Forget about candied treats, lollipops, or sugar-coated apples…the Halloween season doesn’t need to wreck your diet (not to mention your teeth). The good news is that autumn superfoods are as plentiful as the candy in a trick-or-treater’s bag. Read on to learn the best Halloween superfoods to put on your seasonal shopping list.
When it comes to this ghoulish time of year, there are plenty of Halloween dishes and foods that make it easy to stay fit and healthy—despite all the candy temptations. After all, too much sugar, whether refined or artificial, is connected to a host of potential health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Sugary foods and treats also fill up the stomach, so you’re likely to eat less of the foods you need to fuel your muscles and brain.
Halloween superfoods, like butternut squash, black lentils, and others, deliver nutrients that nourish the body and potentially help it prevent diseases. Many provide phytochemicals, which are natural substances believed to strengthen the immune system. They’re also low in saturated fat, making them a savvy choice if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a fit body.
Using superfoods in your Halloween meals offers an added benefit as well: they’re often rich in antioxidants that reduce damage to your skin and keep connective tissues strong. So not only do these foods help you feel better, they may repair or prevent signs of aging—without fancy creams, heavy chemicals, or medical procedures.
So say “no” to fatty, sugar-laden foods that deposit fat, clog arteries, and play havoc with cells, and say “yes” to the superfoods that give you energy to handle everything from hardcore workouts to party hosting. Here are our super picks, including nutritious Halloween recipes you can feel good about serving to yourself, family, or guests. The biggest challenge might be deciding which dish to try first!
6 Autumn Superfoods and Recipes
1. Black Figs
Figs are a smart source of potassium, a mineral that helps the body stay hydrated, making them a great choice for a pre- or post-workout snack. Add dried figs (no sugar added) or fresh figs to healthy oatmeal or Quinoa Breakfast Cereal. They also work as a salad topping.
2. Black Olives
When it comes to Halloween superfoods, you can’t beat black olives. These gems contain good-for-the heart monounsaturated fat, which helps boost levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. Black olives are also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that rids the body of the free radicals that play a role in cancer and aging. Sprinkle black olives on top of this Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake.
3. Butternut Squash
Nothing says Halloween dishes like a great butternut squash recipe. Try Spinach Butternut Squash Lasagna to get all the benefits of this superfood, including vitamin A, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients.
Be sure to check out our Fall Produce Guide.
4. Black Quinoa
This variety of the superfood has a somewhat crunchier texture than white quinoa, but it provides all the same benefits to your body. It’s a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, plus it’s high in fiber and vitamins. Make Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms part of your Halloween meals menu.
Pumpkins are pretty on the porch…but they’re a powerhouse in the kitchen. One of our top Halloween superfoods, pumpkins are low in fat and calories plus high in fiber and vitamin A. Make room on your fall menu for tasty Skinny Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup.
6. Black Lentils
Don’t let their small size fool you. Lentils are a virtual fiber factory—and fiber lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and maintains even blood sugar levels. They’re filling too, so they’re a good choice for meat-free menus. Try lentils in Skinny Slow Cooker Lentil & Veggie Stew.
To give a healthy boost to pumpkin-based recipes, learn how to make your own Fresh Pumpkin Puree.
For more delicious and nutritious recipes from Skinny Ms., check out our Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.