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Wrap Up Halloween with Some Sustainable Treats

Image: Jennifer Pallian

That post-Halloween haze can hit hard.  Or is that my sugar high wearing off, maybe?

Costumes are scattered around the house, candy wrappers are showing up everywhere they shouldn’t be, and the stress of the pending group of upcoming holidays is creeping in. 

Let’s take a quick side street to help you use up some of the Halloween supplies, keeping it sustainable, and provide quick snacks for around the house, lunches, and weekend treats.  Let us know if you try these recipes and send us a pic!

Kitchen Sink Cookies

You know the saying – “everything and the kitchen sink.” Well, here’s the cookie for that.  Use the exact recipe below or get creative and add in your own ingredients.  That’s what we do in our house – a few chopped up Snickers, a couple cut up Twix, and maybe even something silly and fruity like a couple Nerds (this mom’s favorite)!

Here’s what you’ll need, from the linked recipe above: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Light brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Egg
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Treats to mix in – here’s where you get to have fun! Candy chopped up, pretzels, peanuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, oh my!
  • Flaked sea salt

Follow these directions from the recipe: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

2. Prepare a baking sheet by linking it with parchment paper or a baking mat. (This is highly recommended because the caramel in the cookie dough can melt and cause sticking.)

3. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt).

4. Beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). 

5. Mix egg and vanilla extract into butter-sugar mixture.

6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on low just until combined. (Be careful not to overmix or your cookies will be cakey instead of soft.)

7. Stir in mix-ins like chocolate chips, toffee bits, potato chips, and pretzels.

8. Roll cookie dough into golf ball-sized balls. (These should be pretty large.)

9. Bake cookies until edges are crisp and centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes.

10. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.

11. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Guts

It’s not only the seeds (which we’ll get to) that can be used as your Halloween pumpkins begin to get towards their end.  You can also get creative and make face masks, add the pureed guts to a juicer or morning smoothie for a nutrient-rich addition.  Pinterest has lots of options with one quick search!

Image: Sean Holloway

Pumpkin Seeds: A Classic

Roasted pumpkin seeds remind me of my childhood, where Halloween and the days after were cold or even snowy, and the oven would be roasting the seeds we helped prepare.  Mom would even let us leave the oven light on to watch them brown up. 

This is the best recipe and strategy we’ve used, from Inspired Taste, and what we’ll be doing again this weekend. This is an easy way to have less waste, get a yummy and nutritional snack ready, and involve kids in this easy process. 

Steps from Inspired Taste, with my own advice mixed in: 

Scoop the guts and seeds out of your Jack-O-Lantern, and get the yucky off the seeds by putting them into a container of cold water.  Inspired Taste recommends “swish[ing] the seeds around a bit, then take them out as they float to the top.” 

Now we boil the seeds, in salted water that already has a strong rolling boil.  The recipe recommends simmering for five minutes.  

Drain and rinse the seeds, and put them on dry paper towel.  I like to add a few layers of paper towel underneath the seeds, and then fold over a top layer to get them super dry.  

Next I like sesame oil for some taste, but most people will use olive oil and a few spices tossed together.  Like paprika, garlic salt, or even rosemary.  But maybe not all together! 

To get your final product, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and let those little guys roast.  We like ours a little more crisp and brown than some people do, so watch your seeds until your preference!

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