegetarian or animal protein equivalents, as this peanut salad bowl shows.


These make the perfect snack, or a light lunch on the go, or can be easily fleshed out to make a delicious dinner. Here we use cooked quinoa as the base, due to its higher protein content, and add deliciously salty-sweet tofu on top

Serves 3 (Takes 15 minutes, longer if cooking your own quinoa)


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½ a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
4 tablespoons peanut butter
200ml warm water
2 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
250g firm tofu
1 x 250g pack of cooked quinoa (or you can cook your own)
1 medium carrot
2 spring onions/scallions
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Juice of ½ a lime
4 tablespoons roasted peanuts
10g fresh coriander or parsley

1 Finely grate the ginger. Mix together the peanut butter, warm water, tamari/soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and maple syrup until it’s nice and smooth. Cut the tofu into squares approx. 4cm x 4cm and 2cm thick.

2 Heat a non-stick pan on a high heat. Once hot, add the tofu squares and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they start to turn brown or golden. Add half the peanut sauce and move it around the pan quickly to ensure all the tofu is well coated on both sides. Leave to cook for a further minute on each side, then remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

3 Put the quinoa into a large bowl. Grate the carrot, finely slice the spring onions/scallions, and add these to the cooked quinoa along with the salt, black pepper and lime juice. Mix well.

4 Divide the quinoa between three bowls, pour the remaining sauce on top and mix slightly. Serve with 2 slices of tofu per person, sprinkled with toasted peanuts and fresh coriander. Serve a little of the remaining sauce on the side.

Healthy, Happy Halloween

&bull Let kids get as silly and creepy and crawly as possible. It's okay to put out bowls of gummy worms, gummy spiders, and the most disgusting edible creepy crawlers you can imagine. While you're at it, float large plastic eyeballs in the punch bowl. (This is generally safe for children over 5.) Kids will be so intrigued by the eyeballs, you just might get away with serving plain iced water instead of sugary punch.

&bull To strengthen the case for drinking plain water, make these special Icky Ice Cubes: Buy black gummy spiders, candy eyeballs, or the scariest-looking candies you can find. Place the candies in ice trays, add water &mdash or part water and part colored, clear juice like cranberry or apple, or lime Gatorade &mdash and freeze. Voilà! Icky Ice Cubes.

&bull Go faux! Adapt the recipe for Rice Krispies Treats by substituting crisp brown-rice breakfast cereal for the usual Krispies &mdash or use half crisp brown rice cereal and half Rice Krispies. Go one step beyond, if you dare: Add black food coloring to the Krispies mixture so the finished treats will look like something that only bats would eat.

&bull Use tortillas or puff pastry (whole-wheat preferred) to wrap cocktail franks to look like sawed-off toes. For toes with bloody woes, decorate with a few squiggles of ketchup.

&bull Transform common PB&J sandwiches into boo-tiful Halloween finger sammys. Prepare sandwiches with whole-grain bread, then create whimsical holiday shapes with pumpkin-, bat-, and ghost-shaped cookie cutters.

&bull Bake up some SuperBoy and SuperGirl Cupcakes and Muffins from your favorite recipes for carrot cake and zucchini bread. To make frosted carrot-cake baked goods even more fun, turn up the hue: Mix orange food coloring and some fresh carrot juice into the cream-cheese icing. For a nutritional boost, leave the skin on the zucchini when you shred it. Explain any scary green slivers of unpeeled zucchini skin that peek through as "toad hair." The kids will take it all in Halloween stride and lap it right up!

&bull Make rainbow fruit skewers by layering chunks of fresh or thawed fruit in the colors of the rainbow (only for children old enough to handle skewers safely). For added fun and nutrition:

&bull Melt dark chocolate (it is filled with antioxidants) and allow the children to get all messy by dipping their fruit skewers into the chocolate.

&bull Likewise, dip frozen bananas into the melted dark chocolate and serve in place of processed sweets that are made with artificial colors, flavors, and other additives.

For more ideas for Halloween check out these 7 Halloween Cookie Recipes.

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