The beginning of fall is a charming time. Slowly, the sun leaves space to gray skies and rainy days, and Halloween is upon us. How are you celebrating this year? We took inspiration from the pagan tradition and mixed it with some classics to create a delicious menu. You will love our healthy Halloween treats for 2018!
Did you know that Halloween owes its traditions to the Celtic New Year’s Eve? In the Celtic culture, Samhain, the Celtic New Year’s Eve, happens at the end of the harvest. Celts believed that the year was divided into two distinct parts: the light and the dark. Samhain marks the beginning of darkness when the door between the living and the dead becomes weaker.
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Ancient Halloween Traditions
In Medieval Ireland, Celts celebrated the season of darkness with bonfires, which were also a way to welcome the deceased. During this time of the year, good spirits came to look for food and comfort, while evil spirits came to play tricks. Celts disguised themselves as spirits to deceive real ones; they used treats as bribes and carried jack-o-lantern-hollowed vegetables to scare away evil spirits. Sound familiar?
Immigrants brought these traditions to the United States and mixed them with Catholic Church holidays and the Mexican Day of the Dead. That’s how modern Halloween was born. You can honor the ancient Celtic traditions by incorporating some of them in a memorable menu. Colcannon is a traditional dish that is served to celebrate Samhain; it is made with potatoes, kale, and onions. Celts also left a loaf of bread on the table to welcome back dead loved ones.
Are you ready to add a bit of Samhain spirit to your Halloween this year? Try these delicious Halloween recipes!
Ready In: 45 minutes
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon organic mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Gently place eggs in the water, return to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook eggs for 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
- Peel eggs and slice them in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out yolks and place them in a food processor with the sun-dried tomatoes, mayonnaise, and paprika.
- Blend all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and keep whites refrigerated.
- Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag.
- Pipe about 1 tablespoon and fill the center of each egg white.
- Sprinkle yolks with paprika.
Ready In: 5 minutes
2 blood oranges
4 cups organic cranberry juice
1/4 raspberry juice
2 cups sparkling water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cut the blood oranges into 1/2-inch wedges and place them in the fridge.
- In a large pitcher, mix 4 cups of cranberry juice, 1/4 of raspberry juice, 2 cups of sparkling water and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Place the wedges of blood oranges on top.
Ready In: 40 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 box vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves
1/2 canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon of curry powder
Salt and pepper
- Cut the onion in small pieces and mince the garlic.
- Place onion in a pot with olive oil and cook until soft.
- Add pumpkin and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add curry powder and vegetable stock.
- Cook for 30 minutes, then bring to a simmer.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer it to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- To add the spider-web design, spoon the vegan cream cheese into a pastry bag. Pipe a spiral and pull the tip of a knife from the center to create a web.
This is inspired by a pumpkin bread recipe that you can find in the book Celebrate The Earth: A Year In The Pagan Tradition by Laurie Cabot, where she also talks about rituals and spells to perform during different celebrations, including Halloween.
Ready In: 1 hour
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup melted vegan butter
3/4 cup water
3-2/3 cups flour
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 candy corn
- Blend pumpkin, butter, water, and eggs.
- Add flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda.
- Add walnuts to the mix.
- Form loaf in greased and floured loaf pan.
- Place 1 candy corn in the mix.
- Bake at 350°F for around 1 hour (until top is golden brown).
The candy corn represents the surprise element, in line with the Celtic tradition. People used to put a ring, thimble or button, inside the food served during the celebrations. Every object had a specific meaning. In this case, we chose a candy corn to make this dish safe for kids. The person who gets the candy corn will receive happy news. If you want to follow the tradition of honoring dead loved ones, you can leave a slice of pumpkin bread on the table for them.
What would Halloween be without Halloween sweets? Here are a couple of Halloween snack ideas.
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Ready In: 45 minutes
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 melted coconut oil
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk almond milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, egg, and sugar.
- Add oats, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and stir until incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
- Bake until edges are golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Ready In: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients for crust:
1 cup vegan butter cut into cubes
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons ice water
Ingredients for filling and topping:
3/4 cup apple pie filling
2 oz vegan cream cheese
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white lightly beaten
1/2 tablespoon water
- Place flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a blender.
- Mix until butter is broken into small pieces.
- Add water (1 tablespoon at the time), and blend all the ingredients.
- Divide dough into two portions, and shape each into a 5-inch disk.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- In a bowl, mix vegan cheese and brown sugar.
- Add applesauce, spices, egg yolk, and vanilla extract to the mixture.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and place parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
- Roll out first disk of dough and cut it into rectangles (you can choose size).
- Roll out second dough disk and cut into 1/2-inch strips.
- Arrange rectangles on the baking sheet and spread 2 tablespoons of apple sauce on each rectangle (leave edges uncoated).
- Brush edges with the mixture of lightly beaten egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Top with strips to create a mummy look and seal edges.
- Brush strips with egg whites and sprinkle with mixture of 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Stick candy eyes on cooled mummies.