Want a super-easy and delicious treat for Halloween that is a tad healthier, too? Then this keto version of Halloween Haystacks fits the bill perfectly! It’s quick to make even in the midst of the busiest Halloween preparations. Give them for the trick-and-treaters, too, they won’t even know that there is no sugar in there!
Tips for preparation
This is such an easy treat to prepare that even kids can do it — but since there is hot, melted chocolate involved, it’s not for the smallest ones and not without adult supervision.
These treats take literally just a few minutes to make. The chilling time is only half an hour, so it really doesn’t take long before you can dig into these seasonal treats!
But let’s take a look at how to prepare these easy treats — yes, they are super-easy to make.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven in 30 spans or over a double boiler until melted and smooth. (See the video for the microwave method.)
Add the slivered almonds…
…and the food coloring. Here, I use orange color.
If you want some brisk orange flavor, add 2 drops 100% orange essential oil.
Mix until well combined.
Here we go.
Using two spoons, place mounds of the mixture onto a parchment paper-covered plate or baking sheet.
Place in the fridge to set. It will take just half an hour.
Remove from the parchment paper.
Serve with appropriate props.
Or how about this cute ghost?
You can make these Halloween Haystacks in different colors:
My keto Halloween Haystack experiments
I have lots of ideas on what to post here on my blog. However, none of them felt appropriate for this week. Moreover, since Halloween is just around the corner — and as I’m an avid Halloween lover — I wanted to post something related to Halloween.
I do have a long list of Halloween recipes and other ideas to try. Actually, for years, I’ve been planning to write a book about healthy Halloween recipes and other fancy Halloween ideas. Let’s see how many years it will still take… But don’t worry, I’m going to do it!
So, a few days ago, I was going through my ideas, pondering which of them would be easy and simple enough to make as this week’s blog post. Suddenly, I realized Halloween Haystacks sounded like a great idea! Conventional haystacks contain ugly stuff like pretzel sticks, chow mein noodles, popcorn, butterscotch pieces… Well, I needed something stick-shaped and low-carb for my keto version. After going through my pantry, I thought slivered almonds would be just perfect for this purpose. Luckily, I had still some leftover slivered almonds. They don’t sell them in Finland, but I had ordered some from abroad a long time ago.
I was going to use white chocolate to bind the ingredients. However, as proper commercial sugar-free white chocolate is really difficult to get nowadays, I decided to use homemade sugar-free white chocolate. Besides, if you find commercial sugar-free white chocolate, it usually contains maltitol — sugar-alcohol that upsets your stomach more than erythritol or stevia.
I had prepared some sugar-free white chocolate and melted it in the microwave. I wanted to try out a smaller batch first to see what is the correct ratio for the chocolate and the slivered almonds to create sturdy piles. And I wanted to use my precious slivered almonds sparingly, not use them all up immediately!
For the first experiment, I used 2 oz (60 g) sugar-free white chocolate and 1/4 cup (60 ml) slivered almonds. After combining the two ingredients, I realized I can create even more appropriate Halloween looks by coloring the haystacks with natural orange coloring. Luckily, I had bought a package of different natural food colorings, so I just grabbed some orange color and sprinkled it in the mixture. Wonderful! The mixture turned into beautifully orange — just perfect Halloween orange!
Then, I realized orange color needs orange flavor. I took a bottle of 100% food-grade orange essential oil and added one drop to the mixture. It smelled delicious! – And tasted, too. There is just something very fascinating in the combo of white chocolate and orange!
I placed small mounds of the mixture onto a plate covered with parchment paper. Since there is precisely a fridge temperature currently outside, I brought the plate on the table in our shelter and let the haystacks set for a half an hour. When I went to check them, they had set beautifully, and the result was just what I wanted! The haystacks looked great and tasted delicious, too.
Later, when finalizing the recipe, I increased the amounts of chocolate and slivered almonds to make enough haystacks for a small party. When mixing everything together, I noticed that I have to increase the amount of almonds to make the stacks sturdy enough. Voila! Now the stacks looked perfect: sturdy, wonderfully colored, and with a brisk orange smell.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 8 oz = 230 g commercial or homemade sugar-free white chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups = 350 ml slivered almonds
- 1 bag natural food coloring
- (Optional: 2 drops food-grade 100% orange essential oil)
- Melt the white chocolate in a microwave oven in 30-second spans, mixing well after each span. You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a spoon until well combined.
- Place small mounds on a parchment paper-covered plate.
- Let set in the fridge for approximately half an hour or until set.
- Remove from the parchment paper and serve.
- Store the haystacks in the fridge.
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 24 servings in total|
|Protein||46.0 g||1.9 g|
|Net carbs||23.3 g||1.0 g|
|kcal||2620 kcal||109 kcal|
Tips for variations
If you cannot find slivered almonds, you can prepare them yourself. I had to prepare some since they don’t sell slivered almonds here in Finland! So, take some blanched almonds and let them soak in piping-hot water for 30 minutes. Then cut into sticks with a sharp knife. Let the almond sticks dry on parchment paper, or if you are in a hurry, place them into a hot oven for a few minutes.
Well, as you can see, the preparation process is quite laborious, so if you want a quick solution, it’s better to use something else than slivered almonds. Feel free to take anything that is keto and at least remotely stick-shaped. So, conventional pretzel sticks or chow mein noodles are a big no-no. Instead, you can use sunflower seeds or even sliced almonds. You can also replace part of the slivered almonds with salted peanuts.
Instead of orange food coloring, you can use any color you want — as long as the stuff is natural. Here below, I have purple haystacks. In the video, I make green haystacks. All those are very appropriate colors for Halloween! Oh yes, you can even get a natural black color if you use active coal.
You can take the spookiness to another level by adding eyes to the haystacks. If you want to avoid commercial sugary versions, you can prepare the eyes using sugar-free marzipan.
Ok, everything is great about this post except advocating consuming Now Essential Oils!! Those are only for aromatherapy and should NEVER be eaten! If you want a safe alternative, use Ancient Nutrition oils by Dr Axe, DoTerra or Young Living…or consult your doctor or aromatherapy specialist.
Ok, good to know! I just know many people (including me) who have used Now Foods essential oils for cooking for years. Besides, they claim to be food grade. Moreover, I prefer _not_ to buy my stuff from MLM companies.