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Guilt-free Halloween treats for your family

Amanda Nietzel is a New York-based editor and writer. When she is not out exploring New York City, you can find her deep in the pages of a book.

Ghoulish & Guilt-free sweets

Halloween is known for many things, but health food is definitely not one of them. Every year, children fill up sacks of candy while trick-or-treating while adults can't help but grab handfuls of candy out of their own candy bowls. Even worse, Halloween parties are frighteningly full of decadent Halloween-themed desserts. It is no wonder that the end of the year holiday weight gain starts with Halloween! Instead of succumbing to the typical seasonal sweets, opt for ghoulish treats that are tasty - and guilt-free. Your kids and your waist will thank you.

Healthy Halloween recipes

Names of recipes have been changed to rally the Halloween spirit.

Blood-red candy apple recipe

Makes 8

Traditional and delicious, it's hard to go wrong with this classic Halloween sweet. The fruit – which is the majority of the treat – makes it a must-have for you and your little goblins.

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch long) dowels
8 (4 ounces each) apples, stemmed
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup cinnamon decorator candies

Directions:
1. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray. Insert a dowel into the stem end of each apple

2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and candies in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F., about 8 minutes.

3. Remove pan from heat. Working quickly and with 1 apple at a time, hold apple by its dowel and dip in syrup, tilting pan to evenly coat apple. Let excess syrup drip back into pan.

4. Place apple, dowel side up, on prepared baking sheet and allow it to harden, about 5 minutes.

Source: Cooking Light magazine, October 2005

Halloween brownie recipe

Makes 8 brownies

There have been some pretty interesting ideas floating around in regards to "healthy brownie recipes" but here is a low-fat, high-fiber one you should try. Consider adding festive Halloween sprinkles on top.

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans
1 box brownie mix

Directions:
1. Spray 9-inch baking pan with oil or nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pour beans and liquid into blender and puree. In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix with pureed beans. Stir with a spoon. Fold into pan. Bake as directed on box.

Source: MySweetConnection.com

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