This week is Halloween!
The unofficial beginning of the holiday season and the festive end of the year.
I love Halloween. When I was in my 20s what I loved about Halloween was all the kitsch and tackiness of the Halloween decorations. In the past decade or so, though, Halloween has become the 2nd-most decorated US holiday, bested only by Christmas, so the decorations have become more tasteful.
Now that I have a child, what I love about Halloween is seeing his wide-eyed excitement at the fun of all things spooky, and also of getting dressed up in a fun costume (this year: Spiderman), ringing our neighbors’ doorbells (he is all about the doorbells right now!) and getting some treats.
Seeing the holiday through the eyes a child is a lot of fun, indeed.
But when you look at the labels of the treats that the kids get on Halloween, they have some mighty spooky ingredients.
Let’s take a Halloween favorite (and one of my longtime favorites): The York Peppermint Patty. Key ingredients in this popular candy are corn syrup, milk fat, soy lecithin (what the what?! This can’t be good), emulsifiers, and artificial flavors.
This is gross, but the worst offender in this confection is the sugar. ONE York Peppermint Patty has 27 grams –about 16 teaspoons – of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that a woman get just 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugars daily.
Luckily, there’s a better way to enjoy our favorite decadent treats. Last year I gave you a healthier alternative for eating nut butter cups at Christmastime – that recipe turned out to be so popular, I decided this Halloween to give you a better option for York Peppermint Patties. This recipe is easy to make, but there’s no shortage on taste.
Mint Chocolate Patties – Makes about 12
1/3 cup organic, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp peppermint oil
Pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
4 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
Prepare the filling first by melting the coconut oil using a double boiler (I use a makeshift double boiler – an aluminum bowl over a saucepan that contains a small amount of water). Then, blend the melted coconut oil with the other ingredients from the “filling” list in a blender until smooth. Make small balls, then flatten them with your hands to make small patties. Set them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While the patties are setting in the freezer, prepare the chocolate coating. First, melt 2 more Tbsp of coconut oil in your makeshift double boiler. Then, process the melted coconut oil with the other ingredients from “coating” list until smooth to make a decadent raw chocolate sauce.
Dip each patty in the chocolate sauce and place on wax paper. They will harden almost immediately.
In addition to having NO processed sugar, NO high fructose corn syrup, NO soy lecithin (whatever that is), NO emulsifiers an NO artificial flavors, these peppermint patties DO have many beneficial ingredients to our fertility – proving that you really can have your fertile candy and eat it too.
Coconut oil and cashews are both great sources of healthy fats. Our fertility needs these healthy fats, called saturated fats. Saturated fats help our hormone balanced, and happy, balanced hormones keep our fertility humming along. Issues with hormone balance lead to ovulatory problems, which are the leading cause of female infertility. So keep getting those healthy saturated fats into your diet, and coconut oil and raw nuts like cashews are good choices.
Maple syrup is a great choice when baking because it’s a natural sweetener, unlike processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It’s also good for you in the sense that it contains more than 60 antioxidants that help prevent diseases like cancer or diabetes, that are caused by free radicals. We humans are programmed to love sweet things – so don’t try to avoid sweets in your diet, just look for better ways to sweeten your stuff, and maple syrup is a great choice.
Finally, cacao is beneficial because it has minerals like zinc and manganese which are so beneficial for our hormone balance and our uttering lining. It also contains antioxidants which help improve the health of our cells, including our previous egg and sperm cells. Remember, you want to use cacao and not cocoa – cocoa is heavily processed and most of the health and fertility benefits have been removed in the processing.
So enjoy your homemade peppermint patties this Halloween – they are wicked good!
If there are any left, store them in the freezer in an airtight container. They’ll keep for about 6 months – but I can almost guarantee you they won’t last that long!
This post is also available in: Arabic