Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Making healthy Halloween snacks with the Colorful Cook | VailDaily.com

Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Making healthy Halloween snacks with the Colorful Cook

It's hard to imagine the words healthy and Halloween used in the same sentence, but with help from Tracy Miller, the Colorful Cook, we can imbibe in treats that aren't so sweet.

Halloween goes hand in hand with the bite-sized candy bars that have been popular for decades. According to the Hershey's website, the Hershey's Mike Chocolate Bar was produced in 1900 and Hersey's Kisses debuted in 1907, and they have been popular Halloween treats ever since.

Ever wonder where the Milky Way, Snickers and the Three Musketeers bars originated from? In 1923, a struggling Minnesota-born candy maker, Frank Mars, launched the Milky Way bar, which became a bestseller. In 1930, he introduced the Snickers bar followed in 1932 by the Three Musketeers bar. Frank Mars' son, Forrest Mars, relocated to England and in the early 1930s he created the Mars bar. In 1941, he launched M&Ms after partnering up with Bruce Murrie, who was the son of an executive with the Hershey company.

The bounty of sweets collected during one outing can be enough to last one person for a whole year. If you are looking for other options, the Colorful Cook has the answers and the recipes to help you avoid the toothache after eating all your loot.

Miller believes in adding color to every meal or snack by adding vegetables and fruits. Halloween is no exception.

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"Healthy cooking is time consuming, so I try to create recipes that are simple and satisfying that incorporate vegetables and fruits for flavor, texture and nutrition," she said.

Although pre-packaged items are more acceptable when handing out treats during trick-or-treating, if you are hosting a party for the youngsters or for family members, try Miller's Carrot Halloween Toast.

Carrot Halloween Toast recipe
Makes 12, can be made two-three hours ahead of time and stored in the regrigerator.
Ingredients
12 slices whole wheat bread
12 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 package Ranch dip mix
12 ounces shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
Parsley
Pumpkin cookie cutter

Steps
Mix whipped cream cheese with ranch dip mix.
Cut pumpkins out of the bread with cookie cutter.
Heat broiler to low (or use a toaster) and toast bread until crispy- about 3 minutes.
When toast cools, spread ranch mixture evenly on toast.
Use raisins to make pumpkin eyes and mouth.
Chop shredded carrots into smaller pieces and place carrots on ranch mixture. Use your hand to press carrots onto cream cheese.
Pluck a piece of parsley and use as the stem of pumpkin.