Healthy Halloween Ghostberries
I chair the Healthy Lifestyles program at our school so, as you can imagine, Halloween is a particularly terrifying time of the year for me – not because of all the ghosts and goblins, but because of all the room moms with the cupcakes and cookies.
Last year, I watched in horror as a first grader ran to the teacher’s trash can to throw up all the “blood” fruit punch and “monster” cupcakes and chocolate “witch hats” he had just consumed. Still gives me nightmares.
The idea that food must be filled with gobs of sugary icing and fudge to be “fun” is something I am constantly battling. So, I presented my spooky little Ghostberries at a recent PTA meeting as a sort of fun food education. Call it my “Healthy Halloween 101″… less icing more fruit shaped like ghosts. Problem solved.
Even better, these things are really easy and cheap to make, and the kids LOVE them. Trust me. Take them to your classroom Halloween party and I guarantee they will disappear. If you want to make them even healthier, which I am all for, then dip them in vanilla yogurt (instead of white chocolate) and freeze until you serve.
- Fresh Strawberries (cleaned and dried. Stems on!)
- Bag of chocolate chips (we used dark chocolate – yum!)
- Bag of white chocolate chips
- Almond extract (optional, but adds a wonderful nutty flavor to the white chocolate)
Make sure the strawberries are very dry before you begin. Even a little dampness will cause the chocolate not to stick.
In a microwave-safe glass bowl melt the white chocolate. Reducing the microwave power by 50% for 30 seconds at a time worked great for me. Just be careful not to overcook. Pull the chocolate from the microwave before the chips have completely melted. They should still sort of look like chocolate chips. Then stir, stir, stir, stir until smooth. If the chocolate is a little thick, you can add a small blob of vegetable shortening.
Next, stir in about 1/2 a teaspoon of almond extract, or more if you like the flavor. But be careful – too much almond extract might make the chocolate clumpy. Still, it is totally worth the risk. The almond extract gives the white chocolate such a deliciously rich flavor.
Begin dipping the strawberries in the white chocolate mixture by grabbing hold of the leafy top and dipping then sort of rolling to coat. Lay the strawberry on wax paper to set.
Melt the chocolate chips in a separate glass bowl in the microwave using the same technique as above. Stir, stir, stir! Add vegetable shortening if necessary.
You will need a tool to “paint” the faces on the strawberries. A toothpick would work but I used a golf tee. Because – why not?
Dip your toothpick (or whatever) in the chocolate and begin to draw on the “scary” faces. A simple elongated circle for the mouth makes a rather spooky looking face. If you are feeling artistic, a jagged line for the mouth and slanted lines for eyes makes a mean strawberry. If you are not artistic, like me, they will look like samurai warriors.
Refrigerate the finished product until you are ready to serve.
As you can see from my pictures, I made Ghostberries with whole strawberries and some with the tops chopped off (so the pointy part of the strawberry sticks up). I definitely liked the whole strawberry method better, but you can try it both ways and see what you think.