Spooky Healthy Halloween Appetizers to Scare Away Hunger

Spooky Healthy Halloween Appetizers to Scare Away Hunger

Partying down on Halloween isn’t just for the kiddos! Adults dig ghostly decorations| clever costumes| and spookily inspired munchies| too. And the party doesn’t need to be all about candy| either! If you’re hosting a Halloween gathering| here are some healthy and fun appetizers you can create that simply scream Halloween.

| Cheese Pumpkins

Using cold-packed cheddar cheese (the soft kind in a container)| spoon out one tablespoon of cheese onto waxed paper. Roll it into a ball| and place on a plate. Use a toothpick to carve lines into the pumpkin| and place a quarter of a pretzel stick (I used Snyder’s Organic Honey Whole Wheat Sticks) in the middle and gently press it down to slightly flatten out the pumpkins. Serve with crackers for an adorable yet healthy appetizer u2014 one tablespoon of cheese is only 35 calories.

| Veggie Fingers Dip

Veggies never looked so creepy. Whip up some veggie dip using Greek yogurt| fresh dill| garlic| and lemon juice| and pour it into a bowl. Peel the carrots| and wash the green beans. Using a dab of hummus for glue| stick a sliced almond on each end to look like a fingernail| and serve with a side of veggies.

| Jack-o’-Lantern Hummus Plate

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on a Halloween-inspired appetizer| this hummus plate is the one for you. Just spread a 16-ounce container of hummus on a salad plate (roasted red pepper has an orange hue). Using canned black beans (rinsed and dried with a paper towel)| make a jack-o’-lantern face. Use a pretzel stick for the stem. Place the plate on a dinner plate and serve with chips| crackers| veggies| or toasted pitas.

| Bat Bites

Start by mixing goat cheese with cream cheese and pesto. Or to save time| use Light Boursin (one tablespoon is only 25 calories). Scoop a spoonful of cheese into a bowl of poppy seeds and roll it with the back of a spoon until the white ball turns black. Adorn with sliced olives and red peppercorns for eyes| then add blue corn chips for wings.

| Beady Edible Eyes

This spooky twist on cruditu00e9s is a cinch to make and easy for guests to pick up. Bonus: all you need are three ingredients. Slice up one big carrot| dry off one side of each slice| and smear with cream cheese. Place either an olive| Craisin| raisin| or dried blueberry in the center| and then place your beady eyes on a platter.

| Creepy Cuke Monsters

If there are going to be kids at your Halloween party| here’s a snack for them. You can either make these ahead of time| or assemble them as an activity at the party. Cut a cucumber into thick disks. Slice each disk halfway to make an opening. Slide in a bell pepper tongue| and then decorate the face using hummus or dip for glue and veggies and beans for the eyes| nose| and hair. Have fun getting creative!

| Banana Ghost Pops

Scare away your sugar cravings with this Halloween treat: banana ghost pops. Coated in coconut| this variation of the classic frozen banana will satisfy your taste buds and add some potassium to snack time. Watch this video to learn how to make your own ghostly treats.

| Ghost Toast

Using foil and an oven| make these adorable little ghost toasts using slices of baguette and serving with blood-red bruschetta.

How to Make Apples and Peanut Butter Lower in Calories

Apples and peanut butter is a classic healthy snack, but since one tablespoon of peanut butter contains 95 calories, those calories can add up, especially when you’re spooning it out without measuring.

Here’s a way to enjoy that creamy, nutty taste without all the calories. This fruit dip is made with nonfat Greek yogurt, so it’s sweet, low in fat, and full of protein and tastes like peanut butter ice cream!

Related: High-Protein Version of Bananas and Peanut Butter

From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Fitness

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip and Fruit Slices

Ingredients

6 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt1 tablespoon natural peanut butter1/2 tablespoon maple syrup1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

How to Make Apples and Peanut Butter Lower in Calories

Apples and peanut butter is a classic healthy snack| but since one tablespoon of peanut butter contains 95 calories| those calories can add up| especially when you’re spooning it out without measuring.

Here’s a way to enjoy that creamy| nutty taste without all the calories. This fruit dip is made with nonfat Greek yogurt| so it’s sweet| low in fat| and full of protein and tastes like peanut butter ice cream!

Related: High-Protein Version of Bananas and Peanut Butter

From Jenny Sugar| POPSUGAR Fitness

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip and Fruit Slices

Ingredients

6 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt1 tablespoon natural peanut butter1/2 tablespoon maple syrup1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Snacks That Fitness Experts Actually Approve Of

Snacks That Fitness Experts Actually Approve Of

Snacks are some of the easiest things to splurge on when trying to eat healthy. But our friends at Self give us 21 healthy snacks that are approved by fitness experts.

Food doesn’t have to just be fuel. Power your workout or recovery with these delicious snacks.

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Chickpea Blondies
“”I love these chickpea blondies because they sneak in tons of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Plus| they are naturally sweetened with dates.””

—Lottie Bildirici| health and fitness blogger of Run on Veg| triathlete| and certified holistic health coach
courtesy Lottie Bildirici

Coconut Yogurt with Berries and Cacao Nibs
“”This nondairy coconut yogurt from Anita’s is my favorite. (It’s hard to find one that isn’t flavored or loaded with sugar.) Break up the tart flavor with a sprinkle of crunchy cacao nibs and fresh berries. This is the way healthy version of the old-school yogurts with toppers attached on top we grew up on!””

Lisa Hayim| RD| MS sports nutrition| and Pilates mat certified instructor
courtesy Lisa Hayim

Avocado Toast With Tomatoes and Sea Salt| Green Tea
“”Great for post-workout. I like the healthy fats and satiation provided from the avocado toast along with the energy and metabolism boost from the tea. The sprinkle of sea salt helps to replenish what might have been lost in sweat.””

—JJ Hendershot| senior active director of VIMMIA’s The Force Ambassadors and senior manager at Equinox
courtesy of JJ Hendershot

Dates and Green Power Smoothie
“”I mix in dates| spinach| a few pieces of pineapple| half a banana| almond milk| almond butter| and whey vanilla protein. Poof! Deliciousness! I’ll do that in between teaching several classes| typically between breakfast and lunch| or between lunch and dinner.””

—Cristina Osorio| TruFusion fitness instructor
courtesy iStock

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Almond Butter Packets
“”Barney & Co. almond butter packets for life! Perfect 90-calorie single-serving pre-workout for a 45-minute session. I run with these tucked into my gear all the time| or pair with an apple for a more filling snack.””

—Robin Arzon| head coach| Peloton Cycle
courtesy Robin Arzon

Plain Oatmeal With Berries
“”This snack gives me energy| is easy to digest| and contains no dairy. Have it about 30 to 45 minutes before a workout.””

—Chris Varano| Hilton Head Health fitness specialist
courtesy Hilton Head Health

Pumpkin Smoothie
“”A quick pumpkin smoothie post-workout with pumpkin puree| almond milk| ice| and flaxseeds makes for a fantastic Fall treat! It’s filled with filling fiber and protein.””

—Megan Smyth| founder of FitReserve
courtesy Megan Smyth

Protein Pancakes
“”I love to eat one or two protein pancakes smeared with a little almond or peanut butter after a workout. With carbs| protein| and healthy fat| it’s the perfect way to recover.””

—Jennipher Walters| CEO/cofounder| Fit Bottomed Girls
courtesy Fit Bottomed Girls

|

Mini Egg and Cheese Quinoa Cups
“”I make a large batch of these in the beginning of my week to bring to work. Not only are these packed with flavor| they have six grams of protein per serving. Reheat in the microwave for about 45 seconds; they’re great for post-workout recovery!””

—Karla Williams| Hilton Head Health Healthy Kitchen executive chef and AFAA (Aerobic and Fitness Association of America) Group Fitness certified
courtesy of Hilton Head Health

Protein Parfait Bowl
“”I mix fat-free Greek yogurt with berries| nuts| hemp seeds| and a drizzle of raw honey| and I am full for hours. I love this after strength-based workouts because the protein from the yogurt| nuts| and hemp seeds is great for muscle recovery.””

—Stacy Schwartz| cofounder and CEO| Ketanga Fitness Retreats
courtesy of Stacy Schwartz

Banana + Peanut Butter
“”This snack provides you with a great balance of carbs and protein| which gives you the energy you need and helps you build (or rebuild) muscle tissue.””

—Mahri Relin| personal trainer and owner of Body Conceptions by Mahri
courtesy of Mahri Relin

So Delicious Dairy Free Blueberry Cultured Coconut Milk
“”Made with organic coconuts| this always hits the spot because it’s tasty and refreshing. It contains high-antioxidant blueberries| which are the perfect remedy after a hard workout| along with six active cultures for better digestion.””

John Pierre| author and celebrity nutrition and fitness consultant
courtesy John Pierre

|

Muesli Medley
“”I love muesli soaked in almond milk with chia seeds| cinnamon| and berries. They’re easy on your digestive system. If I have a longer workout| I’ll add some nuts or nut butter to slow down the absorption of carbs| and giving lasting.””

—Lottie Bildirici| health and fitness blogger of Run on Veg| triathlete| and certified holistic health coach
courtesy Lottie Bildirici

Homemade Seed Loaf With Sun-Dried and Fresh Tomatoes
“”You can literally taste the healthy in this recipe| with your favorite seeds boosting its fiber content (throw in pumpkin| chia| or sunflower; whatever you like best).””

—Cat Smiley| founder of Whistler Fitness Vacations
courtesy of Cat Smiley

Berries + Nut + Seeds + Dollop of Greek Yogurt
“”I love that I can prepare and enjoy this at my desk. This is definitely my colleagues’ preferred snack of choice for the office u2014 my regular hard-boiled eggs don’t go over so well!””

—Tess Agnew| fitness blogger of FitBits
courtesy Tess Agnew

Apple and Peanut Butter
“”It’s a great anytime snack| as it can tide you over post-workout until you dine later| but it can also satisfy a sweet and/or salty craving that kicks in.””

—Chidimma Ozor| TruFusion AromaFlow instructor
courtesy of Hilton Head Health

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Veggie Smoothie
“”Blend frozen cauliflower and butternut squash with three strawberries| a scoop of plant-based protein powder| and water. It’s my go-to when I crave something sweet| but don’t want to load up on sugar or too many starches. It does the job every time!””

—Ariane Hundt| clinical nutritionist| MS| and founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp
courtesy Ariane Hundt

Fried Egg With Spinach| Tomato| and Balsamic
“”You can’t beat something that’s this quick and easy to make; plus the egg provides proteins| while the tomatoes and spinach provide antioxidants.””

—Aimee Nicotera| MS| instructor at Pinecrest Fitness and Equinox
courtesy of Aimee Nicotera

Berry Applesauce
“”It’s a fun twist on a Fall classic that I love for a middle-of-the-afternoon pick-me-up.””

—Candace Moore| yoga instructor and founder of healthy living blog YogaByCandace
courtesy Candace Moore

Anything Goes Smoothie
“”I always try to have a bit of protein before and after workouts to help with energy and recovery. Smoothies are just so easy to make| and I love to throw whatever fruits I have on hand. Vanilla protein powder complements lemon juice and berries perfectly| so that’s my standard combo.””

—Jenny Kim| TruFusion Barre & Pilates instructor
courtesy Jenny Kim

Carrots| Hummus| Crackers| and Almonds
“”I like the combo of creamy and crunchy textures in this balanced snack. If I have a sweet tooth| I’ll throw in some dark chocolate.””

—Jennilyn Carson| founder of YogaDork and Cycledork

Check out more great stories from Self:

A Low-Fat, High-Protein Guacamole With a Healthy Secret Ingredient

Guacamole is a healthy dip that we can get behind for a number of reasons: it’s made with all-natural, good-for-you ingredients, full of fiber, and tastes absolutely delicious. However, if you’re concerned about keeping calories and fat counts in check, eating a ton of avocado in one sitting can be a little unforgiving. Instead of saying no to this tasty appetizer, you can opt for an even creamier, fluffier dip when you add one ingredient to the mix: nonfat Greek yogurt. It keeps the same flavor, tanginess, and smooth texture of the classic but dramatically lightens things up so you can enjoy without feeling guilty.

We’re big fans of Trader Joe’s Reduced-Guilt Guacamole, which blends low-fat Greek yogurt with avocados, but we did them one better. Our fresh homemade version has 12 percent less sodium, zero sugar, and yes, more protein. Even better, we were able to add even more fresh produce to the mix ¡ª just the way we like it!

Greek Yogurt Guacamole

From Lizzie Fuhr, POPSUGAR Fitness

Greek Yogurt Guacamole

Notes

We served alongside Stacy’s Pita Chips, but this guacamole goes well with nearly any chip, cracker, or veggie mix!

A Low-Fat, High-Protein Guacamole With a Healthy Secret Ingredient

Guacamole is a healthy dip that we can get behind for a number of reasons: it’s made with all-natural| good-for-you ingredients| full of fiber| and tastes absolutely delicious. However| if you’re concerned about keeping calories and fat counts in check| eating a ton of avocado in one sitting can be a little unforgiving. Instead of saying no to this tasty appetizer| you can opt for an even creamier| fluffier dip when you add one ingredient to the mix: nonfat Greek yogurt. It keeps the same flavor| tanginess| and smooth texture of the classic but dramatically lightens things up so you can enjoy without feeling guilty.

We’re big fans of Trader Joe’s Reduced-Guilt Guacamole| which blends low-fat Greek yogurt with avocados| but we did them one better. Our fresh homemade version has 12 percent less sodium| zero sugar| and yes| more protein. Even better| we were able to add even more fresh produce to the mix ¡ª just the way we like it!

Greek Yogurt Guacamole

From Lizzie Fuhr| POPSUGAR Fitness

Greek Yogurt Guacamole

Notes

We served alongside Stacy’s Pita Chips| but this guacamole goes well with nearly any chip| cracker| or veggie mix!

6-Ingredient Marshmallow-Free Rice Krispies Treats

Chewy| crispy| sweet| and buttery ¡ª what’s not to love abut Rice Krispies treats? Uhhh| the calories| the fat| and the sugar! OK so they’re not the healthiest. But these bars? Wow. These satisfy your crispy cravings perfectly while also offering a boost of energy-sustaining| hunger-satiating protein. And the icing on the cake? They’re peanut-butter-flavored!

At 153 calories per delicious square| they’re just as addictive as the original recipe| but with 4.6 grams of protein| you won’t feel guilty inhaling half the pan more than one. With only six ingredients| they’re a cinch to whip up and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Krispies Treats

From Jenny Sugar| POPSUGAR Fitness

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Krispies Treats

Vegan Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice syrup2/3 cup creamy peanut butter1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 serving (2 scoops) vanilla protein powder (I used pea protein)8 cups brown rice crisp cereal (I used Erewhon)

6-Ingredient Marshmallow-Free Rice Krispies Treats

Chewy, crispy, sweet, and buttery ¡ª what’s not to love abut Rice Krispies treats? Uhhh, the calories, the fat, and the sugar! OK so they’re not the healthiest. But these bars? Wow. These satisfy your crispy cravings perfectly while also offering a boost of energy-sustaining, hunger-satiating protein. And the icing on the cake? They’re peanut-butter-flavored!

At 153 calories per delicious square, they’re just as addictive as the original recipe, but with 4.6 grams of protein, you won’t feel guilty inhaling half the pan more than one. With only six ingredients, they’re a cinch to whip up and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Krispies Treats

From Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Fitness

Peanut Butter Protein Rice Krispies Treats

Vegan Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice syrup2/3 cup creamy peanut butter1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 serving (2 scoops) vanilla protein powder (I used pea protein)8 cups brown rice crisp cereal (I used Erewhon)

Just Finished a Run? Try One of These Recovery Snacks

Just Finished a Run? Try One of These Recovery Snacks

It may seem counterintuitive| but eating after a strenuous workout is a must u2014u00a0especially foods containing a mix of protein and carbohydrates. These nutrients are essential in helping the body replenish lost energy while also helping worked muscles repair and recover. And while sweating through an intense HIIT workout may make you feel like you earned a burger and fries| if weight loss is one of your goals| it’s important to fuel the body without taking in more calories than you just burned. If you’re not sure what the perfect post-workout snack looks like| here are some solid options for your next sweat session.

| Apple With Peanut Butter

We love an apple with peanut butter as a low-calorie post-workout snack. One small apple with a tablespoon of peanut (or almond) butter is under 150 calories| which is a perfect place to fall after a workout u2014u00a0enough to fuel the muscles but not enough to blow your efforts. If you want an extra boost of carbs| add a few grapes to the mix.

| Trail Mix

A mainstay as a healthy snack| trail mix has become the de facto hiking fuel for a reason. You just have to make sure you choose the right one u2014u00a0go easy on those yogurt-covered raisins| chocolate bits| and M&M’s! You also want to keep portions in check| too. One or two handfuls is usually all you need to power up after a workout. If you’re worried about the nutritional mixes| use one of these recipes to make your own.

Related: What to Eat After a Workout

| Chocolate Milk

Who knew a post-workout snack could feel so indulgent or bring back the nostalgia of childhood? Well| that’s exactly where chocolate milk fits in. A good mix of protein and carbs| it’s also an easy choice when you’re on the go. A recent study even indicates that chocolate milk significantly replenishes exhausted muscles and speeds up recovery. It’s no wonder that marathon runners are often rewarded with a carton of chocolate milk when they cross the finish line.

| Greek Yogurt With Fruit

Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse| which is exactly what you need to refuel those muscles you’ve just got done working. And since no post-workout snack is really complete without a good balance of carbs| make sure to add some fresh fruit or granola to the bowl.

| Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers may be a party-food staple| but it’s also a good appetizer to pair with your workout. Cheese brings the protein and calcium| while the crackers deliver complex carbs and fiber to your diet. Snack smartly so you don’t undo all of your hard work at the gym by choosing string cheese and whole-wheat crackers to fill you up.

Related: What You Should Eat Before Working Out

| Protein Shake

Protein shakes are such a killer way to fuel yourself after a workout| especially since a vast majority of the recipes provide the perfect balance of protein and carbs. Everything you need is in one easy glass to gulp down| and many are pretty darn tasty. This high-protein vegan milkshake takes under five minutes to make and tastes so rich and creamy| you’d swear it’s a dessert!

| Nut Butter (With Banana) on Whole Wheat

What might be considered a meal to some| a nut butter and banana sandwich is the perfect way to refuel after an incredibly grueling workout. Just ask professional runner Ryan Hall| who eats one after finishing a race. This sandwich has it all: complex and simple carbs| protein| and potassium u2014u00a0everything your body needs to get into recovery mode.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts


Energizing Banana-Carob Protein Bars to Power Your Day

This recipe for banana-carob protein bars is from Eating Bird Food and written by Brittany Mullins| who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

I was looking for a protein bar that I could take with me on trips and decided to create my own. These bars are great because they are portable and delicious. They can be a snack or even a protein-packed dessert.

Banana-Carob Protein Bars

From Eating Bird Food

Banana-Carob Protein Bars

Notes

I’ve found it’s best to wrap the squares in plastic wrap and store them in a Ziplock bag or storage container in the fridge. They’ll last for about one week. If you want to save some for later| wrap them up the same way and place them in the freezer. I froze a few last time and they tasted just fine after letting them thaw.