Spooky Halloween Appetizers – Bat Bites

halloween appetizersOne of the things that I have enjoyed about Halloween over the past few years is the unique fun recipes that I have discovered. Now when I say unique and fun I mean ways of taking healthy food and making it into something Halloween themed.

I know I could have been doing this years ago, but since eliminating sugar and going to a sugar free Halloween, my focus has shifted to seeking these things out. I wanted to take the focus off the sugar fest at Halloween and show the kids the other fun aspect of things, like the decorating, festivities and food.

As a result I have made things like Boo-nanas and Apple Bites, which are banana ghosts and ghoulish looking smiles with teeth. I have found veggie platters made into skeletons and this year Bat Bites!

healthy halloween snacks

Apple Bites

These I think are by far the most fun yet. They are made from goat cheese, cream cheese and pesto (of which I have all non dairy substitutions for) and they are not only easy to make but look super cool. These treats are likely more for the adult crowd as some kids may not like the tastes and texture of them.

The trick was when do I make them? Luckily I had planned a wine and cheese for my neighbors and friends very close to Halloween, so I was able to try them out. Of course they were a hit! People loved them, not only how they looked but how they tasted as well.

So if you’d like to get a little creative this Halloween with your eats definitely give these a try! And there are all kinds of ideas out there. Hop on the net and Google it to find a variety of ideas to fit every taste bud.

Bat Bites

4 oz. vegan cream cheese

8 oz. soft mild goat cheese

1/4 c. pesto

2 tbsp. coarsely ground pepper

2 tbsp.poppy seeds

8 pitted olives, sliced

32 triangular corn chips (I just used Tostitos and broke them into smaller triangles)

Mix together cream cheese, goat cheese and pesto. Chill for 40 minutes.

Shape mixture into 16 2 inch balls, about 1 heaping tsp. each. Mix pepper and poppy seeds together in a bowl. Roll balls in poppy seed mixture to cover. Press olives into ball for eyes and insert chips on either side for wings.

healthy halloween snacks

Boo-nanas

Happy Halloween!

Amazing Homemade Pesto

In our journey to eliminate sugar and dairy from our diets I am constantly on the lookout for new recipes as well as ways to still make the recipes we love without having to ‘sacrifice’ an ingredient. I have found that in many cases it means I am making my own salad dressings, condiments and even pasta (I made an italian sausage tortellini soup in the slow cooker which was fabulous btw! but all the tortellini in the store had some kind of cheese in it – so I grabbed a recipe and made my own substituting with vegan cheese. It worked perfectly!) Yes it means more time in the kitchen, though I am learning how to cut that down, but it also means better healthier and tastier meals.

IMG_2331So you can imagine how happy I was to find this homemade pesto recipe. The ingredients are simple and it was super easy to make! I love pesto for pasta dishes and for this slow cooker Lemon Pesto Salmon I make – oh my gosh soooo good! And I always cringed when I used it because of the dairy in it. But making my own allowed me to substitute the vegan parmesan and presto I had a delicious and super tasty homemade pesto! It was so good my daughter and I were eating it with a spoon BEFORE we added it to anything else.

This recipe calls for pine nuts, which are quite expensive, but you only need a small amount and if you buy them in bulk you can get only what you need; then it’s not so bad. And honestly I don’t think you’d want to leave them out as they add to the overall result!

Fresh_BasilIt also calls for fresh basil, which I love! the scent is so refreshing. I recently bought a basil plant which is producing way more fresh basil than I am using, so I was happy to discover this which calls for a good amount of it.

The thing that impressed me the most with this recipe was how easy and fast it was to make. Within 5 minutes it was all together and done.

If you’re looking for a great pesto recipe definitely try this one out, cause you know it does go with just about anything (yes I am thinking of other recipes I can make that use it so I can make some more 🙂 and for my fresh basil too.

Homemade Pesto

3/4 c. packed basil leavesIMG_2332

3 tbsp. pine nuts

1 clove garlic

1/4 c. vegan parmesan cheese

1/2 virgin olive oil

Place basil, pine nuts, garlic, vegan parmesan cheese and oil in hand food chopper (I use Tupperware’s Quick Chef® but any small hand food chopper will work). Turn handle until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 2/3 cup