Halloween party foods come ghoulishly alive with fun, creative twists on ingredients and foods you use everyday. This recipe is one of my favorites. I just think these little creatures are super cute, in a slightly scary way, and they provide a few health benefits.
Proving that there’s more to Halloween than candy, pitted dates are split and stuffed with pecans or walnuts, wrapped in bacon and grilled. Creepy critter eyes and legs are made using toothpicks and raisins. Creativity takes you as far as your mind can imagine… dream up other ways of making critter antennae with chopped chives, make curly “parsley” hair or add horns by using slivered almonds.
What are the health benefits? These Creepy Crawly Critters are the healthiest for people with active lifestyles. The bikini way to eat these would be to remove the bacon. But, fat chance getting bacon-lovers to do that! Removing the bacon removes most of the fat, so it really is a good idea. Dates are naturally high in sugar and though we’ve all been pounded with the “sugar is bad for you” movement, some sugar can be good for you, essentially when you lead an active lifestyle. Sugar equals energy but not all sugars are the same. Meaning, eating sugar-filled cake after a long run or a grueling workout is not going to provide the nutritional density and benefits as eating dates. Dates are really high in fiber, too. Fiber is absolutely one of the most important elements of a healthy diet.
In this recipe, the dates are stuffed with pecans or walnuts. While walnuts are the superfood of the nut family, pecans are not all bad. They have a high protein content, are a good source of fiber, and a great source of magnesium which helps to neutralize stomach acid and is essential for nerve and muscle function.
Best of all, these are the few creepy critters that taste good. Have a blast making them with the kids. I guarantee this is one way to get them to at least try a date. 🙂
Serving size: 4 critters
Protein: 3g In this calorie-slashing collection, The Bikini Chef® Susan Irby offers recipes for switching up ingredients that keep calories to a minimum. Complete with serving-size suggestions and “Skinny Secret” shortcuts to trim calories in little ways, here you’ll get expertly crafted recipes that include offerings for every meal of the day!
Books by The Bikini Chef®:
The Bikini Chef® Diet
Substitute Yourself Skinny
Boost Your Metabolism
The Complete Idiot’s Guide Quinoa Cookbook
The Clean Separation
$7 Healthy Meals
$7 Quick and Easy Meals
$7 Pressure Cooker Meals
Cooking With Susan : Southern Family Favorites
Creepy Crawly Bacon Critters
Dates are naturally high in sugar and though we’ve all been pounded with the “sugar is bad for you” movement, some sugar is good for you, mostly when you lead an active lifestyle. And, not all sugars are the same.
- 20 large pitted dates
- ½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
- 10 strips bacon
- 1 box toothpicks
- ¼ cup raisins
- Slice each date lengthwise, do not cut all the way through.
- Open dates and stuff with pecans.
- Press to close.
- Cut bacon strips into 20 even halves.
- Place one date at the far end of the halved strip.
- Roll the date evenly in the bacon.
- Repeat with remaining dates.
- Place rolled dates into saute pan, seam side down.
- Place sauté pan on medium heat.
- Cook until bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut toothpicks in half.
- Stick toothpicks into dates to create legs, antennas and use the raisins for eyes and feet.