Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday but I am not going to get all Debbie Downer on you. While I don’t like the excess of candy and sugar that is consumed, there are a lot of fun things about Halloween and a lot of family activities. We love to carve pumpkins we picked from the pumpkin patch, toast the seeds, make fun Halloween decorations, bake this pumpkin bread and assemble these pumpkin cuties which I am going to bring to my each of my kids class Halloween parties as a healthy snack.
I just don’t like the excess of candy that continues for weeks before and after Halloween. One night of excess is enough, but weeks of it starts to affect behavior and health. The dyes in most of these candies can wreak havoc on a child’s behavior. This is an interesting article on artificial food dyes and hyperactivity. Europe is ahead of the game as far as banning these dyes. The article states that, “Mars is one of many companies that use natural colorings in products they market in Europe but artificial dyes to color the same products in the United States. M&M’s candies contain mostly natural dyes in Europe, but feature Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, and Blue 1 and 2 in the United States version.” That isn’t right.
Here is a healthier alternative to all the highly processed junk that is going to be coming into each of our homes.
I love making homemade treats without all the added junk (ie. chemicals and colorings). These Chocolate Peanut Butter cups are delicious. And they are fairly simple to make. I like to use dark chocolate but my kids aren’t keen on it so I’ll use semi-sweet or even milk chocolate for them. You can also swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or sun butter. I leave these treats in the freezer.
This Halloween after my kids bring home a bag of processed candy, I am also going to “trade” my kids quarters for candies and encourage them to leave the “candy fairy” some treats in exchange for a small toy as well as swap out candy for healthier homemade sweets. I don’t need all that hyperactivity in my house over next few weeks!
- 2 cups chocolate chips (dark, semisweet or milk)
- 1/2 cup organic whole milk
- 1/2 cup Organic Butter
- 3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- pinch or two of sea salt flakes
In a small pan on the stove, melt the chocolate chips and milk, stirring often until chocolate is smooth and shiny.
Line a mini muffin pan with muffin wrapper (I use silicone ones) and pour a teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each muffin liner. Freeze for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the butter, peanut butter and maple syrup to a pot and melt over the stove, stirring occasionally.
Take the muffin tin out of the freezer and fill each with a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture. Return to freezer for 10 minutes.
Add one more teaspoon of melted chocolate to the top and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
Freeze again. I leave mine in the freezer.