A Paleo or AIP Halloween
Halloween is now so popular that people are using it as an excuse for a party. When you’re following any specific way of eating, for any reason, this always makes entering into the experience a little tricky.
As with everything, preparation is the key – and as Halloween gets bigger each year it seems only right that we present the UK version of how to do a Paleo Halloween – for you and your fellow adults, but also for your kids. Now, we’ll admit, there aren’t many UK bloggers writing Paleo Halloween recipes, so what we’ve collated here is the best of the US recipes that we can find – and all recipes have ingredients easily available here.
This a useful guide for those families whose children have coeliac or gluten issues and dairy intolerances. It is difficult for any child with food restrictions to feel able to engage with celebrations like their friends. This article will give you some ideas so that they don’t feel left out – and we promise, though everything is Paleo (and a lot is AIP), absolutely everything could easily be served to non-Paleo folks and they’ll enjoy it … they may not even notice!
Should You Even Try to Do “Paleo” Halloween?
A quick note before we launch into a list of recipes and inspiration…
Why are you doing the Paleo Halloween in the first place?
- If you’re following a Paleo approach because you have serious health concerns and you are trying to incorporate low-inflammatory nutrition into your life, then we probably wouldn’t recommend going full force into a Paleo Halloween at all. If Paleo choices are due to real health concerns, almost all of the recipes below contain really high amounts of sugar, some form of ‘flour’ (for reasons why these ingredients are Paleo but can’t be considered ‘Healthful’ check out our Grey Area Foods page) and whilst a small amount of anything included might be absolutely fine – we certainly wouldn’t recommend mainlining a large quantity of them – or a whole banquet of Paleo ‘treat’ Halloween foods.
- CONVERSELY – if you’re following a Paleo approach because you want to just try and clean up your diet overall and have no diagnosed food allergies or serious consequences to ‘straying’ from the Paleo template – then why don’t you just go out and do a ‘normal’ Halloween? Whilst we would never suggest that from now until the New Year should end up actually becoming the 20% of ’relaxed rules’ from your 80/20 Pareto principle, the odd indulgence and doing something that feels ‘normal’ might be exactly the way for you to do Halloween – Paleo or not.
And if you think this is counter to our ideology, we recommend reading our ethos on this page here. Paleo is just one approach in minimising digestive and lifestyle inflammation triggers in your life. For some people they will be triggered by many more ingredients than other people. If you’re one of those who finds they can have some of the more ‘inflammatory’ foods occasionally, then choose your occasions – and Halloween might just be one of them.
However, let’s assume that you’re wanting to try and do a whole-food, nutrient-dense Halloween…
The beauty of a Paleo Halloween is that Pumpkins, those ubiquitous, symbolic Halloween squash staples, are a perfectly Paleo food.
And yet, making actual food from Pumpkin is a much more American thing than it is a UK tradition. We carve our Pumpkins and put tea lights in them – discarding all the edible, fleshy middle.
The Americans, on the other hand, use Pumpkin in EVERYTHING at this time of year. And it’s not just Halloween – Pumpkin pie is a feature of a traditional Thanksgiving meal and as far as I can tell they have Pumpkin spiced drinks, Pumpkin-infused smoothies, Pumpkin cakes, doughnuts, cookie dough… just… Pumpkin everything…
Pumpkins can also be used to make any kind of ‘meal’ that’s savoury – from soups and stews to mash and for putting into autumn risottos, pastas, chillis, curries etc. etc.
But how do you make Pumpkin in a Paleo way? – And what if you’re not a fan of Pumpkin (our Functional Medicine Founder is allergic to them!)…?
Well we’ve a whole host of Pumpkin and non-Pumpkin ideas for you below. And if you’re AIP, there’s options for you too… just look for the headings that are this purplish colour as your Recipes will be included there…
And, whatever you do this Halloween… ENJOY!
PUMPKIN RECIPES – PALEO ONLY (AIP are below)
You’ll find many varieties of some kind of Pumpkin latte-style drink, but some our favourites are the following:
Pumpkin Spice (Chai) Latte by Real, Simple, Good (see below in the ’Treats’ section for Marshmallows to throw in here for a truly decadent drink…) – a Hot Chocolate-esque drink after a night out Trick or Treating.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Buttered Coffee – basically a Halloween Bulletproof coffee by Healthy Living How To
Or, for the evening – Pumpkin Cider by Primal Palate
Bitesized Sweets that you can hand out to trick or treaters and give your own kids:
Pumpkin Fudge – by Paleo Running Momma
Pumpkin Pie Bars – and make sure the dark chocolate chips are Paleo approved (i.e. properly dark and no dairy or soy) – by PaleOMG
Pumpkin Energy Balls – PaleOMG again, and then there’s…
Pumpkin Pie Bites by Paleo Leap
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Poppers by Rubies and Radishes (spicier versions of the above – you need a mini muffin tin)
PaleOMG’s stickier but delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups (as naughty as it sounds)
Or there’s a truffle version of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles from Paleo Running Momma
If you want to make actual cookies from your cookie dough (!): Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by Anya’s Eats
Paleo Pumpkin Doughnuts by PaleOMG
Mini Pumpkin Pies by Jules Eats – these are really, really cute, double-layered and feel really special, rather than just a ‘fake’ Paleo equivalent of a ‘real’ treat
AIP PUMPKIN OPTIONS
AIP Pumpkin Frappuccino (follow the AIP instructions of using chicory or dandelion instead of real coffee) by Vibrant Life Army Wife
AIP Pumpkin Apple Cider (Butter Beer) by Tessa Domestic Diva
Bitesize Sweet Treats:
Orange Pumpkin Balls by Zesty Paleo
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Spice Collagen Balls by Lichen Paleo, Loving AIP
Halloween Pumpkin Turmeric Gummies by Unbound Wellness
Sarah Ballantyne’s Legendary AIP Pumpkin Pie (yes, making the filling and eating this separately is permitted!)
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Gingersnap Crust by Autoimmune Wellness
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes by Sweet Potatoes & Social Change
Pumpkin Cupcakes by Angel Slice
BEYOND THE PUMPKIN – ALTERNATIVE ‘TREATS’ – PALEO
The novelty of Halloween (and Bonfire Night for that matter) is the easy, food-on-a-stick approach – think toffee apples, candy floss etc. And one of the downsides of homemade treats is that they’re not wrapped and therefore the natural end result is very sticky fingers.
For that reason CAKE POPS are great idea – candy on sticks – homemade, delicious and… cleaner!:
Caramel Apples – ALSO AIP – by The Paleo Mom
Raw Cake Pops by Wallflower Kitchen (NO BAKE!)
Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles by Paleo Running Momma (NO BAKE! – stick in the stick as you cover with chocolate)
Then there’s the Single Item Paleo Treats that make for easy eating.
Fudgy Paleo, Vegan Triple Chocolate Brownies (yup – that’s as rich and decadent as it sounds!) by Paleo Running Momma
Paleo Red Velvet Fudge (looks red, so like blood!) – by Anya’s Eats
Pineapple Carrot Cake Bread Slices – NUT FREE – by Paleo Running Momma
Almond Butter Chocolate Fudge – by Paleo Running Momma
Paleo Maple Marshmallows (we’ll just say “Smores” here, and leave you waiting till next week – but this is also great for those who aren’t chocolate/nut fans for Halloween – shape to make GHOSTS!!!) – by Anya’s Eats
Mint Chocolate Cashew Clusters by PaleOMG – not too great for young kids (whole cashew nuts)
Paleo Raw Snicker’s Bars by Forest and Fauna
Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels by Forest and Fauna
Goo-Goo Clusters by Forest and Fauna (less nutty but still nuts)
THE MASTERFUL AIP HALLOWEEN (ON TOP OF OR INSTEAD OF THE PUMPKIN OPTIONS ABOVE)
TOP TIP – baking moulds like these make the following ‘gummy’ recipes look totally spooky and like ‘proper’ sweets:
Turmeric Gummies by Paleohacks
Lemon-Raspberry Gummies by Autoimmune Wellness (the right colour, the wrong shape – use moulds above!)
Apple Cinnamon Honey Gummies by Phoenix Helix
Vanilla Energy Bites by Autoimmune Wellness
Coconut and Carob Truffles by Squirrel in the Kitchen
Cranberry Coconut Slices by Gutsy By Nature
Paleo Girl Scout Cookies by Forest and Fauna
Caramel Apples (mentioned above) by The Paleo Mom
Home Eats (warming and yummy!):
AIP Apple Pie by Autoimmune Wellness
Monster Mouths – a more ‘make it with the kids’ thing – by The Paleo Mom
Ginger Turmeric Smoothie by PaleoPlan
Slow Cooker Holiday Wassail by Sweet Potatoes & Social Change (made with cranberry juice so it looks like blood!)
So there you have it – our round up of the easiest ways to make a Paleo- or AIP- friendly Halloween, should you choose to this year. Remember that there’s a whole host of celebratory occasions coming up, each one of them centred around the feasts that represent them. These feasts can feel like a burden to anyone who needs to follow a specific dietary regimen. However, feasts are celebrations for a reason. It is at this time of year that we here at Paleo in the UK like to remember that breaking bread and celebrating with others is one of life’s simplest, most primal pleasures. Food – and eating in celebration – is not designed to be stressful. We hope that the above ideas inspire you to create a Halloween that means you can enter into the fun of the occasion without unnecessary stress – whatever you’re choosing to eat and drink this year.