This Halloween, I managed to pretty much avoid all Halloween candy temptation. OK, almost. Like George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington, I am a horrible liar, so there was a very small exception of grabbing a couple rolls of Smarties from my hairdresser’s candy bowl Thursday afternoon while I was in for a quick clean up. I just can’t resist Smarties—they’re hands down my favorite Halloween candy. That and SweetTarts. Or PixieStix. I totally love sour, tart, chalky candies. Yes, even more than chocolate (on Halloween at least).
How did I accomplish avoiding this annual trap of sweetness this year you may ask? Well, it’s easier when you work at home and live in an apartment building. There’s no office community candy bowl to tempt you with mini Snickers, KitKats or Three Musketeers. Or guessing how many candy corn are in a jar. Also, the average age of people in my apartment building is probably over 55 or even 60, so there’s little need to service treat-or-treaters. (Which, I admit, I do sometimes miss. When I lived in Boston on the second floor of an old house, I always enjoyed having trick-or-treaters come to the door.)
Halloween seemed a lot more innocent when I was a kid than it does now. It seemed far less scary for one. And it seemed to be far less of a big deal. Adults in my parents’ generation, I think, would have thought it sort of undignified to dress up for Halloween—that was for kids, not for adults. Now adults dress up to go to work. My parents would not have been caught dead (undead perhaps?) doing that. It was hard enough to convince my mom to let us celebrate Halloween as kids let alone get them to do anything but take us out trick-or-treating.
We were also only allowed to go to houses of people we knew, which was probably a pretty smart idea. Back then most kids’ Halloween costumes vaguely resembled tacky, shiny, super-flimsy, flame-retardant pajamas. They came in a gift-box sized box with a plastic mask and said pajamas, which you always had to wear over your real clothes because it was way too cold—even in California—to wear those things alone. Often we wore our real pajamas underneath the flimsy flame-retardant thing so that it was easy to get us to bed after trick-or-treat time.
We usually got to have a few pieces of candy before going to bed. Then we’d eat the favorites over the next week or so and the crappy stuff you didn’t want to eat (black licorice, Mike and Ikes, SloPokes, Brown Cows) would go back in the bag, and the bags would get tossed up on top of the refrigerator invariably to be forgotten until around Easter when they’d be rediscovered, with the leftover crappy candy hard as a rock, and finally get thrown out!
So this year, instead of candy on Halloween (ok, I did snarf on the two Smarties rolls on the drive home), I had my Halloween treat as a morning smoothie—with butternut squash. And I even went to the gym! (Are you reading this, Eric?) 😉
Here’s to a healthy Halloween or fall treat!
Butternut Squash Breakfast Smoothie
½ c. cooked butternut squash, cubed
½ c. almond milk
½ c. plain yogurt
¼ c. applesauce
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp. agave nectar (optional)
¼ tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. vanilla
Pumpkin, of course, would also make a fine substitute here. And I am addicted to Nana Joe’s Granola, so I tend to top off my smoothies with granola for some texture and crunch.
Since squash is already on the sweet side, this is plenty sweet on its own so you probably don’t even need to add the agave unless you have more of a sweet tooth than I do. (What am I saying? Most people do!)
All recipes and photos copyright of Foie Gras and Funnel Cakes unless otherwise noted.