On Halloween everything is topsy-turvy. Each child (and adult) becomes someone – or something – they are not. It’s the one day each year on which our precious little people are instructed to knock on strangers’ doors and accept demand candy. We then allow them to horde large sacks of sugary sweets – some share, some don’t.
Okay – we get the picture. Rules fly out the window and snacks become staples for one day. But before your tots start trick-or-treating, maybe you should plan a trick of your own.
No, we’re not talking about spooking them out or scaring the bejeezus out of them. We’re talking about feeding them something nutritious and packed with fiber and protein – on Halloween! Shh. *Que evil cackle.
Brownies! I don’t know very many kids who would refuse a brownie (and the ones I do know would request a cucumber instead). What they may not realise is that these brownies are packed with fiber, protein, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. This recipe by Rachel Fink from Parenting Pod calls for 1 ½ cups of black beans which contains 22.8g of protein and 22.5g of fiber!
Another perk to this recipe is in its lack of flour and refined sugar (okay – admittedly, there will probably be added sugar in those chocolate chips). Almost every snack today contains flour or sugar – or both (except for the expensive gluten-free and sugar-free ones!) – and those processed, refined powders consumed in excess are major contributors to the constipation, fatigue, or inability to concentrate that you may be witnessing in your child.
Sneaking health-food into your children is one way to go about this recipe…But an even better idea? An honest conversation with your children about making healthy choices. You may be surprised by the mature responses and the enthusiastic replies that ensue when you include them in adult conversations. Read up on your nutrition facts and explain about macro- and micro-nutrients – about choosing foods that contain fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals – and how to read nutrition labels. This way, instead of hiding the ingredients from your children, you can include them in the cooking process.
So, before you send your children (or accompany your children) to pillage the neighborhood of all its candy, ply them with brownies! You’re doing an excellent job, Mum and Dad.
Spooky Halloween Black Bean Brownies
To upgrade these brownies to ‘Halloween status,’ you’ll need to cut out some stencils for yourself to place on the brownies before you sprinkle the powdered sugar. Bats, ghosts, spiders, and pumpkins should do the trick.
Alternatively, you can buy a bag of Halloween M&Ms and other Halloween candy to put on the brownie batter right before you pop it into the oven – and then it’ll look something like this:
- 1 ½ cups or 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup honey or agave
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
- In a food processor, blend black beans, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth. Once smooth, keep blending on low and slowly add in the cocoa powder mixture. When the ingredients are completely combined, stop blending and stir in chocolate chips with a spoon.
- Pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Cook brownies for 15-20 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut brownies into even squares and place a stencil over each brownie. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve!