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Earlier this week, we shared some of the frightful side effects of Halloween treats for both us (as adults) and the kids in our communities. In fact, one study found that the average American child brings home 7,000 calories of treats on Halloween night alone. Yet with a little planning, you can still have a festive Halloween without the spooky problems created by all those sugary treats. These three healthy halloween recipes are delicious and full of immune-boosting ingredients without scaring your immune system.

1. Spooky Pumpkin Muffins

This high-protein, high-fiber treat is a great way to start your day. These baked delights are made with coconut oil (which studies have shown has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties). It’s also high in immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin A, thanks to the seasonal flavors of fresh pumpkin puree. These pumpkin muffins make a great breakfast or snack, and are also easy to wrap up and dole out when you have trick-o’-treaters at your door. You, your waistline, and your wellness will thank you!

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey, ideally local, raw and organic
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup oat milk
2 tsp pumpkin spice blend
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is heating up, grease a muffin tin with coconut oil.

In a bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, eggs, pumpkin, milk, pumpkin spices, baking soda, sea salt, and vanilla. Once well-mixed stir in the oats and flour.

Pour the muffin batter into the muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked (test by inserting a toothpick to ensure it’s baked thoroughly). Enjoy!

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2. Plant-Based Pumpkin Bread

If you’re vegan, or if you are trying to reduce your animal product intake, it’s hard to avoid ingredients like dairy or eggs when it comes to Halloween baked goods. But never fear — this delicious pumpkin bread is so good, it’s scary! And you won’t believe it’s made with 100% plant-based ingredients and no white sugar (its natural sweetness comes from ingredients like coconut sugar, which has vitamins and nutrients lacking in white table sugar, plus fiber-rich banana). Plus, it’s made with spelt flour, which is exceptionally high in immunity-enhancing nutrients like zinc, niacin, and manganese.

3 ripe bananas, mushed
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 1/2 cup white spelt flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Prehead your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is heating up, grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with avocado oil, olive oil, or a similar oil.

In a mixing bowl, combine the banana, pumpkin, vanilla, coconut oil, and coconut sugar. Whisk well, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into your baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through (check by inserting a knife or a toothpick).

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3. Pumpkin Granola Yogurt Cups

Whether you need a treat to hand out on Halloween, or a crowd-pleaser for a party or your child’s school party, these healthy granola cups are just the thing. They’re easy to make ahead, high in protein, and will boost your gut health (gut health is closely intertwined with immune health). You can also use them as a great foundation for getting creative. For instance, add your favorite dried fruit or nuts on top, or indulge in additional ingredients like sprinkles or chocolate chips to give these Halloween-inspired granola cups an extra twist.

3 1/4 cups organic rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped nuts
Toppings like chocolate chips, orange sprinkles, etc. (optional)
Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr yogurt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, grease two 6-muffin muffin tins.

In a bowl, combine the spices and oats and whisk well. Then, stir in the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, vanilla, and nuts, and mix well.

Fill each cup in the muffin tin 1/4 full with the granola mixture. Use a spoon to press the granola against the sides to make a cup-like shape. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

Allow to cool, then pop each granola cup out of the tin. Fill with yogurt and garnish with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]