I loved Halloween so much as kid, I would wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night in fear that I had missed the holiday – weeks ahead of time. And ever since my mom made me my first homemade costume as a bumble bee, I really got into the hand-crafted spirit: meticulously planning my costumes, piece by piece. No princesses here, either: one year, we created a Medusa get-up, which had a wig my dad specially crafted for me which included no less than sixteen snakes which moved around my head as I walked. Another year it was a two-headed beauty queen, with my best friend and I squeezing into the same dress (don’t ask). But along with the costumes, part of this excitement was obviously about the upcoming mountains of candy … an undeniable part of why I obsessed over Halloween so much!
I can’t stress enough how strong my sugar addiction once was. It’s one of the reasons why I am so empathetic to those who are struggling to reduce their own dependency on sugar – I know how hard it is initially to wean oneself off of the stuff! However I will confirm that it genuinely does get easier. So much easier! Simply put, the cleaner your diet, the more your tastebuds will recalibrate, and the more sensitive and perseptive you will become to the physiological effects of sugar on your body. Your cravings will diminish, and you simply won’t be able to (or even desire to) consume highly sugary foods the way you once could.
Even so, I get it: sweets and treats are a joyful, fun part of life, and especially of Halloween. So this year, I reached a compromise: I wanted to make something that was a bit of a cleaner treat — a treat with benefits — that still passed the sweet test. I found these super cool, inexpensive candy skull chocolate molds, used a dark (low sugar) chocolate to paint them, and then filled them with a deliciously gruesome interior: goji “guts” made out of healthy goji berries mixed with an all-fruit strawberry jam. The goji berries soften and swell as the filling sits, and the results are remarkably brain-like as you bite into and crack open the chocolate shell. They take a little bit of easy crafting to put together, but their ingredients are remarkably simple and clean. So yes, Halloween can still be totally fun without compromising a healthy lifestyle!
Halloween Superfood Skulls
These crazy treats are fun to make, and even more fun to eat! Their chocolate covered skeleton exterior snaps away to reveal a sweet and jammy strawberry-goji interior — a guaranteed crowd pleaser. You can find inexpensive skull chocolate molds at craft stores and online (you will need 2-3 molds, or you can use 1 mold and make the skulls in separate batches).
Makes around 1 dozen (depending on mold size)
6 ounces dark chocolate, cut into shavings
1/3 cup strawberry jam (all fruit/no added sugar preferred)
1/3 cup goji berries
In a small sauté pan, melt the chocolate over the lowest heat until fully liquefied, stirring often so as not to burn the chocolate. Once melted, remove from heat immediately.
With a small brush, carefully paint the interior of the molds with the chocolate, painting up to the brim (you’ll notice there are 2 molds for each skull, representing the front and the back side – paint both). Place the molds in the freezer for 20 minutes, or until chocolate is fully solidified. Keep any remaining chocolate melted, at room temperature.
Meanwhile, mix together the jam and the goji berries in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Once the chocolate is frozen, carefully pop it out of the tray. Fill each chocolate cavity with a little of the goji mixture. To make each skull, lightly press the open sides of a front and back piece together, and delicately paint a little bit of the room temperature melted chocolate along the seam to join the sides together. Return to the freezer immediately, and repeat with remaining skulls. Allow the skulls to harden for 10 minutes longer before serving.
Superfood Skulls are best stored refrigerated to prevent the chocolate from melting, but may be served at room temperature.