Happy (almost) Halloween! Are you soooooo excited? Did you dress up yet? Will you pass out candy? Will you watch a scary (or, my favorite not-so-scary) movie? Eeeeeeek! Halloweeeeeeennnn!!!!! “I’m like a kid on Halloween!” Errrr…..
First things first. This is a dessert post, and I talked a bit about dessert in the last post that featured a healthy soup “to offset” the “indulging.” I used all this language that, re-reading it now makes me cringe, so I want to apologize for that upfront. I talked about it “being okay to indulge” and then gave “caveats” for my “approval.” That’s the kind of junky language that I try to reject, so although I do, for myself, think it’s important to “let” myself eat treats once in a while, I don’t think framing it that way is particularly healthy. And I certainly don’t think you need my “approval” for anything! What that thoughtlessly worded paragraph meant to explain was this: I eat more treats around the holidays. But I also like to be healthy, so, for me, it feels better to eat extra-well the rest of the day (or week. or month/s. it’s the holiday season after all!). So, do with that what you will. But if you’re visiting this site at all, it’s likely you want to read recipes, so I’ll shut up now, and get to the good stuff.
Appropriately for Halloween, I had a vision. It was if the specter of a vegan baker came to me, imploring me to create their unfinished business: pumpkin-shaped rice crispy treats. Healthy-ish ones. As someone with a legit fear of ghosts, I knew better than to not grant a specter it’s wishes. And I knew it could be done, but there were so many questions! How to make it healthy? How to make it orange? How to make it round? How to make a stem?!!!
Fortunately, since I start getting excited about Halloween pretty much exactly on October 1st, I had an entire month to process this. The pieces started coming together. First, I remembered the healthy rice crispy bar treats from Oh She Glows that are always a big success. Using unsweetened brown rice puff cereal and brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup is a perfect healthy alternative to marshmallows, corn syrup and white rice cereal.
Then came the carrot peanut butter. Remember how excited I was to discover it during my stay at Red Mountain? The thing about carrot peanut butter is….it’s ORANGE. Check!
The stem stumped me for a bit. But as luck (or my vegan baker ghost-angel) would have it, my favorite healthy vegan chocolate chip brand, Enjoy Life, unveiled their new chocolate Mega Chunks. I knew they would make great stems!
Put it all together, and what do you get? Adorable pumpkin rice crispy treats!
If you don’t want to make your own carrot peanut butter, you could always use regular peanut or almond butter and add orange food coloring, but if you are interested in this neato treat, see below.
Carrot Peanut Butter
About 10 baby carrots
1 c peanuts
1 t agave (optional)
1 t cinnamon (optional)
Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Pumpkin Crispy Treats
Add your (orange!) peanut butter to a large sauce pan. Mix with:
1 c brown rice syrup
1 T Earth Balance (or other vegan butter)
1 T vegan sugar (optional)
1 t vanilla
Stir over medium heat until you see it start to bubble into a boil (but remove from heat pretty much as soon as you see this). Pour in:
3 cups brown rice puff cereal (I use Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps)
Stir until all the cereal is coated. Use a cook dough scoop (or a tablespoon measuring spoon) to make rounded balls. Form with your hands if they aren’t round enough. Spread out on a cookie sheet.
As you form each ball, make sure to stick the stem in right away, then pack the ball back firmly in place, so the cereal mix is hugging the chocolate piece.
Refrigerate for about an hour. Remove so they don’t get too hard. Eat. Share. Feel like a little kid on Halloween.
Oh, and in case you were curious, this is what Mike and I went as to the party we attended this weekend:
Tee-hee. : )
Monday I teach all day but I hope to get done early enough to catch some trick-or-treaters so we can hand out the vegan, fair trade candy we just bought: