Fall is finally upon us, which means pumpkins, cinnamon, scary movies, scarves, and Halloween! If you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, there’s no need to miss out on all the fun. With a little bit of planning, you too can enjoy a gluten-free Halloween!
Whether you have a house full of kids or just want to celebrate with friends, these tips can help you avoid some common gluten traps this Halloween.
1. Carve or paint a pumpkin.
Pumpkin carving is a great tradition. Channel your inner sculptor or painter and see what you can create with this nutritious vegetable. Have a contest with your family or friends for most creative pumpkin! Don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds to roast later.
2. Throw a Halloween party for your kids.
When you throw your own party, you can prepare homemade gluten-free treats for everyone to enjoy.
3. Give out Halloween toys instead of candy.
Handing out Halloween-themed party favors, like spider rings, glow sticks, or stickers are a great way to enjoy Halloween without all of the sugar-laden candy.
4. Decorate Clementine oranges as Jack-o-Lanterns.
This week at the office we had a great time decorating clementine oranges as jack o’lanterns using sharpies to draw on them. These are nutritious, delicious and fun for the kids to take to school to share.
5. Have a scary movie marathon.
Do you love scary movies? If so, invite friends over and have a scary movie marathon. You can prepare your own gluten-free treats for everyone to enjoy.
6. Go trick-or-treating with your kids.
Kids love dressing up and going trick-or-treating! Let them collect candy and treats from around the neighborhood, then make a plan for how they can use them. Let your kids trade their candy in for another, better gluten-free prize! You can also collect all your candy and have your kids donate it.
7. Roast your pumpkin seeds.
Save all the seeds from your carved pumpkins and roast them for a quick and easy snack! Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. You can add sea salt, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, cayenne pepper — any flavors you want!
8. Make your own gluten-free treats.
Use your imagination! You can make gluten-free caramel popcorn, trail mix, cookie dough balls, pumpkin cookies and much much more! Check out the recipe below to get you started.
Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bites
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Combine almond butter, honey, pureed pumpkin, and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients — almond flour, flaxseed, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
Using your hands, thoroughly knead the dough. If your dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of water and continue kneading. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more almond flour.
Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough and roll into small one-inch balls. Refrigerate bites for 30 minutes before serving.
Variation: You can dust your cookie dough bites in extra cinnamon and shredded coconut for decoration, or you can fold in crushed pecans, dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a slightly different flavor and crunch.
By: Dr. Amy Myers