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Everybody's setting out desserts at their swanky Halloween parties, your kids are coming home with goody bags of candy, and, if you're on a diet, you may, understandably, be feeling a little left out.

However, if you're intent on spending next Halloween in a smaller costume, the holiday is no excuse to start slacking on your weight loss regime; to your body, a calorie is a calorie no matter the occasion!

Even small amounts of added, refined sugar can put you right back into the ugly cycle of addiction, cravings, and overeating, and the health problems that such a lifestyle can cause are a whole lot scarier than any ghosts!

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Yet the fact that you're watching your waistline doesn't mean you can't satisfy your sugar cravings the healthy way and have yourself a little fall fun! These recipes incorporate a few healthy extras like stevia and some spices, but their real star is fruit, which some people call "nature's candy."

Strawberries, oranges, and apples are all bursting with antioxidants, which work to rid your body of dangerous free radicals. They also all contain plenty of vitamins and less than a hundred calories per serving, as well as less than 20 grams of sugar.

An average medium apple contains about 19 grams of sugar, so apples are actually the sweetest of the bunch. A typical orange contains 9 grams and half a cup of strawberries only contains 3.5. They also offer, respectively, 3 (strawberries), 4.5 (apples), and 2.3 (oranges) grams of filling fiber, along with less than 1 g of fat each.

In contrast, a pack of two far less filling Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, one of the most popular varieties of Halloween candy, contains 232 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and less than 2 grams of fiber. Their whopping 14 grams of fat also eats up a full fifth of your recommended fat intake for one day, and a fourth of your recommended intake of saturated fat.

This kind of food will also almost certainly send your brain's reward system going haywire and set off your sugar cravings, so good luck stopping at just two! Just leave all the candy to the kids, and high-tail it to your kitchen. You've got sweeter stuff in store!

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Dark Chocolate Flavored Strawberry Slices

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Have a sweet Halloween with help from these dark chocolate flavored strawberries! Estimated nutritional value of 47 calories and .4 g fat.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
N/A
Yield
Makes 1 serving (1 fruit)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • Dark chocolate stevia extract

Directions
Arrange strawberry slices in a bowl. Drizzle dark chocolate stevia over the slices and serve chilled. Garnish with mint if desired.

Recipe provided by

Warm Spiced Oranges

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Warm up your Halloween with a delicious and healthy spiced orange! Estimated nutritional value of 62 calories and .2 g fat.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook time
3 minutes
Yield
Makes 1 serving (1 fruit)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • One orange sliced or segmented
  • Dash of cloves
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered vanilla
  • Stevia to taste (powdered or flavored liquid)

Directions
Mix spices with lemon juice and stevia. Warm slightly in saucepan and add oranges. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot or chilled.

Recipe provided by

Apple Cookies

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No need to steal cookies from the cookie jar when you can make these healthy apple cookies instead! Estimated nutritional value of 95 calories and .3 g fat.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook time
20 minutes
Yield
Makes 1 serving (1 fruit)

Ingredients

  • Pulp from 1 apple (juice can be used for apple martini or mocktail)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions
Mix pulp from 1 apple with stevia and spices and form into cookies (1-2). Bake the cookies for approximately 15-20 minutes or until slightly brown.

Maintenance Modifications
Add chopped walnuts or pecan meal and a little butter to the apple mixture then bake.

Recipe provided by

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