If there's a holiday that is not complete without candy, it is Halloween. Even the Pumpkin King himself cannot deny that one. However, with this being a whole and real food health focused site, it would not be quite fitting to promote store bought conventional candy, right? Even though nowadays there are LOADS of healthy alternatives, such as Eating Evolved or Endorfin, even Red Vines are stepping up and are selling a simple alternative with minimal ingredients. Anyways, it's always fun to create your own spooky Halloween treats. Growing up, one of my FAVORITE candies was a big ‘ol Reese's PB cup. BUT NOW, I present these Pumpkin Almond Butter Cups! Refined sugar-free and all-natural goodness that can't be beat! Even better? They're absolutely paleo-friendly!
But first, some education:
So, what even is Halloween? Like, how did it all start? Well, the same people who brought us St. Patrick's Day are the ones to thank for this spooktacular holiday! Basically, as folktale has it, the people in ancient Ireland would gather together around a bonfire and dress as ghosts and ghouls to protect their villages from evil spirits. Overtime, as the Irish started to migrate, they brought these traditions with them. However, in efforts to be more inclusive, the modern American society urged people to replace the scary stories with candy-grabbing, but still keeping the costumes¹.
With all that said, why pumpkins? Again, way back when, the Irish carved demonic faces into turnips or potatoes to ward off evil spirits, then changed to pumpkins when they came here since they were more accessible². Nutritionally, pumpkins are an excellent low carbohydrate carbohydrate, meaning they are low in sugar, but are highly nutrient dense. Some notable finds: potassium, Vitamin A, fiber, magnesium. These together prove to improve eyesight, immunity, and antioxidant function; as well as maintain healthy blood sugar and weight (key for the upcoming season of goodies).
Beginning in Ancient Central America, cacao has been used historically in rituals as a gift to the gods, and an important trade component of the Old World. Cacao is also sought out for it's beautifying effects since it high in Vitamin E, which can assist in wound repair. Cacao also contains high amount of flavanols and tannins, the same components in red wine that increase antioxidant activity.
A familiar little nut, Almonds are a good source of fiber, monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E. Their ideal combination of macronutrients make them ideal to sustain appetite and regulate blood pressure, making them incredibly heart healthy³.
So, basically, these are absolutely necessary to have on hand for this Halloween! You won't want to hand these out to just ANYONE.
Pumpkin Almond Butter Cups
- 1/2 can pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup almond butter
- 1 TBSP Pumpkin Spice
- ½ TBSP maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups ground cacao
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt coconut oil and add vanilla once in liquid form
- Combine with cacao powder and pour to fill ¼ of silicone muffin* mold. Freeze for 15 minutes
- While freezing, combine all filling ingredients together until fluffy and thick.
- Remove mold from freezer, add about 1 TSP amount of filling to frozen chocolate, freeze for another 20-30 minutes.
- Pour remaining chocolate over the frozen pumpkin, let freeze for about an hour- 2 hours.
For the muffin mold: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q7FYK7D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
About the Author
Tatum Guerrero is an aspiring Registered Dietician and a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Through her journey of adopting a Paleo lifestyle, Tatum has been able to learn how proper nutrition can heal the mind and body. She hopes to use her credentials to emphasize the importance of whole, real food and make these options accessible to youth and at-risk groups. You can follow her at RootedTates Instagram, or her website, therootedlife.online.
Want to learn which ingredients are the best to cook with?
Check out our friends over at Wellness Force Radio and learn about how good nutrition impacts your health with Udo Erasmus: