I must apologize for replacing the "ha" with "raw" in the title of this post, but I couldn't help myself. It just seemed like the perfect place for it.
It's easy to have a raw Halloween. You probably already carve a raw pumpkin, and while you're at it, pick up one of those sugar pie varieties and blend it up into your own raw pumpkin puree. It's great for making raw cookies, pies, breads and my personal fave, raw cupcakes, like this recipe from my blog:
Raw Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
2 cups nut flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4-1/2 cup raw pumpkin puree
1/4-1/2 cup date paste
generous drizzles of agave nectar, to taste
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pumpkin pie spice, to taste
dash of sea salt
- In a large bowl, combine the nut flour (a mixture of finely ground nuts of your choice combined with leftover nut pulp from making your favorite nut milk; I find that adding some fresh nuts to the nut pulp makes it taste better, while the nut pulp provides a lighter texture), shredded coconut, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt. Stir with a whisk or use an electric mixer.
- Next, add about 1/4 cup of the pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup of the date paste and the vanilla. Whisk/mix, paying close attention to the consistency of the batter. Add agave to taste, and more of the pumpkin puree and date paste as needed. Whisk/mix to combine. The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).
- Divide the batter into 3 or 4 equal amounts and gently mold into cupcake shapes (use a tender touch as if you are making vegan meatballs; you want your cupcakes to have a bit of a crumb effect). Top with your favorite raw icing (I like this one) and whatever decoration you can imagine or have on hand. Chill in your fridge until ready to eat.
Raw pumpkin cupcakes are perfect for the occasion, but you can decorate whatever raw cupcake flavor you desire. Have fun experimenting with different icing colors, as you can dye them with natural hues from fruit and veggie juices, green powders and spices (turmeric makes a lovely yellow). A combo of raw cocoa powder and agave nectar can be piped out to create spider webs, and raw cookies can be cut to look like pointy witch's hats.
Sometimes, I actually form a mixture of raw coconut butter, finely ground coconut shreds and agave nectar (or other sweetener) into shapes, similar to how one would mold fondant (although it's even more important to keep this version chilled). It can be dyed in the same manner as the icing. Carrots and/or orange zest, along with turmeric and/or lemon zest, make it possible to color your raw version of candy corn to top your cupcakes or snack on like candy (here's another raw candy recipe made with coconut oil, along with some other raw Halloween food ideas).
And, don't forget the sprinkles. You can use the same natural food coloring method with shredded coconut (sweeten to taste with a coating of agave and the juice/powder/spice of your choice, and dehydrate them to enhance the hues), or keep it simple with citrus zest and/or cacao nibs. I've been known to add sprinkles both on the inside and outside of my raw cupcakes.
But enough about cupcakes; there's more raw foodie fun to be had. Take your favorite raw chocolate cake or cookie recipe (or other raw chocolate treat found on the Natural Zing site; a bar or truffle works well), and crumble it up like "dirt" over some yummy raw chocolate pudding (blend together a banana, 1/2 a pear, 1/2 an avocado, 1 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. coconut butter, a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of sea salt until smooth, then chill in fridge to set). Add some dried fruit strips (I like to cut up dried pears, apples or peaches, etc.) to resemble "worms," and you've got the childhood classic, "dirt" and "worms" dessert.
To really get the point across, serve up your "dirt" and "worms" in a clean pot with a plant constructed from your kitchen. Cinnamon sticks make excellent stems topped with baby spinach leaves. Yum!
If you don't have wooden dowels, you can also use cinnamon sticks as the handle for caramel apples, although you won't have to fear the burn with this one. No heat is needed to make the raw version. Just blend up a date paste (soaked dates pureed in a food processor), making it extra sweet with some agave or grade B maple syrup and richer with the addition of some nut butter (macadamia nut butter is a good choice). A touch of vanilla and a dash of sea salt finish of the raw caramel "glue."
Once your apples are dipped, the raw caramel (or nut butter alone, which is scrumptious, too) is sticky enough to attach another layer of chopped nuts, cacao nibs, etc. Feel free to personalize these to reflect your personal taste.
Too sweet for you? Give apple carving a try. Cut a cute face, as you would with a Jack-O-Lantern, or build a silly, toothy grin. Grape eyes complete the look. Ha ha :-)
The way you present produce can get some of the pickiest palates excited about eating fruits and veggies this time of year. Display carrot stick "fingers" with spooky nut "press-on nails" tacked on with some nut butter "glue."
One year, I served up my "fingers" with a bowl of gruesome green soup (I used this recipe). It would have looked even better in a cauldron, but I think the olive "eye balls" were a spooky touch.
This year, make your own rawified fun (feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below), and don't forget to fill the candy bowl with some raw bars, snacks and sweets from Natural Zing. Hope you have a happy Rawlloween!
Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name, http://rawdorable.blogspot.com/.