3 DIY Bone-Healthy Halloween Treats That Won’t Spook Your Bones
It’s that spooky time of year when zombies and ghouls roam the streets and knock on doors in a single-minded search for their Halloween prize: sweets! For Savers, this season presents many temptations, since the vast majority of commercially prepared treats are full of toxic ingredients and large amounts of acidifying sugar.
Today we bring you the perfect workaround for the candy-fueled frenzy of late October: three easy recipes for delicious and sweet yet sugarless treats that help you build stronger bones. And all three contain an alkalizing ingredient, rich in bone-smart micronutrients and potassium: almonds.
Almonds Are The Answer
Almonds are what make these three recipes such a boon for Savers. An incredibly versatile nut, almonds are frequently used in both sweet and savory foods for their delicate flavor, irresistible crunch, and nutritional payload.
Rich in unsaturated fatty acids, almonds have been shown to reduce blood levels of damaging low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increase levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein. This has been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, keeping your heart and arteries healthy and clear.1
Additionally, almonds are packed with smart nutrients:
- Vitamin E works directly on the membranes of muscle cells to speed and enhance healing. This allows you to maintain and build muscle strength and integrity, which is essential for building new bone through mechanical stimulation.2
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is a crucial cofactor in the synthesis of the Master Antioxidant glutathione, which protects bone cells from oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals. Riboflavin also supports the formation of collagen, which comprises the bone matrix
- Copper facilitates the enzymatic process that links collagen and elastin which form the matrix where minerals are deposited to increase bone density. Copper also is part of the powerful antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase.
- Magnesium participates in more than 300 enzymatic processes in your body. It is responsible for balancing hormones that stimulate calcium absorption and resorption. Sixty percent of your body’s magnesium is stored in bone, and studies have conclusively shown that magnesium supplementation increases bone density.3
- Molybdenum interacts with copper to prevent an overabundance of this metal in the body. Plus it’s a component of superoxide dismutase, which is a bone-protecting anti-inflammatory enzyme that targets superoxide, the most prevalent free-radical in the body.
- Manganese is a mineral that’s necessary to produce collagen and metabolize carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. It forms its own strain of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase that protects your cells’ mitochondria from oxidative damage.4
Almonds are powerful bone-builders, packed with nutrients, including Vitamins E and B2 and the minerals manganese, molybdenum, magnesium, and copper.
Make This Halloween A Bone-Healthy Trick-Or-Treat Event
Now you know why these recipes are such powerful replacements for Halloween candy. Pick one, or try out all three.
Chocolate Chip Charms
Makes 16 to 20 balls
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon either ground cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, mash bananas, then mix in the cloves, or the cinnamon, or nutmeg, and salt.
- In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add to the banana mixture.
- Add the cooked quinoa and almond flour to the banana mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips, and mix well.
- Roll the mixture into balls, place on the baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.
Makes 16 to 20 balls
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal, cooked
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 3/4 cup almonds, raw and unsalted
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and pulse the mixture for a few minutes. Then blend on high for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture becomes consistent.
- Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator.
Sweet Potato Surprise
Makes 16 to 20 balls
- 1½ cups almond flour
- 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
- ½ cup almond butter
- Pinch of freshly grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whey protein powder
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Place all the ingredients except sesame seeds in a blender or food processor until combined.
- Roll into balls, and then roll on the sesame seeds so they coat the exterior of each ball. Store in the refrigerator.
Whether you’re hosting a party or handing out treats, or not celebrating Halloween at all, these sweets are sure to please.
And as you can see with these delicious treats, when you’re determined to make a positive change to your diet and lifestyle you don’t have to stop doing any of the things you love. It just requires a little knowledge and creativity.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
1 Soumik Kalita, et al. “Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review.” Nutrients. 2018 Apr; 10(4): 468. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946253/
2 Mohamed Labazi, Anna K. McNeil, Timothy Kurtz, Taylor C. Lee, Ronald B. Pegg, José Pedro Friedmann Angeli, Marcus Conrad, Paul L. McNeil. “The antioxidant requirement for plasma membrane repair in skeletal muscle.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2015; 84: 246. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25843658
3 Abraham, GE and Grewal, H. “A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium. Effect on the mineral density of calcaneous bone in postmenopausal women on hormonal therapy.” The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. May 1990. Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2352244
4 Luo, Jun. “Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (MdSOD).” B-180 Medical Laboratories. Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program, University of Iowa. March 2001. Web: http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/corefacilities/esr/education/2001/3/LuoJ-paper3.pdf