Trick or treat! Who’s ready for Halloween? I never really used to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve but my recent travels to New York and Los Angeles have inspired me to join the party with healthy Halloween candy :) These homemade Rocky Road Squares by Mairi @GingerVegan make the perfect healthy Halloween treat. They’re vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free so they won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike or send you on a sugar roller coaster ride. They’re really easy to make too: all you need is 6 ingredients and 5 minutes!
Halloween Candy: Rocky Road Squares | Vegan, Gluten Free + No Refined Sugars
- Line a small baking pan with cling film or baking paper.
- Reserve some popcorn for the topping.
- Melt the chocolate. Add the coconut oil and syrup and mix until combined.
- Mix the popcorn, almonds and cherries in a bowl and pour over the chocolate sauce. Mix well and pour into the prepared tin. Top with the reserved popcorn and leave to set in the fridge or freezer.
JULIE’S TIPS & TRICKS:
- These rocky road squares will stay fresh for at least 1 week in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer.
- Want to make the popcorn yourself? Check out this video for Salted Chocolate Caramel Popcorn where I show you the secret to making perfect popcorn every single time!
- Don’t have any almonds or dried cherries at home? Feel free to use other nuts or dried fruits – I love raisins, sunflower seeds & coconut flakes together You could try salted peanuts for a ‘Snickers’ flavor, or hazelnuts for a ‘Nutella’ flavor too.
How do you like to celebrate Halloween: with sweet treats, scary movies, carved pumpkins, costume parties…? What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.
Make sure to check out Mairi’s Instagram profile @gingervegan for more healthy candy inspiration!
1. Where do you live?
I live in Bangor in Northern Ireland with my husband and four children.
2. What sparked your interest in health & plant-based cooking?
I made some big life changes a couple of years ago and started working out with a personal trainer. My diet changed dramatically and I was eating close to fully plant based so I thought I would try eating vegan for 1 month to see if I could do it. I was vegetarian since the age of 16 and had wanted to go vegan for years but I was scared of not eating the right things and harming my children through a bad diet, so I was expecting to just do it for a month and go back to being vegetarian. But after 2 weeks I was finding it easy and thought I would just carry on. Going vegan has totally changed my life and opened up so many opportunities for me especially after I started my instagram account.
3. What used to be your favorite meal as a child? Any special childhood food memories or anecdotes?
My mum used to make a delicious lemon cheesecake which was made with mostly condensed milk and cream cheese! I am working on a recipe at the moment to create a healthy version of that childhood favourite! We spent a lot of time in Italy when I was young and we used to love the Italian pizzas - not like the takeaways or supermarket pizzas you get in the UK! It is something that I make with my family every week now.
4. What are the ingredients you can’t live without?
Nuts definitely! Cashew nuts for raw cakes and ice-cream, and almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts for milk, energy balls, nut butters and sprinkling on salads. I also couldn't do without spinach. It is such an amazing vegetable and so good for you! And I would be very sad if I never tasted chocolate again.
5. What’s your typical breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner?
My breakfasts are quite varied but will usually involve either oats, chia seeds or bananas. I like to make nicecream, overnight oats with fruit or porridge or chia pudding. Sometimes it is a mixture of all of those!
For lunch I almost always have a big salad with a base of spinach, then I add two or three different vegetables, a handful of berries (blueberries are my favourite) and some nuts and seeds. My go to dressing is balsamic vinegar, wholegrain mustard and either high quality olive oil or tahini.
For snacks I always have apples around but also love bliss balls and my absolute favourite and my downfall are Medjool dates with nut butter. Heaven!
For dinner our top three family meals are: stir fry with tofu and rice; tortillas with refried beans, guacamole, tomato salsa and either fried mushrooms, onions and courgette or some spinach leaves; or home made pizza - my favourite toppings are onions, mushrooms, artichokes, capers, olives, more olives and a few sultanas!
6. What’s your favorite dessert?
My favorite dessert is chocolate puddle pudding. Even better if it has a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top! But a close second is cheesecake. Julie's cheesecakes are amazing! I managed to taste three different flavors when we visited Ghent in the summer and we were only there for 1 1/2 days! They were all delicious!
7. If today was your last day on earth, what would you eat?
I think I would taste as many different fruits and vegetables as I could. Because if I was going to live in outer space then I imagine fresh fruit and vegetables would be hard to come by.
8. Who and what inspires you?
So many people inspire me in different ways. My husband inspires me as he works so hard for our family and to give our children all the opportunities they deserve. My children inspire me to be a better mother and role model. I want them to look back on their childhood and remember it with happiness. They also inspire me to set a good example by being fit and making healthy choices especially in what we eat.
I also love running and anyone that can run faster or further than me inspires me to push myself to the next level. This year I completed my first marathon and next year I want to run an ultra.
I have also found so many inspiring people creating beautiful and tasty vegan food on instagram. There are too many to mention but Julie is one of them, and I feel very lucky to be part of this supportive and inspiring community.
9. Do you have any tips or tricks for anyone who is just starting on their health food journey?
My first tip for people starting out on a healthier food journey would be to invest in a few good recipe books, or if you can't afford those then look at some blogs and print out your favourite recipes so that you have a source of ideas to turn to when you are not sure what to eat.
I also find it really useful to have a list of easy meals written down so when you are feeling tired or uninspired you can just check the list and make something fast instead of reaching for the nearest packet of processed food.
Also take advantage of your freezer to store extra portions of soup or leftovers in meal sized portions for days when you need a break.