Halloween Countdown Day 10: Haunted Snacks

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Halloween lends itself so easily to food play, transforming simple fruits and veggies into haunted treats with just a few tricks. To wit, today the kids enjoyed banana ghosts and jack o’ lantern clementines as part of our countdown to the big shindig.

For the “Casper Ghosts”, peel a banana and carefully cut in half lengthwise. Curvier bananas are better for this, because you’ll get that perfect curled ghost tail.

Halloween 10 Casper Banana

Add three chocolate chips: two for eyes, and one for the round O of a mouth.

Halloween 10 Casper Banana (2)

Now it was the kids’ job to make the ghosts “disappear”, a task they were happily up to. Starting with the eyes of course!

For a Jack-o’-Orange, first draw jack o’ lantern features on the skin of a clementine. Show your kids how to poke whole cloves in along the lines.

Jack O Orange (1)

This was tricky for Veronika, but I helped her poke cloves straight in, or she simply enjoyed sprinkling them on top as I worked.

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She was delighted by her end result!

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Travis, meanwhile, took the task so seriously and concentrated hard as he worked his way around the lines I’d drawn.

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He loved it so much he wanted to make another as a present for his great-grandmother!

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These oranges really are more potpourri decor than a snack (they’ll make your kitchen smell amazing!), so make sure there are extra clementines on hand to satisfy your little beasties.

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Sweet Sunflower Seed Butter Dip

Sunflower Dip (1)

This creamy sunflower-based spread is a healthy alternative to butter or jelly on toast slices. And it’s school-safe, too! You can also use it for dipping veggies like very tender cooked carrots or steamed broccoli florets.

Sunflower Dip (2)


  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl, and chill until ready to serve.

Sunflower Dip (3)

Apple-Cereal Bites

Apple-Cinnamon Bite alt

These sticky-sweet cereal bites make a fun little snack. The recipe feeds a crowd, making it a great choice for parties or big family events!


  • 3 cups o-shaped cereal
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine the cereal, apples, and pepitas in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Cook until the mixture becomes runny (about 2 minutes), stirring with a whisk. Pour over the cereal mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
  3. Shape the mixture into 24 balls; it helps to have wet hands or the brown rice syrup may become too sticky. Let the balls set on parchment paper at room temperature for at least 1 and /12 hours before serving.

Apple-Cinnamon Bite

Cran-Raspberry Fruit Leather

Cran Fruit Leather (2)

I never would have thought to make my own fruit leather at home – those sticky strips always sold near the cash register at the market – until I spotted this recipe in Family Fun magazine. Turns out it’s surprisingly easy, not to mention the recipe will make your home smell deliciously festive as the leather slow-cooks in the oven for 4 full hours.


  • 1 (14-ounce) can cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and pour the fruit mixture onto the pan. Spread into an even layer, about 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Bake at 200 degrees F for 4 hours. The center should be set by the end; if not, continue to cook up to 5 hours if needed.
  4. Let cool on the pan, then remove from the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into strips with a pizza cutter, and store in a plastic bag in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

Autumn Ants on a Log

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Put this cute autumn spin on an old kid favorite – in this version, raisins turn into deep red cranberries and brown pecans to capture the hues of the season!


  • 1 celery heart
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped dried cranberries
  1. Trim the celery stalks and cut into pieces about 2 inches long.
  2. Divide the peanut butter evenly among the slices – you may need a little more or a little less peanut butter, depending how much celery you have.
  3. Chop the pecans and cranberries and divide evenly among the celery slices.

If only all ants were this adorable!

Black Bean and Rice Cakes

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These are easy little patties that can work as a snack, or turn into a meal when served on a bun like a burger. I still sometimes need to trick my son into eating beans… but tasty patties like these make it easy!


  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can black beans
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  1. Place the beans in a bowl and mash until mostly smooth. Add the rice, chives, cumin, garlic powder, and breadcrumbs, stirring until combined.
  2. Shape the mixture into 8 or 9 small patties.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties, working in batches, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden.

Salami Roll-Ups

Deli Roll Ups (1)

Skip the bread and simply roll up Yves Veggie salami slices, and you have the perfect nosh for your kiddos. Double up portions to make these lunch!

Hummus Roll-Ups:

  • 3 slices Yves Veggie salami
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 1 tablespoon shredded carrots
  1. Spread the hummus evenly over the salami slices.
  2. Top evenly with the carrots, then roll up to serve.

Pizza Roll-Ups:

  • 4 slices Yves Veggie salami
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon shredded non-dairy mozzarella
  1. In a bowl, mash together the cream cheese and tomatoes until combined. Spread evenly over the salami slices.
  2. Sprinkle evenly with the black olives and mozzarella, then roll up to serve.

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Simple Stuffed Tomatoes

Simple Stuffed Tomatoes

Here’s an adorable little snack that takes tomatoes from good to gourmet! If a store near you doesn’t sell Miyoko’s creamy cheeses (or a similar substitute), you can order online from purveyors like Vegan Essentials.


  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • 1 ounce Miyoko’s double cream chive cheese
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts
  1. Halve the tomatoes, and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Arrange on a platter.
  2. Break the cheese into crumbles and divide evenly among the tomato halves.
  3. Finely chop the walnuts, and sprinkle evenly over each piece.