Halloween is a delightful time to be a child. Marking the start of the holiday season, this holiday lets loose the kid in all of us in a flurry of parties, costumes, spooky activities and tasty treats. For children with food allergies and their parents, however, this holiday can be truly scary (and not in a fun way). Halloween parties and trick-or-treating can be especially daunting for the parent and frustrating for the child, who is eager to take part in the festivities, despite being surrounded by allergen-laden food and candies. Fortunately, going allergy-free during Halloween isn’t as hard as you might think! Allergy-friendly recipes are now more available than ever and include yummy remakes of popular candies as well as classic autumn favorites that everyone can enjoy.
Below are some of our favorite allergy-friendly Halloween recipes. All are dairy, peanut, wheat/gluten and egg free. Consider whipping one of these up before hosting a party at your house, or make one for your child to bring to his or her costume party at school. Another option is to make up a bunch of these goodies and have them waiting for your child at home after trick-or-treating, so that he or she can trade unsafe candies for some allergen-free goodies.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
By Pocketfuls Blog
Rich and delicious, these miniature versions of the classic pumpkin pie are peanut, soy, dairy, egg and gluten free, and vegan to boot. Their small size makes them perfect for kids and Halloween parties, and they’d make a great addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table later this year. Note: if your child is allergic to all nuts, consider substituting this crust for a nut-free pie crust instead.
For the crust
- 3/4 cup ground pecans
- 1/2 cup allergy-friendly flour
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the pumpkin pudding
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk or other dairy milk alternative
- 2 tbsp sun-butter or other nut butter alternative
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
For the whipped coconut cream
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator overnight
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350˚. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract for the crust. Add the flour, pecans (if your child can have them) and sea salt and stir until all ingredients are well combined. Divide this mixture between eight 125ml mason jars, or similar-sized oven-safe cups or small bowls, and press the mixture into the bottom of each. Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake the crusts for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To make the pumpkin pudding, whisk all of the ingredients (pumpkin puree, rice milk, sun butter, maple syrup, chia seeds, vanilla extract, and spices) together in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the pudding into the eight mason jars, on top of the cooled crust, and place the jars in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill and set.
When you are ready to serve the mini pumpkin pies, whip the coconut cream for the topping. Take the can of coconut milk out of the refrigerator and remove the lid. Gently scoop out the solid coconut cream and place it in a bowl. Pour any remaining liquid coconut water into a jar for another use. Whip the coconut cream with a handheld mixer for 1 minute, until it is light and fluffy. Whip in the agave nectar and vanilla.
Remove the mini pumpkin pies from the fridge. Top each one with a dollop of the whipped coconut cream, a sprinkling of cinnamon and enjoy!
Fiery and Spooky Sriracha Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
From Savoring the Thyme
Spice things up a bit this Halloween by making a batch of this holiday favorite. It’s the perfect way to use up all those seeds you took out of your jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Beware—they are addictive.
- Fresh pumpkin seeds rinsed and dried
- 1 tbsp. olive oil per cup of pumpkin seeds
- 1tsp. Sriracha per cup of pumpkin seeds (or to taste)
- A few dashes of chili powder, cayenne or paprika (or to taste)
- A few pinches of salt
Prepare your pumpkins seeds by cleaning and drying them.
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Whisk together the oil and Sriracha sauce and pour over the pumpkin seeds. Fold until well coated and sprinkle with chili powder, cayenne or paprika and salt.
Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until crisp, mixing every 10 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.
Peanut Free Butterfingers
From Jelly Toast Blog
Containing peanuts, diary and (sometimes) gluten, Nestle Butterfingers are one of those popular Halloween candies that are off-limits for many children. Luckily, you have this recipe to fall back on. These candy bars taste just like the real thing, but are free from allergens, high-fructose corn syrup and other yucky stuff.
- 4 cups candy corn (read the labels first – some brands are not gluten-free)
- 1 1/2 cups Wowbutter or sun butter, creamy
- 1 cup corn cereal, crushed (I used corn Chex)
- 18 oz dark chocolate chips, melted (make sure the chocolate is soy and dairy free)
Slightly spray an 8×8 inch metal baking pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
Place candy corn in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave candy corn on high for 60 seconds. Stir and microwave again in 15 second intervals, stirring each time. Repeat until candy corn is melted. Stir in Wowbutter and crushed cereal. Work quickly because candy corn will firm up quickly.
Spread candy corn mixture evenly into baking pan. Chill for 20 minutes or until firm.
Cut firmed candy corn mixture into 64 pieces. Dip pieces in melted chocolate and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill until chocolate is set. For best results, keep chilled until ready to serve.
Bite-Sized Honey Popcorn Balls
These are a fun take on classic popcorn balls and are free of diary, nuts and refined sugars. They are very easy to make and rolling the gooey balls together is a fun and messy activity that the kids are sure to want to help with.
- 20 cups air-popped popcorn (from about 2/3-1 cup kernels)
- 1 ¼ cups Earthbalance or other butter substitute, plus more for your hands
- 1 ¼ cups honey
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°. Put popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together 1 1/4 cups butter, honey and salt until butter is melted. Increase heat and boil honey mixture gently 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.
Carefully pour honey mixture over popcorn in roasting pan and stir gently to coat. Bake popcorn, stirring every 5 minutes, until deep golden all over, about 25 minutes.
Let popcorn stand 5 minutes, or just until cool enough to handle. Working quickly with lightly buttered hands, press small handfuls of the mixture into 1 1/2-in. balls, occasionally loosening popcorn from bottom of pan with a spatula. If mixture cools too much to be malleable, return it to oven for about 45 seconds to soften.
Put popcorn balls on prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
The nice thing about these decadent truffles is that they can be made to suit any occasion. Roll them in orange sprinkles for Halloween or add in some peppermint extract for the winter holidays. You can even add in a touch of rum to make them a special adults-only treat!
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (not lite), unshaken
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 ⅓ cups chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling, optional
- Unsweetened coconut flakes, for rolling, optional
- Unsalted seeds or chopped nuts, for rolling, optional
Open the can of coconut milk and skim the thick “cream” off the top to measure 1 cup. (Save any watery milk on the bottom of the can for another use.) Place coconut cream in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and salt and bring to a simmer.
Remove pan from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring until all chips are completely melted. Add vanilla.
Pour mixture into a 9×12-inch glass pan and place pan in the refrigerator to cool quickly.
Scoop mixture with a small ice-cream scoop or teaspoon, forming into balls. Roll them in cocoa powder and/or coconut flakes or topping of choice. Store in the refrigerator and served chilled.
Of course, as with anything holiday-themed, presentation is key. Have fun with these recipes by adding in some spooky Halloween flair, such as orange sprinkles, fancy Halloween wrapping or little decorations on the side. And with tasty recipes like these, don’t be surprised when the other children want some allergy-friendly goodies too!