By guest blogger Dana Blinder.
The eerie orange glow of candles, a dark parade of costumes, and pillowcases full of candy -- the season for spooks, scares, and screams is approaching.
Halloween is great for scary movies, haunted houses, and spooky costumes, but not for terrifying treats. Study the Frankenstein-like ingredients list on the back of any conventional candy bar, and the hair on your arms will stand straight up. Why are we packing our kids' Halloween baskets full of chemically laced who knows what?
The truth is most trick-or-treaters, from the little goblins to Lady Gagas, have an eye for the best junk. Word spreads fast among them to avoid the house giving out pennies and toothbrushes. But you can pass out better-for-you packages of sugar and sweets by ordering organic candy. Good news: Ghosts, football players, and ballerinas like this stuff, too!
We ordered eight varieties of organic Halloween treats and put them to the taste bud test with new and retired trick-or-treaters (because, who are we kidding, someone in your house eats the leftover candy!). All candy we tasted was reasonably priced, individually wrapped, and perfect to toss into an open bag--but not all fared equally well in the ratings. Here are the results:
Best overall: Surf Sweets Gummy Worms
Runner-up: YummyEarth Lollipops
Best Chocolate: Sjaak's Mini Mint Cups
Runner-up: Sjaak's Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Least favorite: Almond Snackers and Tubi's Black Licorice (tie)
A least favorite, as demonstrated by a taste tester, Olivia.
I was surprised to find the kids were more than eager to try our organic candy, despite its unfamiliar packaging. The miniature mints and peanut butter cups were wrapped in solid, shiny colored foils, which made them attractive, and the lollipops and gummy worms were bright and fun in color.
It seemed kids and adults alike favored candy they were already fans of; the black licorice was more of a hit with the adults, and those who had never warmed up to almond butter before didn't love the Almond Snackers. But every candy must have been loved by somebody: By the end of the taste testing, little was left but crumpled packages and happy bellies.
If you're going the organic candy route this Halloween, check out these online organic suppliers and stock up on your kids' favorite tastes:
There, you can find the candy we tasted and other goodies sure to take the trick out of treating your kids with organics.
Happy tricking AND treating!
Dana Blinder is digital coordinator for Rodale.com and Maria's Farm Country Kitchen.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.