Halloween Treats Don’t Have to Rot Your Teeth (Recipes)

October 19, 2014 Updated: October 19, 2014

It’s true. … Despite what the children think, not all Halloween treats need to rot your teeth on contact.

Which isn’t to say the goodies we’ve gathered here—a muddy punch and a granola-like snack—don’t have a sweet side. Rather, we decided to take a more balanced approach to our sugar rush. You know, just in case somebody over the age of 12 wanted some.

Start with the spicy-sweet mole pumpkin seed clusters. Think of it as a savory-sweet granola that packs tons of addictive crunch and just a bit of heat (easily adjusted to your taste). It definitely has that potato chip-like can’t-stop-shoving-it-in-your-face quality. Embrace it.

To wash it down, we created a spooky, muddy punch. Sure, it’s jammed with chocolate, but it tastes more fruity than sugary. We kept it simple—and nonalcoholic—in case you’re willing to share it with the kids. But after they go to bed, we suggest adding a healthy splash of light rum.

Spicy-Sweet Mole Pumpkin Seed Clusters

Start to finish: 20 minutes, plus cooling
Makes 12 servings

Spicy-Sweet Mole Pumpkin Seed Clusters. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
Spicy-Sweet Mole Pumpkin Seed Clusters. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2 cups flaked corn cereal, lightly crushed

Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the almond butter, honey, cayenne, salt, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the pumpkin seeds and cereal. Stir to combine, and then transfer to the prepared pan. Using 2 spoons, separate the mixture into small clusters. Set aside to cool.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories; 130 calories from fat (57 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 8 g protein; 160 mg sodium.


Liquid Mud Punch

Start to finish: 10 minutes, plus cooling
Makes 24 servings

Liquid Mud Punch. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
Liquid Mud Punch. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

4 cups grape juice
2 20-ounce bags bittersweet chocolate chips
4 cups blueberry juice, chilled
2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda, chilled
Shaved chocolate, to serve

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the grape juice to a simmer.

Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Continue stirring until completely melted and smooth. Whisk in the blueberry juice, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

In a large punch bowl, gently stir the chocolate juice mixture with the lemon-lime soda. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate just before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 320 calories; 180 calories from fat (56 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 36 g sugar; 4 g protein; 20 mg sodium.

From The Associated Press