Halloween is almost here! If you’re hosting a party or going to a friends party, you may be racking your mind for a creative entree or snack to prepare that isn’t candy. Candy is often the immediate association that people have with Halloween, and it may seem even more challenging to think of something you could bring when you throw in the factors of being vegan or gluten free. The great news is that there are so many festive and fun ways to enjoy harvest that don’t revolve around candy! Check out these great candy alternatives for your Halloween festivities!
1. Try a Festive Popcorn Bowl
Who brought the popcorn!? Popcorn is such a festive and fun way to enjoy an event. The best thing about popcorn is you can add any flavor you want! If you love savory flavor, mix in an herbal seasoning and some nutritional yeast, or go for a unique flavor and sprinkle it with some amino acids, tamari rice crackers, and seaweed! For a sweet treat make your own pumpkin spice flavored popcorn or try this yummy vegan, sugar free recipe.
2. Roast Your Own Pumpkin Seeds
For another fall favorite, try roasting your own pumpkin seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are very easy to prepare and require few ingredients. If you are short on time, however, most health food stores will carry roasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas that are either sweet or salted. On occasion I have found pumpkin spice or tamari flavored ones as well! Try this simple recipe to make your own.
3. Help Yourself to These Bar Nuts
These rosemary, slightly spiced, lightly sweetened nuts are so delicious!! I really missed making them until I realized how easy it is to make a vegan version. All you need to do is substitute vegan butter for the butter, and I like to substitute coconut sugar, maple or agave for the brown sugar for an additional benefit. Definitely give these a try!
4. Highlight a Charcuterie Board
Appetizer boards, charcuterie boards and snacking trays all mean something awesome: grazing with glam! Charcuterie boards are such a beautiful way to highlight the season. Pick up your favorite seasonal produce, flavor filled crackers, protein packed nuts and vegan cheese to make a lovely tray that becomes a little profile of your favorite seasonal treats! For more ideas check out our very own Foodie Blog charcuterie board.
5. Mingle Over Mixed Drinks
One way to set your event apart is to have an open DIY drink mixing bar! To do this have three yummy juices on hand such as sweet apple cider, a tart cranberry juice and one option with a bitter element to it such as grapefruit juice. Have some seltzer water available and alcohol mixins such as gin, rum or tequila! For balancing sweet and savory elements it's often nice to keep Himalayan sea salt or agave on hand.
6. Opt for an Olive Bar
One of my very favorite things to host for fall is an olive bar! The green, purple and brown colors are perfect for the autumn season. Your local grocer is a great place to find kalamata olives, green olives, and stuffed olives or you can get a variety of olives in bulk or in small glass jars at markets. Along with your olive bar, it’s fun to have a fresh loaf of bread or a baguette that can be dipped in a variety of olive oils and vinegars.
7. Dig In and Dip Brussels Sprouts
Roasted veggies are the best! Brussels Sprouts are the perfect shape and size for people to munch on and are so yummy glazed with maple. Roast the brussels sprouts in advance, put them out with toothpicks or on a skewer, and have some sauces ready for dipping. I recommend having balsamic, honey mustard, barbecue, buffalo hot sauce and a creamy cashew ranch. For tips on how to make brussels sprouts check out this recipe.
8. Don’t Go Without These Yummy Sweet Potato Fries
If you are looking for a filling and healthy staple, look no further than these fantastic baked sweet potato fries! They are savory, hearty, and festive. You’ll want to eat these when they are hot and crispy. If you decide to go with these sweet potato fries, you should really try making this yummy vegan ranch to go with it! You won't be disappointed.
9. Partake in Roasted Apples
If you are like me, there are two things that you miss from your childhood Halloween parties: caramel apples and bobbing for apples. The great news is that apples can still be an intrical part of your adult life! We love to throw sliced pink pearl (or gala) apples together in a skillet with a little maple and fresh white pearl onions. Let these three ingredients cook together until they are soft and caramelized and enjoy!
10. Crunch These Fun Veggie Chips
One of my friends recently set out some amazing roasted root chips with a homemade vegan cashew cheese and it was so delicious and satisfying! Root chips are a great harvest snack because they are more nutrient dense than potato or corn chips and are both savory and sweet! My favorite root chips are the Terra Original real vegetable chips. Stores often carry beet chips and taro chips if you can’t find the Terra Original.