I Love Links! Halloween Edition

I’m really into the holidays this year, and I’m not sure why. Maybe last year, my first year in Japan, I didn’t let myself get so excited for fear of becoming homesick. Also, I didn’t have a blog during Halloween of last year, and I wasn’t on Pinterest! So maybe the internet world is influencing my holiday enthusiasm. I’ve gathered together some of my favorite ideas to have a better Halloween. Notice I didn’t say healthier, just better. Kids (and adults) don’t want to have a healthy Halloween. They want to have fun & celebrate. Luckily, there are some amazing ways to do so!

Recipe Mash-Up

First, I want to start off with a recipe mash-up. My friend Shirley, from Gluten-free Easily, and I are both participating in the Paleo Parents “I Eat Real Food” Halloween Round-Up. If you’ve got a grain, legume, dairy*, and refined-sugar free recipe, send it in via their contact form by October 24th! I saw Shirley’s Nut Butter Cookies (flourless & egg-free to boot), and I thought they would make a PERFECT pairing with my entry, Pumpkin Soft Cream. So why not make a delicious ice cream sandwich to celebrate?

* Dairy-free is not required, but highly desired. If you have a recipe with dairy, you can enter it with substitution suggestions.

Fun Whole Foods Ideas

Jack O’Lantern Sweet Potato Fries

 How to make Jack O’Lantern Oranges from Chocolate Covered Katie

Butternut Squash Pizza Crusts from Empowered Sustenance. More fall than Halloween, but I bet you could decorate your personal pizza with Jack O’Lantern faces!

Pumpkin Soufflé from Balanced Bites

Grain free Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from Grass Fed Girl. Her recipes have been stellar lately. I want to try her Grain free Sweet Potato Bread & Nourishing Dark Chocolate Gelatin Pudding as well.

And George at Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations is the king of adding pumpkin to everything with fantastic results, from lattes to chicken cacciatore to chili to blueberry brownies. Check out all his pumpkin recipes here!

What do I do with Pumpkin Seeds?

Alta from Tasty Eats at home has a great grain-free recipe for Autumn Trail Mix

 Community Activities

Boo! Your Neighborhood – Why not spread some Halloween spirit with a whole foods basket full of fun?

Sustainable Costumes & Decorations

10 Sweet Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween: I’m digging the ideas of a costume swap, using what you already have, and “partying like an eco-star”. Also, one of the tips is to walk if you choose to Trick or Treat. We always did that – I didn’t know it wasn’t the norm anymore?! Bonus: I love Earth 911′s most popular posts, listed in the sidebar. I’ve already decided most of my Christmas gifts are going to come from Reusable Replacements: Never Use Foil or Plastic Wrap Again! I’ll probably ask Santa for those gifts as well.

How to Create Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes

The Ecologist’s post on an Eco-Friendly Halloween is a little alarmist, but I love their ideas for natural decorating:

take to nature as the woods in autumn have plenty of wonderful organic, local and free decorations. Make sure you’re allowed to take the items and remember to compost them afterwards. ‘One of things we like to do is grab the whole family and go out for a hike,’ says Lynn. ‘Everybody has a bag with them and they fill it with whatever they like – leaves, rocks and anything else – then we come home and everybody makes a table decoration. We love using natural items, get a branch, stick it in a pot and get your kids to make a whole bunch of decoration for it – just like you would a Christmas tree.’

Better Treats

My dad’s favorite candy was Tootsie Rolls, and that is what he would take from our candy stashes. I think these Maple-Sunbutter candies from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen look way better! Their Raw Caramel Dip for Apples is a huge hit in our house.

I’ve never had success making caramel sauce, but this Caramel Apple recipe by the Paleo Parents on the Spunky Coconut looks dead simple: honey, maple syrup, and baking soda. That’s it! Kelly also has some adorable cut out sandwich Halloween Cookies.

Really though, the Paleo Parents take the cake for better Halloween candies: coconut milk caramels, candy ideas including better PB & J, marshmallows, and other goodies found in Eat Like a Dinosaur all would be perfect for Halloween. They have a Healthy Halloween Round Up post from 2011 for more ideas. Also check out their hilarious “Winter is Coming” post to prepare you for the holiday season!

***

Finally, if you make some treats this month, share them in our Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger Event! I’m hosting in October, and I would love for you to join us. There is no need to have a blog if you want to participate. Sign up and get the details here!