Upgrades for a Healthy Halloween

Healthy Halloween?!

I know…it sounds almost scary!

From my perspective, eating healthy starts by eating a little healthier, one step at a time. 

I like to teach my nutrition clients about something my mentor taught me.  It’s called “upgrading.” Nobody likes to give up their favorite foods, so instead of replacing them all together, we upgrade. 

Instead of a salami sandwich on white bread, we upgrade by using an uncured salami without nitrates on wheat bread. 

These seemingly small adjustments create a cleaner meal that will digest more easily, have a lower glycemic index and prevent toxins from building up in the system. 

And with pumpkins on porches and ghosts in the air, here is one of my favorite upgraded Halloween treats!

Caramel Apples made with no added sugar…just real whole food. 


They have all the indulgent taste and texture of a real caramel apple with none of the guilt.  And kids have fun dipping their apples in the “caramel sauce.” The hardest part is having the patience to not eat them before refrigeration.  Enjoy!


  • 1 cup dates (pitted and unsoaked)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nut milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 inch vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3-4 apples, depending on size


  1. Mix all ingredients (except the apples) in a blender until smooth.
  2. Start with 1/4 cup almond milk and add until consistency is such that apples can be dipped.
  3. Insert a popsicle stick into the center top of each apple.
  4. Dip in caramel sauce.
  5. Refrigerate until caramel solidifies


Natalie Mariani Kling, CCN