Low-sugar treats for a healthier Halloween

- Halloween is a couple days away! One spooky statistic is the average U.S. trick-or-treater takes home 600 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent to three cups of the sweet stuff. With Halloween parties on top of the candy buffet, might be time to swap in some healthy ingredients in our shareable dishes and desserts? Joining us this morning is registered dietitian and nutrition consultant Christina Meyer-Jax cooking up some tricks for healthier treats.

Black “Bat” Bean Brownies
(15oz) can 50 % reduced sodium S&W® Black Beans (drained, rinsed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
 
How to make it:
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray 8 or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
Place beans in food processor. Cover; process 10 to 15 seconds or until finely chopped. Add eggs and oil. Cover; process 20 seconds or until smooth, stopping machine and scraping sides once if necessary. Add sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Cover; process with 3 or 4 quick pulses until ingredients are moistened. Pour into pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; smooth top with spatula to cover chips.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until edges look dry and center is set but still jiggles slightly. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes or until completely set.
Serving Suggestion: Sift the top of these flourless brownies with powdered sugar. Serve them slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.
 
 
Grain Free Pumpkin Cookies
 
Ingredients:
 
    1 cup creamy almond butter (or sunflower seed butter)
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    
Optional Adds: 
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 
¼ cup crushed pecans
½ cup dried cranberries
 
Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a Silpat mat.
2.    Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until a thick batter is formed. If adding the dark chocolate chips, fold them in last.
3.    Using a tablespoon or small scoop to drop the batter onto the line baking sheet, and gently press each mound with a cooking sprayed fork (to prevent sticking) to flatten.
4.    Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden.
5.       Let them cool, eat, or freeze for later enjoyment. 
 

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