Ah, Halloween. It kicks off the so-called "eating season" (including Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and more) and is a holiday that basically revolves around massive quantities of sweet treats. So how do you stroll into November in the same pair of jeans you're wearing today? "Don't buy your Halloween candy until October 30—it's too torturous to have it around the house," says Joy Bauer, R.D., The Today Show nutritionist and author of Joy Bauer's Food Cures. And rather than popping one fun-size bar after the next, "stick with longer-lasting treats like lollipops, or freeze a few pieces of dark chocolate so they melt more slowly while you eat them," Bauer suggests. Her top tip: "Give yourself an amount of candy you'll enjoy around Halloween, say five snack-sized pieces, and pick them strategically to make them last. This way you won't miss all of the festivities, but will be doing your waistline good." You can also eat festive treats that pack a little nutritional punch, like roasted pumpkin seeds or non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with a dollop of canned pumpkin (a couple of Bauer's favorites) or these fun brownies, courtesy of Sun-Maid.
Halloween Tombstone Brownies Serves 18 to 24
- 3-ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
- White icing tubes, pens or homemade and transferred to a pastry bag
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine chocolate and butter in a large saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Stir in sugar; mix well. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well.
- Mix in flour and raisins until evenly combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 9 x 9-inch pan for 25 to 30 minutes or 9 x 13-inch pan for 18 to 22 minutes, until top feels set when gently touched. Cool completely.
- Cut brownies with a sharp knife into approximately 1-1/4 x 2-1/2-inch pieces. Cut rounded corners on one short edge to shape a tombstone.
- Decorate tombstones with icing as desired. Arrange tombstones upright on tray to create graveyard (apply small amount of icing on bottom of brownies to stick to tray if necessary).
More from FITNESS: Candy-Coated: What You Need to Know About Your Favorite Sweets