6 Healthy Coconut Halloween Treats

Halloween signals the start to a season of fun and good food. With talks of Christmas (eek!) circulating round the office (and at bedtimes) it’s an exciting occasion to start getting creative in the kitchen.

As much as Halloween is often a sugar laden occasion, it’s not great for those who are trying to eat healthily, gluten free and attempting to keep their kids from bouncing around the room all night.

If you’re worrying about the amount of sugar, processed food and generally ‘bad for your health’ snacks that you or your children will be scoffing this Halloween, then why not host your own Halloween party? You can surprise your spooky guests with treats, cakes and snacks made with nutritious ingredients and less sugar.

Our favourite Halloween recipes all contain the one common ingredient: coconut. These recipes have swapped out unhealthy fats and sugars and replaced them with coconut products.

Here’s how you can make some super, healthy Halloween treats, just by switching up your baking ingredients:

Coconut oil is an awesome replacement for butter or cooking oil

* Coconut cream is your new healthy cake frosting

* Coconut flakes are easy to bake in the oven and sprinkled on the top of puddings or in gluten free snacks

Desiccated coconut adds a naturally delicious taste to cakes, bites and trifles

Try out these 6 gluten free, healthy coconut Halloween treats.

Your kids will never be able to tell the difference!

#1 Bounty’s chocolates are a traditional childhood favourite. Their coconutty sweetness, mixed with creamy milk chocolate, is a guilty Friday night indulgence for some. These good for you homemade Halloween mounds are an alternative, nutritious and sugar free snack. Easy to make and ideal for a quick Halloween bite.

#2 Blood orange and creamy coconut are a unique Halloween mix. Prepare these sugar free popsicles the night before your party, and you’re good to go!

#3 These maple and pecan Halloween treats from Deliciously Ella are made with coconut oil for a healthier Halloween snack.

#4 Macaroons are always a party favourite. This recipe used honey instead of sugar and swaps out butter for coconut oil. Ghoulish dairy free goodness!

#5 Banana, chocolate and coconut. Yummy! These coconut cream topped chocolate cakes, are perfect for a healthier Halloween party.

#6 Popcorn is always a winner. Make use of that popcorn machine that’s never been opened with this pumpkin spiced popcorn.

What’s best about using coconuts for your diet friendly Halloween treats is you won’t be left with flour or sugar that you’ll never use. You can easily utilise any leftover coconut products in cereals, on top of yogurts and for everyday cooking!

Emily Rose Dallara is a copywriter and content marketer for the food and health industry. She founded a street food business in her early twenties and is passionate about helping others lead a balanced life through her blog pressupsandprosecco.com. Twitter: @emrosedallara  Instagram: @emrosedallara


Coeliac Awareness Week – Chat with Chloe from ilumi

This week is Coeliac Awareness Week. We had a chat with Chloe, one of our product developers here at ilumi.

Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi, I’m Chloe and I’m 23. I work in new product development of food products. I live with my fiancé Christopher in Northumberland.

What are you allergic to and when were you diagnosed? 

I have never been formally diagnosed after years of testing, but after experimenting with my diet, I found cutting out gluten to be beneficial to my symptoms.

What was eating like before you realised you had a food allergy?

If I ate a gluten-heavy meal out with friends, I found I developed severe heartburn within an hour of eating and then felt incredibly sleepy and bloated. My friends found this quite amusing as it’s usually associated with older generations or pregnancy! I would blame the rich sauce or the white wine, until this started happening more and more in every day eating situations.

What did you have to change; did you find this easy or difficult? 

I originally cut gluten out of my diet completely for around 4 months. This really did help, although it is so hard. It’s the little things that you wouldn’t automatically think have gluten in that you might eat or be accidently given. For example vinegar isn’t gluten free because it contains barley – I was aware of this but my fiancé wasn’t. You find yourself having to talk to anyone who cooks for you about it. Most people are aware of carby things like bread, pasta and cake containing gluten, but not others.

The world is definitely becoming a more gluten free friendly place, so it is getting easier.  There is now a wider range of convenient products available that aren’t overly processed, like ilumi.

What was the positive impact to how you felt after diagnosis?

After cutting out gluten, life went back to how it was before the problems started. I have more energy; I feel I can exercise again without having pain in my abdomen. I am more efficient at work, my mood has improved… Being bloated like a whale, in pain and trying to sit at a desk all day was making me very grouchy!

What are the biggest challenges you face when food shopping?

I used to regularly cook for my best friend who is a coeliac, so most of my household ingredients such as soy sauce and stock cubes are gluten free, so I’m quite used to knowing what to buy when I go shopping. Chris and I usually make everything from scratch and tend to use gluten free substitutes such as pasta that are easily found in the supermarket, and just do a straight swap.

What are the biggest challenges when cooking at home? For example, does everyone in your household eat the same thing?

I think breakfast is one of the biggest challenges – I used to eat cereal or toast but gluten free bread is higher in calories so I don’t eat it. I have found that the gap in calorific content between gluten containing products and gluten free is closing over time though. Sometimes I end up skipping breakfast or just eating a banana if I don’t have time for gluten free oats.  Chris is quite accommodating and will eat what I’m eating to save making two meals, but I do find it challenging when he is eating eat bread and cake…

How is eating out, where are the best places to go?

Chinese is often a no go. Spanish is normally good as I can eat the rice and potato dishes, but have to be cautious of chorizo. Indian is usually fine. Italian can be tricky but more and more places now offer gluten free pasta. I remember a few years back I had to take my own!

Are there any other day to day challenges that you have not already mentioned?

My work involves a lot of tasting. There are certain situations where I do have to have a small mouthful of gluten containing product to be able to review it – I find that in small quantities, gluten doesn’t tend to affect me too much. However, if I have to do a large tasting session, it does and I become sluggish in the afternoon when my stomach is in pain.

What are your go to products/brands that make life easier?

Gluten free oats and bars such as Eat Natural are great for breakfast. I’m also a big fan of Nature’s Store chocolate rice cakes. Tesco also have a good range of own label gluten free products.


Allergy Awareness Week – Sarah’s Story

For Allergy Awareness Week, we asked around the ilumi office for members of staff to tell us their allergen story. First up, we spoke to Sarah…

Hi, I’m Sarah. I work in Customer Services here at ilumi. I’m 24 and live with my partner and little girl, Olivia. I was diagnosed with a serious nut allergy aged 6, as well as a mild allergy to milk and strawberries. More recently, I also found out I am mildly allergic to wheat.

Before I was diagnosed, myself and my parents were unaware I had a nut allergy as it was not something I was given to eat. I then had a severe reaction when I did eat them. Blood tests also showed I was mildly allergic to strawberries and milk, I but hadn’t noticed any symptoms. My wheat allergy was only diagnosed after I had my daughter. I became very ill with numerous problems, and this was something that showed up in a test I had.

Because my wheat, milk and strawberry allergies are very mild, I continue to eat them unless I’m under the weather. I find that if I’m ill I am much more susceptible to having a flare up with them. My nut allergy is a different story, as I now have my daughter as well as myself to think about. Olivia also has a nut allergy, so for both our safety, I don’t allow anything in my home that is contaminated with nuts. When I first met my partner 6 years ago, he loved KP Nuts and Snickers, but that soon stopped! He’s got used to it now and realises the importance of making sure Olivia and I are safe. I find shopping quite easy as I have been allergic pretty much my whole life. The only thing I have to watch out for is takeaways. Sometimes Chinese takeaways cook things in nut oil, so I have to check or only use ones I know don’t use nut oils.

When eating out, we usually stick to the same places and don’t have any issues, however there have been times where things have changed on menus and the restaurant haven’t said anything. We often go to Harvester and in the past whenever I visited I always ordered the same burger. One particular time, they had changed meat supplier and not updated the menu. The updated burger had spices in it which caused me to have a severe reaction. Luckily I had my tablets with me. If I hadn’t, an ambulance would have had to have been called. I find restaurants don’t really make it clear when something on their menu has changed, which does make it difficult at times.

Although having a nut allergy can be challenging, my diagnosis and especially my daughter’s diagnosis have made me really aware of how to deal with our nut allergy’s. I am now very knowledgeable on what signs to look out for and how to deal with any situation quickly. In a way this also makes me worry, as when I leave Olivia with other people I have to hope that they pick up on any symptoms as quickly as I can! Being allergic myself makes it easier to see if there is anything wrong with Olivia and I can also pass on what I know to her.

Beef with pak choi, mushrooms and noodles – GF noodle recipe

It’s Noodle Month, so why not try this delicious recipe including tender beef and meaty wild mushrooms.

You will need…

  • 75 g thin rice noodles
  • 115 g quality beef sirloin
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • ½ red onion , finely sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger , peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli , deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 small handful shiitake and oyster mushrooms , brushed clean and torn up
  • 200 ml organic chicken stock
  • 1 pak choi , quartered


  1. Boil the kettle and soak the noodles in the boiling water according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, rub the beef with olive oil, sprinkle with the cumin and a small pinch of salt and rub all over.
  2. Place in a really hot frying pan and sear on all sides. Add the onion, ginger and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the mushrooms, stock and pak choi.
  3. Drain the noodles and add them to the pan. Stir around, and correct the seasoning. Slice up the beef and serve the noodles and pak choi in a big bowl, with the beef slices on top. Pour over the broth from the pan.


From jamieoliver.com
Read more at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/beef-with-pak-choi-mushrooms-and-noodles/#VhtO8oTjoDocKrdG.99