5 gluten-free Halloween party foods

Thanks to Google and nutrition labels, it’s easier than ever to find gluten-free candies and treats to pass out on Halloween. Just type in “gluten-free Halloween” and you’ll find pages of results.

Serving scary and scrumptious party treats for kids and adults who visit your home is another issue. Try these tasty, yet easy to prepare ideas for gluten-free Halloween party foods that will waken the sleepiest beauty and satisfy the hungriest beast.

Tex-Mex faves get raves
Substitute corn tortillas for flour and you can serve most of your favorites, including tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Serve “green-slime” guacamole and “bloody” salsa. Place bean dip in a black serving dish resembling a coffin and add a cross made of red peppers near the top end. Serve queso in a wide bowl, with a smile made of diced tomatoes in the center.

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Pasta and pizza? No problem!
It’s much easier to find gluten-free pasta these days, so take advantage of the chance to serve kids a twist on one of their favorite foods. Instead of spaghetti and meatballs, offer “guts and eyeballs.” Stuff meatballs with an olive, carrot chunk or small mushroom to give the appearance of a gross eye on their plates. You don’t have to make your own crust for a gluten-free pizza if you shop ahead, online or at your grocery store. Be creative with how you place your ingredients to create a pumpkin smile, witch’s grin or ghostly scream.

Get fruitacular
Place toothpicks into strawberries, dip them into white chocolate and add for eyes cupcake sprinkles to make tasty ghost desserts. Cut red apples into slices of “lips” and place mini-marshmallow teeth in rows between them, keeping them together with peanut butter (make sure no one has a peanut allergy). Drizzle some chocolate syrup inside a tall glass of pineapple juice with ice cubes to make tasty-but-creepy-looking fruit drink.

Make veggies less scary
Kids are already scared enough of vegetables. Make veggies the fun area of your Halloween table. Add “legs” to celery sticks filled with peanut butter, cream cheese or other tasty filling and place some tiny specks of carrot at the fronts to make bug-licious creatures. Julienne kids’ favorite vegetables and place them in a shot glass that’s half-filled with ranch dressing for a serving of edible “intestines.” Serve homemade sweet potato fries or chips with ketchup or a ranch dressing. Fried green beans are another surprisingly tasty treats.

Page Love, dietician and owner of Nutrifit Sport Therapy of Atlanta, recommends fruit-and-veggie leathers, such as Veggie Go’s, which resemble their fruit-only counterparts. “Your kids will think they are eating fruit snacks and you will be able to sneak kale, beets and spinach into your kids’ treats,” she says.

Don’t forget the smoothies, shakes and parfaits
Bananas, strawberries, carrots, spinach and other healthy fruits and vegetables can turn your ingredients into ghoulish green and bloody red drinks kids and adults will enjoy. Experiment with ingredients to make sure you get the right taste and texture before the day of your big bash. Kids love ice cream, so create parfaits that feature traditional Halloween colors of orange and black between layers of white. Add witch’s hats on toothpicks or other decorations to enhance the connection to the holiday. Mint green shakes make a tasty slime, while maraschino cherries add “eyes” to shakes.

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