Candy Focused Halloween 2016

Popular Halloween Candy
Popular Halloween  Corn Candy

Many may think that Americans have become health savvy as they have cut down on the consumption of soda. However, as per the various market surveys this Halloween season,  they have taken to Halloween candies and are bingeing on it. As per the report of National Confectioners Association, last week the sales of Halloween candy have resulted in the 8 percent of the total annual confectionery sales.

Booming Halloween Candy Sales

This Halloween week 300.000 tons of candy have been sold. Halloween candies were bought either for the home use or for handing it out.  Confectionery giants such as Mars, Hershey and Nestle, manufacture the seasonal candies and similar products that are a highly tempting and irresistible.

That is there has been an increase in Halloween candy by 5.5 percent. IHS Global Insights reports that this year people are spending on Halloween candy because wages have gone up and the gasoline prices have come down compared to the previous year.

Popular Halloween Candy

As per the report presented by a popular product review site, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger bars, KitKats rank among the top consumer choices. While sugary colored fondant candy corn  that’s shaped to like kernels is the most sought after Halloween candy in five of the American states.

Meanwhile, another popular digital media company has ranked KitKat as a number one Halloween candy with Skittles, Twix, Milky Way and Starburst closing following behind. While Raisinets, Almond Joy, Twizzlers, Mike and Ike are some of the candies that have lost the Halloween candy race.

What American Dental Association Tells

American Dental Association advises the parents to have a plan to control the consumption of candy this Halloween season. The Association further recommends that those who have a couple of candies with their meals or shortly after the meals should stay away from sugary beverages and other sweets. Also, to fix an appointment with their  dentist as early as possible so any dental problems can be easily treated at the onset.

According to survey conducted by  The National Confectioners’ Association, 90 percent of the parents have instilled in their children the amount of candies and sweets they may consume in a day.

U.S. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Advises The Diabetics This Holiday Season

Follow your normal routine even during holiday season to keep sugar levels at a normal level.
Follow your normal routine even during holiday season to keep sugar levels at a normal level.

The holiday season is just around the corner with people gearing up for the Halloween tricks or treat. Holiday season is synonymous with family, friends and office get-togethers and great food.  Food plays a vital role in the festival season, many health-conscious people are worried about bingeing. There are many who have the privilege to overindulge while there are others who have to find means to resist the temptation. The victims of diabetics fall into the latter category as they don’t have the privilege to indulge in bingeing on what they love to eat and throw their dietary caution to the wind.

Tips And Advice For Diabetics

These tips were put forward by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help the diabetics healthy while allowing them to enjoy the food that is served during the holiday season.

  • Follow your normal routine as much as possible

You can never predict how the holiday season is going to turn out. CDC advises the diabetics to offer to bring a diabetic friendly dish to the parties and gatherings they would be attending. Also, never skip any meals on the day you would be attending the gathering in anticipation of a large holiday meal. The reason is it will be difficult to control the levels of the blood sugar.

  • Eat slowly

Eating slowly will give the brain ample time to signal the body that the tummy is full. Its not just the diabetics the non-diabetics are also advised to eat slowly so as to avoid bingeing on all those high-calorie delicious holiday spread. It is said that diabetics who eat slowly don’t usually overindulge in calorie rich holiday food that is likely to affect their blood sugar levels.

Never overindulge in alcohol

Alcohol is a part of any festival gatherings. Diabetics must take extra care while consuming liquor. The reason is alcohol can reduce the blood sugar levels and also interact with diabetes medicines. Therefore, keep alcohol consumption to minimum.

Remain active

Holiday season is a time when you have to juggle between many social schedules along with the responsibilities of the everyday grind. Many people including the diabetics have the urge to skip their routine exercises and going to the gym. However, you need to find time to go to gym if you want to keep the blood sugar levels within the normal range.

By having a right plan the diabetics can feast on the healthy festival and holiday food without feeling guilty.

World Diabetes Day

Logo - World Diabetes Day
Logo – World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is held every year on November 14. It was first introduce in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation, and World Health Organization. However, it became an official United Nations Day only in 2006 and in  2007 the campaign adopted the “Blue Circle” as its logo. It’s the global symbol for diabetes awareness. This year the theme of WDD is “Eyes on Diabetes. ”  The two main messages of the campaign are

  • Screening for type 2 diabetes.
  • Screening for diabetes complications.

Best Foods For Lowering The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

  • Fruits
Snack on the whole fruit, not on the juices
Snack on the whole fruit, not on the juices

Regular consumption of whole fruits such as blueberries, grapes and apples will lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Olive oil
Source of Monounsaturated Fats
Source of Monounsaturated Fats

A Spanish study revealed that the people who used olive oil in their breakfast recipes has better insulin sensitivity  the entire day as it contains monounsaturated fats (MUFA). MUFAs also aid in reducing the belly fat that contributes to the inflammation and increase in type 2 diabetes.

  • Legumes
Stimulates insulin receptor cells
Stimulates insulin receptor cells

Beans of any kind are rich in carbohydrates, soluble fiber and lean protein. These helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels and keeps stomach fuller for longer time. Consuming beans also lowers the risk of heart disease.

  • Green Leafy vegetables
Green Leafy kale, add it in your salads and sandwiches
Green Leafy kale, add it in your salads and sandwiches

Leafy vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin K, and magnesium. Therefore, consuming kale and similar vegetables will help control blood sugar. Similarly, cruciferous veggies contain sulforaphane that has anti-inflammatory properties that aids in regulating the blood sugar and protecting the blood vessels.

  • Cinnamon
A sprinkle this aromatic spice reap health benefits
A sprinkle this aromatic spice reap health benefits

This spice contains hydroxychalcone that has the ability stimulate insulin receptors on cells. Adding cinnamon to your daily diet will reduce the fasting bloods sugar levels by nine points on those with diabetics.

Rich in soluble fiber
Rich in soluble fiber

Its rich in soluble fiber. Its also releases glucose at a slow pace into the blood stream. Those who consume whole grains such as oats daily will lower the insulin resistance, heart disease and regulars the blood pressure.

The other foods that you should consume are dairy products such as cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs. Seafood is also an excellent way to keep type 2 diabetes at bay.

Health benefits of Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is not native to Switzerland but to southern Mediterranean region
Swiss Chard is not native to Switzerland but to southern Mediterranean region.

Swiss Chard is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. This vegetable is called by various names including spinach beet, bright lights, crab beets, silver beet and sea-kale beets. The leaves of this vegetable are large and dark green in color. These leaves are harvested at various stages of its maturity. The tender leaves are used in salads while the older and more matured leaves are sautéed to make a side dish.

Swiss Chard Health Benefits

  • Excellent source of antioxidants

This leafy vegetable is power packed with antioxidants such as polyphenol, betaxanthin, and flavonoids. The anti-oxidants slow down the aging process and also reduces the risk of cancer.

  • Healthy Heart

Swiss chard is an anti-hypertensive vegetable as it contains many trace minerals such as copper, iron, calcium and potassium that aids in proper blood circulation and regulates heartbeat.

  • Helps prevent diabetes

Flavonoids found in this leafy vegetable aids in maintaining the sugar level in the blood. Those suffering from diabetes are recommended to add this vegetable in their diet regularly.

  • Bone health

Swiss Chard is an excellent source of calcium as well as vitamin K. These two are the key nutrients that aids in the bone health. It reduces the risk of weak bones as it activates osteocalcin and also helps in bone growth and also protects the body from bone mineral loss.

  • Aids in digestion

Regular consumption of Swiss chard reduces the inflammation of the intestines. It is source of dietary fiber that aids in the regulation of the bowel movements.

Try out this nutritious and delicious Swiss chard salad

Swiss Chard, Kale, Feta and Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • Apple cider vinegar – 1/2 cup
  • Honey – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil -1/2 cup
  • Kale torn into bite-size – 1 bunch
  • Swiss chard torn into bite-size pieces – 1 bunch
  • Boneless chicken grilled and cut into cubes – 1 pound
  • Crumbled Feta cheese – 6 ounce
  • Raisins – 1/3 cups
  • Chopped and roasted walnuts – 1/3 cup

Method

In a large bowl, whisk vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper till all the ingredients are well blended.

Now add the greens, grilled chicken, walnuts, raisins and feta cheese into a bowl.

Toss with the dressing and chill till ready to serve.

How Expensive Can Pumpkin Carving Get This Halloween

Halloween Costume getting dearer this season
Halloween Costume getting dearer this season

Any clue how much you would be spending this Halloween season. As per the reports of the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the total Halloween spending has reached all time high touching $8.4 billion. Can you believe that?

What the National Retail Federation Report Says

As per the survey report, 67 percent of the consumers are willing to spend on costumes alone, 94 percent of the consumers are willing to spend on candy, 7o percent of them on decorations and a mere 35 percent will spend on greeting cards. The amount they are planning to shell out is given below.

  • Dress to Kill  – This Halloween season Americans want to dress to impress. Some of the Halloween outfits are more expensive than others. As per the survey, the total amount that will be spent on costumes would be $3.1 billion.
  • Halloween Candy – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of candy and chewing gum has been rising since 1998. This year it’s going to be expensive but people will spend $2.5 billion.
  • Halloween Costumes – According to the latest report from the Indix Data Marketplace, women will have to pay an exorbitant sum for non-sexy Halloween costumes. Indix Data market place studies the data of online merchandise. According to them, 31.7 percent of the women’s costumes are labeled “sexy while 68.3 percent of them are not. However, the costumes labelled “sexy” on an average will cost $30.56 while those not labelled sexy will cost $59.28.
  • Pokemon – The report also revealed that Pokémon is the highlight of this Halloween. Pokémon costumes are mostly “Pikachu” related. It also has been reported that Trump costumes are outselling Clinton costumes.

With Halloween, just a week away, Americans are more than willing to spend on candy and their costumes. This shows that Halloween isn’t getting cheap any longer.

Halloween Finger Foods

A spread of Halloween Finger Food
A spread of Halloween Finger Food

A week from today, you would be preparing to host the Halloween Party or would be at least getting ready to attend one. Carry a supernatural Halloween finger foods for your friends and family.

Ghoulish Hot Pepper

Ingredients

  • Jalapenos – 6 small ones
  • Hot chili sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Pie crust – 1 sheet
  • Frozen peas thawed – 24 pieces
  • Red pepper roasted and chopped – 1 tbsp.
  • Cheddar cheese grated – 2 oz
  • Cream Cheese at room temperature – 4 oz.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 375-degree F. Prepare a baking tray by layering a parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar, scallion, and hot sauce well. Transfer this into a piping bag.

Halve the jalapenos lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Pipe the cheese mixture into these chilies.

Now cut the pie crust into 1/4 inch strips. Wrap two strips around the filled jalapeno half to make a mummy-like pattern.

Transfer this to the prepared baking tray and bake until its golden brown for 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow the mummies to cool and then plate them. Use the peas and pepper bits to create a pair of eyes on them.

Cheese Balls With Tortilla wings

Ingredients

  • Tortillas – 4
  • Cheetos finely crushed – 2 cups
  • Black sesame seeds – 2 tbsp.
  • Poppy seeds – 2 tbsp.
  • Goat cheese – 4 Oz
  • Cream cheese room temperature – 8 Oz
  • Black pepper as per your taste
  • black and green olives

Method

Pre-heat oven to 375-degree F.

Cut 24 wings from tortillas.  Be creative and cut the wings similar to bat wings. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Place the Cheetos crumbs and the sesame seeds in two different bowls.

In a mixing bowl, mix the goat cheese, pepper and cream cheese. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls of cheese and gently mold them with your hands.

Roll these balls in the Cheetos crumbs and seeds. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate them.

When you are ready to serve, gently press the tortilla wings on to the sides of each cheese ball. Finely slice the olives and place them on the top to resemble the eyes.

Monster Fingers

Ingredients

  •  Bread stick dough – 2 cans
  • Food color – Orange, yellow and green
  •  Egg white – 1
  • Almonds – 60
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp.

Method

Pre-heat the oven at 375-degree F. Prepare two large baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.

Unroll 1 can bread stick dough and roll it into 10 to 12″ long ropes. Transfer it into the prepared baking tray.

Gently spray the colors on the rolls. Lightly brush with egg white. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Press an almond onto each of the roll to resemble a fingernail.

Bake for 13-15 minutes.

Cool it and serve with any dips.

Also try out various Halloween food this season.

Ghoulishly Delicious Halloween Dinner Ideas For Kids

Halloween Pumpkin Pudding
Halloween Pumpkin Pudding

Planning a ghoulish Halloween bash for the kids and their friends. Here is a creepy selection of family-friendly appetizers, main course, cookies and cocktails to suit the Halloween theme if you are inviting the adults also for the tricks or treat.

Welcome Purple Punch

Ingredients

  • Grape/raspberry Juice – 4 cups
  • Vanilla Ice Cream – 1 cup
  • Lemon soda – 1 liter
  • Garnish:  Confetti sprinkles, vanilla ice cream

Method

In a pitcher, add the grape juice, ice cream. Using an immersion blender to make it into a smoothie.

Before serving add the lemon soda and stir well.

Pour into the serving glasses and top them with small scoop of ice cream and sprinkles.

Bandaged Toes

  • Pie Crusts – 1 box
  • Beef cocktail franks -1 package
  • Almond slices – 36
  • Egg – 1
  • Ketchup for serving

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 450-degree F. Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Using the pizza cutter, cut the pie crust into 3/8″ strips.

Wrap each frank with the dough to look like a bandage. Arrange it on baking tray.

Using a small paring knife, make a horizontal slit on the end that is unwrapped. Insert an almond slice to resemble a toenail. Brush dough bandages with egg wash.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the bandage pastry is golden brown.

Serve with ketchup.

Jack-o’-Lantern Sandwich

Ingredients

  • Pie crusts – 1 box
  • Thinly sliced ham – 8 oz
  • Sliced Cheddar – 8 oz
  • Egg – 1

Method

Preheat the oven at 425-degree F. Prepare the baking tray with non-stick foil.

Unroll the pie crusts and cut each crust into 24 pumpkin shapes with a cookie cutter.

Using a round cutter, cut 24 rounds from the sliced ham and cheddar slices.

Place two slices of cheddar in the center of the 12 slices of pumpkins. Top the cheese with 2 slices of ham. Brush the edges of the pie crust with beaten egg.

Top the 12 pumpkins with the other pumpkin slices with the cut-out faces down and carefully press on the edges to seal.

Place on the baking tray. Brush tops with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes until light golden color.

 

Try These Overnight Oat Recipes For Weight Loss

Overnight Oatmeal for Weight Loss
Overnight Oatmeal for Weight Loss

Ready to eat cereals that you pick up from the supermarket shelves are not the most waist-friendly food. A bowl of oatmeal with raisins or sliced fruits thrown along with it is a better way to ward off weight gain and also help you in narrowing your waistline. Also, a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will keep you full longer.

What Is Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are simply oatmeal soaked overnight using either milk, water or yoghurt. The common proportion is equal parts of raw rolled oats and milk and yogurt. This is a simple grab-and-go solution, for those have no time to breakfast before leaving home. Here are a few simple to make recipes made using overnight oats.

Overnight Oats with Blueberry And Cashew Cream

Reap the benefits of Oats and Blueberry
Reap the benefits of Oats and Blueberry

Oat Mixture Ingredients

  • Mashed banana – 1/2
  • Oats – 1/2 cup
  • Chia seeds – 1 tbsp

Blueberry, Cashew Cream Ingredients

  • Blueberries – 1/2 cup
  • Date – 1
  • Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp
  • Water/Diary free milk – 2-4 tbsp.

Method

Mix all the oatmeal mixture in a bowl. Ensure that the banana is well mashed before adding it to the oats.

For the toppings

Add all the ingredients of the blueberry-cashew cream into a blender. Blend to make a smoothie kind of mixture.

If you are planning to carry the oatmeal to your workplace, in a mason jar add the oats mixture first. To this add the cream mixture.

Leave it overnight in the fridges for the flavors of the ingredients to sink into the oats.

This meal gives you the benefits of the blueberry, banana, cashew nuts,  and oats.

Chia Strawberry Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats Strawberry-Chia Seeds
Overnight Oats Strawberry-Chia Seeds

This a a gluten free meal. Chia seeds are rich in plant based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and other vital nutrients. Strawberry can be eaten plain or with cream. There are so many strawberry recipes that can be whipped up in no time.

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal – 1/3 cup
  • Chia seed – 2 tbsp
  • Strawberries sliced – 1/2 cup
  • Walnuts/almonds – 2 tbsp
  • Bananas sliced – 1/2
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Agave nectar as sweetener

Method

In a bowl place oatmeal, sliced banana, chia seeds and sliced strawberry.

In another bowl, whisk vanilla and milk. Pour this mixture over the oat chia mixture and refrigerate it.

Before serving, add a walnuts or almonds, to loosen it a bit, you can add some milk. If have saved a few slices of strawberry, add them also before eating.

Keep watching this space for more on overnight oatmeal recipes.

Why You Should Add Strawberries To Your Diet

Heart-healthy Berry
Heart-healthy Berry

Today, strawberries are available around the year. Whether it’s in frozen or fresh form, the strawberries are the most popular berry among young and old. They are also packed with healthy and vital nutrients. Strawberries grow in bushes. They were known to the Europeans during the Roman times. It was first cultivated as a garden fruit in the 18th Century, in France. Strawberries can be used in to make variety of food such as jams, jellies, ice creams, squashes, syrups, and even in medicines. They can also be eaten simply as a snack.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

  • Boosts immunity

This berry is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the immunity booster as well as a powerful anti-oxidant. A research conducted by UCLA in 2010, revealed that the antioxidants in strawberries “bioavailable” after regularly consuming this fruit for a couple of weeks.

  • Rich in Folate

Those who are being treated for the conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis should consider consuming this berry regularly. The reason is the medications for such conditions can deplete the folic acid in the blood.

  • Vital source of dietary fiber

Those suffering from constipation should consider including strawberry in their regular diet. It improves digestion and bowel movements by helping to move the food through the digestive tracts.

  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease

According to a study published in a magazine Circulation, women who consumed strawberries several times in a week have lower risk of heart diseases by 32 percent.

  • Strawberries keep wrinkles and aging at bay

Since its a rich source of vitamin C, consuming this berry improves the elasticity of skin. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, which keeps the elasticity of the skin.

  • Regulates blood pressure

This berry is known as the “medium source” for the mineral potassium.  This is a vital mineral that is necessary to regulate blood pressure. It acts as a buffer against the negative effects of sodium.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup For Weight Loss

Healthy Roasted Pumpkin Soup for those who are on a weight loss program
Healthy Roasted Pumpkin Soup for those who are on a weight loss program

Pumpkin resonates with carving on the Halloween Day. However, there is more to this gourd than the you think. One of the major benefit of consuming this vegetable is that it’s a natural appetite suppressant. It’s also a fat burner as it’s an excellent source of protein and fiber. It’s a versatile gourd which can be used in any meal of the day – pumpkin spice latte to pumpkin pie.

Here is a simple and easy to make pumpkin soup recipe that’s sure to please your taste bud while aiding in weight loss. This soup is very filling and keeps you filled for a longer time. Also you can refrigerate this soup for 3 to 4 days. Else freeze pureed soup for a couple of months.

Healthy Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • Olive oil divided – 4 tbsp.
  • Sugar pie pumpkin – 1/4 pound
  • Onion chopped – 1
  • Garlic cloves – 6
  • Sea salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves – 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper – as per taste
  • Vegetable broth – 4 cups
  • heavy cream – 1/2 cup
  • Honey – 2 tbsp

Method

 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Now cut the pumpkin into quarters. Apply around 1 tbsp of olive oil on the flesh of the gourd and roast the pumpkin for 35 minutes. That’s till the flesh can be easily pierced with the fork.

In a heavy bottomed pot add the remaining olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and salt. Stir for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Now add the flesh of the roasted pumpkin, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. Use the back of the spoon to smash pumpkin pieces. Add the broth and allow the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the squash is well cooked, add the cream, and honey. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture.

Use the scooped out flesh of the pumpkin you use for carving this Halloween day to make this yummylicious soup.