If you’re spooked by the overwhelming amount of highly processed junk coming into your house this time of year, try making some of your own treats. While these are certainly sugary confections, you control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sugar, which helps make things a little less scary. Here are two no-fail recipes that the kids can help create.
Festive Dark Chocolate Lollipops
Makes 12 lollipops
You can use premade lollipop molds, but it’s even more fun to pour chocolate pops freeform. These impressive treats literally take only minutes to make! Get the kids in the kitchen to help decorate.
5 ounces dark chocolate
Halloween sprinkles and other edible decor
Line a sheet pan with a nonstick baking mat and arrange lollipop sticks in a row about 6 inches apart. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour a heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate over the top quarter portion of each lollipop stick. Decorate as desired and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy immediately or wrap in plastic and use within 3 days.
Per serving (1 piece): Calories 63; Fat 4 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g
Fruit Juice Gummy Bears
Make this classic kid favorite with fruit juice. You can buy silicone molds online for less than $8, and this recipe will make hundreds of standard-sized candies. Go for antioxidant-rich real fruit juices like pomegranate, apple or grape.
1 cup 100% fruit juice
1/4 cup sugar or honey
6 envelopes unflavored gelatin
In a small saucepan, combine juice and sugar; bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle gelatin evenly into juice mixture and whisk well until liquid is smooth and glossy. Pour into molds and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from molds and store in the refrigerator.
Per serving (20 pieces): Calories 23; Fat 0 g (Saturated 0 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 6 mg; Carbohydrate 4 g; Fiber 0 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 2 g
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.