Our end-of-year holiday season will look like no other this year. There is no other year to compare to 2020 in many ways, and trick-or-treating festivities are not spared in many communities still restricted to some form of voluntary quarantine to lessen chances of covid-related issues.
We've all had to make many adjustments this year, and the kids have certainly made their share of adaptations from homeschooling to social distancing. And they may take the loss of enjoying candy and camaraderie harder than usual. Luckily, there's no need to disappoint the little ones as we have many options to make the holiday fun, even in quarantine.
From candy and other sweets to dressing up and getting lost in imaginative play, Halloween is a day to explore your creativity and indulge your sweet tooth for many people—and that doesn’t have to change entirely.
So, suppose you're on a keto diet. In that case, you may figure you've got two strikes against you partaking in this notoriously sugary day of decadence because of the excess sugar and possible extreme precautions to keep the kids safe this year.
However, we don't have to deprive ourselves of sweets and delicious confections regularly, and we certainly don't have to do without sweet treats on Halloween!
We'll share a wide variety of homemade and store-bought treats to consider as we approach the end of October, along with some tips to help you enjoy sweets for Halloween without regretting it the day after—or tips to help you recover if you do overdo it a bit.
A Different Kind of Halloween
You may opt to forgo traditional trick-or-treating festivities, parties, and parades this year—many have been canceled for safety anyway. However, the fun that comes with dressing up, imaginative play, and eating your favorite sweet treats are likely something you and your little ones have looked forward to for months.
However, social distancing and taking extra precautions to minimize contact will likely result in a very different Halloween than any other we've ever experienced.
Still, there are many ways to enjoy the holiday even if you and your family do so at home. We've made a lot of adjustments and sacrifices in 2020, and we'd like to help you enjoy a little fun, safely, this Halloween while also keeping it keto.
Can You Still Enjoy Halloween on Keto?
Although Halloween is synonymous with eating sugar-filled fare, we have to alter our approach to the festivities to avoid glucose spikes and excess carb intake while trying some keto-friendly confections.
Fortunately, there are many sugar-free sweets available—with more companies catering to the keto sweet tooth every day. Many low-glycemic ingredients come together to create the most indulgent treats ever. Plus, there are many sugar alternatives and low-carb flour substitutes to combine to create an endless number of desserts!
While there are many ingredients to use to indulge in treats while keeping carbs low, as always, remain vigilant about reading labels. It may also be wise to return to tracking calories and carbs during the holiday season because it's easy to overindulge and veer off track unless intentionally mindful.
Fear not; we will share some easy recipes for you to whip up with the kids and share some keto-friendly candy brands that you can tap to keep it keto, with zero deprivation, as well.
Also, in addition to making keto sweet treats for Halloween, it’s also wise to make some savory foods to nosh on throughout the day to temper your appetite and cravings. Here are some low-carb dishes to prepare to enjoy on Halloween in addition to your sweet confections:
- Roasted Low-carb Pumpkin Soup
- Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Keto Mummy Dogs in Fathead Dough Wraps (think pigs in a blanket)
- Spooky Green Monster Zucchini Noodles
- Low-carb Pumpkin Fries
- Jack-O'-Lantern Dip & Pork Rinds
- Monster Mash Avocado Toast
- Spooky Cheese: Use Babybel, or another individually-wrapped cheese, and add stickers or other decorations to the wrapper for an instant edible decor addition.
- Stuffed Jack O’ Lantern Peppers (cut a face on the peppers before stuffing them)
- Keto Pumpkin Bread
Homemade Keto Halloween Treats
You're likely cooking and baking at home now more than ever, and Halloween is a great time to bust out your baking or candy-making ingredients and have some fun!
Again, there are many keto-friendly sugar alternatives that you can use in recipes 1:1 to achieve sweetness sans sugar and many unwanted carbs. Here are some sweet treats to consider making with the family this ghoulish season:
Pumpkin Cupcakes as Keto Halloween Treats: We especially love keto recipes like these that help us get in an extra serving of vegetables, masked as a yummy, iced cupcake!
Plus, this simple cupcake recipe is one that you can make with the kids as a part of your home-based Halloween festivities.
Fat-burning Keto Cookie Recipes: Everyone loves a warm, oven-fresh cookie, and there are so many options for baking on a ketogenic diet.
Browse some of our beginner-friendly keto cookie recipes and try whichever you like, or make them all!
- Super-creamy Strawberry Fat Bombs
- Keto Cheesecake Fat Bombs
- Keto Almond Cake Fat Bomb
- Konscious Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
- Keto Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing: These cupcakes are moist and delicious, and you can add food coloring, sprinkles, or other decorations to transform them into any theme you choose.
- Keto Apple Spiced Donuts
- Keto Pumpkin Pie
- Keto Sugar Cookies
- Keto Activate Holiday Fudge
- Irresistible Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
- Dippin' Keto Strawberries: You can get as creative as you like with these chocolate-dipped berries.
Best Store-bought Keto Sweets
Whether you're looking for a dupe for an old-fashioned favorite or are looking to explore the ever-expanding landscape of keto-friendly confections, the options are plentiful!
Plus, the options we'll share are yummy and help you keep yours and your family's sugar intake in check, even during the sweetest day of the year.
Here are some keto cult favorites that would make the perfect Halloween "party bag" treats or an ideal and sugar-free piñata filler.
- Smart Sweets (Halloween Gummy Worms—only 3g sugar per bag!)
- HighKey Cookies
- Lily's Chocolate Bars & Baking Chips (e.g., salted caramel chocolate chips, milk chocolate bar, white chocolate chips, etc.)
- Keto Candy Girl - Rainbow Sprinkles (sugar-free)
- Go Better Keto (milk chocolate)
- Keto Wise (fat bombs)
- ChocZero (e.g., peanut butter cups, keto bark (coconut)
- Think! Peanut Butter Pie Protein Bars
- Smart Sweets (e.g., peach rings, sweet fish, sour blast buddies, etc.)
- Lakanto Chocolate Bars (sweetened with monk fruit)
- Lily's Chocolate-covered Peanuts
- ChocZero Almond Bark
- Halo Top Keto Ice Cream
- Enlightened Keto Ice Cream
- Rebel Ice Cream
- ChocZero White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- ZolliPops (the clean teeth lollipop)
- Lily's Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Bar
- Zevia (stevia-sweetened soda)
- Lily's Salted Caramel & White Chocolate Baking Chips
Halloween Foodie Fun at Home (e.g., baking, decorating and imaginative play, games, making candy, etc.)
Gathering goodies door-to-door may not be an option this year. Still, it's also an opportunity to allow our imagination to run wild with decorating our homes and engaging in imaginative play or spooky-themed games or storytelling in a homemade bed-sheet tent while eating keto s' mores.
Plus, there are many food-based fun projects to make while celebrating Halloween at home; here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- If you have outdoor space, create a haunted scavenger hunt and decorate the space as elaborately as your imagination dictates for an active Halloween evening.
- Create a Caramel & Candy Apple Bar: This station is a fun way to allow the entire family to flex their creative muscle. Provide a set of keto-friendly sauces, like caramel or sugar-free candy, dip the apples, and top the gussied-up fruit with unsweetened toasted coconuts or stevia-sweetened chocolate chips for a fun project that you get to enjoy while keeping carbs low!
- Pumpkin-carving Party: You may decorate a few pumpkins before the holiday to set the scene, but creating jack-o-lanterns on Halloween is a fun festivity for all—and you can roast the seeds for a low-carb snack, too!
- Halloween Egg Hunt: A hunt for colorful and decorated eggs is not exclusive to Easter. Have an egg-painting session and hide them to set the stage for a festive Halloween egg hunt the entire family will enjoy.
- Air-Bobbing for Keto Donuts: Many are familiar with the game of bobbing for apples using a tub of water, but this year's safety precautions call for an alternative approach.
Bake some delicious keto donuts, like the apple spice version we linked above, hang them from trees, and have at it!
- Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Tuck some candy party bags around the house, or hide clues around the house that the family must find to win a haunted Halloween prize.
- Halloween Zoom Costume & Candy Party: No need to let your costume accumulate dust this year. Schedule an online costume party to connect with friends and share your Halloween getup.
Plus, here are some Halloween games to integrate into the day's festivities:
- Toilet Paper Mummy Game: Some of you may not want to part with any toilet paper right now, but a toilet paper mummy game is fun for the entire family.
- Pin the Bow Tie on the Skeleton
- Witches Hat Ring Toss (use light-up rings for extra colorful night-time fun!)
- Build a Haunted House: Use whatever you have on hand to build a fun and funky haunted house—there are no rules, enjoy yourself!
- Make Scrap Paper Candy Corn
- Use Cottonballs to Make A Puffy Ghost Poster
- Make Handprint Art (spiders)
- Design Paper Plate Pumpkins or Spiders
- Add glam to your decor with glittered pumpkins
- Make a Q-tip Skeleton Art Project
- Make Homemade Slime (there are many YouTube videos available to show you how)
Keto Sugar Alternatives & Baking Ingredients
Sugar and flour alternatives are at the heart of low-carb baking. The exchange of the right sweetener and use of the right keto-friendly flour blend opens various keto baking options to satisfy every confection craving.
Here are some of the sweeteners that you can use with confidence on a ketogenic diet:
- Swerve (e.g., granular, confectioners, or brown)
- Sukrin (e.g., classic, gold, syrups, etc.)
- Allulose Blends
- Stevia (e.g., SweetLeaf, 365 brand, Wholesome Organic, etc.)
- Monk Fruit (r.e., Lakanto, NuNaturals, etc.)
- Pyure (stevia)
- Stur Stevia (water flavoring drops)
- ChocZero Sugar-free Syrup
- NOW Erythritol and Monk Fruit Blend
- NOW Monk Fruit
- Whole Earth Erythritol
- Good Dee's Monk Fruit and Allulose Blend
- SweetLeaf, Better than Sugar Sweetener
- Anthony's Erythritol Sweetener
- Besti Allulose Sweetener
- SweetLeaf Sweet Drops
Also, there are many other ingredients commonly used in keto baking. The following are some keto baking staples to keep on-hand:
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Lupin Flour
- Golden Flaxseed Meal (finely milled)
- Psyllium Husk (seeds and powder)
- Xanthan Gum
- Instant Active Yeast
- Baking Powder & Soda
- Cream of Tartar
- Unsweetened Chocolate or Lily’s Chocolate
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Ghee or grass-fed Butter
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Low-glycemic nuts (e.g., macadamia, almonds, walnuts, pili nuts, pecans, etc.)
Making sweet or savory treats at home with family is a fun and fantasy-filled way to have a safe yet adventurous Halloween day. Select your favorite recipes ahead, and make a day out of your Halloween fun.
Tips if you Venture Out to Trick-or-Treat
Following safety practices is always wise when trick-or-treating, but this year will present more challenges than ever before. However, we realize that some may want to still go out on Halloween.
Here are a few safety tips to help keep you and your little ones stay safe:
- Keep gatherings small and held in outdoor spaces whenever possible.
- Host an outdoor costume parade (with participants socially distanced, at least six feet apart).
- Locate outdoor community events to attend and follow social distancing and face-covering precautions (especially when social distancing isn’t possible).
Yearning for Halloween but Still Weary
- Connect with virtual parties or parades to partake in the festivities at a distance.
- Enjoy a haunted movie night in full costume, with loads of treats, at home with the family.
- Gather the family around and decorate pumpkins.
- Bake Halloween-themed treats and make it a friendly competition, for fun!
Tips to Pivot if you Overdo it on Halloween (Returning to Ketosis or Correcting a Caloric Surplus)
Downing too many calories may be a concern around Halloween; there's so much to try and choose from, and it’s easy to see how one might overdo it a bit.
Here are some tips to help you return to ketosis if you go too far on Halloween:
- Return to your regular macros and/or eating plan.
- Load up on lots of water to remain hydrated.
- Sip on bone broth and other hydrating beverages to stay replenished with electrolytes.
- Go for a brisk walk daily or engage in other light activity to help deplete your glycogen stores and facilitate metabolic ketosis.
- Stick to eating whole foods and cut back on carbs.
- Utilize intermittent fasting to elevate ketone levels.
- Consume healthy fats to stay satiated and curb cravings.
The time it takes to return to a state of nutritional ketosis will vary from person to person. However, it generally takes between one and three days to return to the fat-burning state.
Whether you choose to socialize in the community or prefer to create a curated experience all your own at home, it's still possible to keep it fun, safe, and keto this Halloween.
Make this year's festivities memorable with various celebrations to create new memories regardless of where and how you choose to spend the day.
Keto is a lifestyle rather than a diet, and there is certainly wiggle room in the protocol for special days like this when you decide to partake in a little splurge. Return to business as usual as soon as possible to prevent turning a splurge day into a complete dietary derailment.
You can have it all as long as you apply discipline. Enjoy the holiday and then refocus on your wellness goals and why you started your keto journey to power you toward the next phase of your low-carb experience.
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