Healthy Halloween Monster Mouths (paleo, vegan)

These healthy monster mouths are perfect for Halloween and just use apples, strawberry jam, nut butter, almonds / sunflower seeds and if you want – chocolate! Naturally paleo, vegan, nut-free, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

I’ve been trying to come up with healthier Halloween treats free of processed junk and it’s pretty difficult. It seems like all the cute stuff is full of candy or food coloring. Then I got the idea for these! I’d seen these kind of monster mouths before but they contain candy, usually marshmallows, and sometimes red food coloring. And none of them had cool eyes! Or bloody mouths. Or were munching away on flies (dried cranberries). Since the whole point of making these was to offer something free of processed food and junk in general for Halloween, I had to come up with something different. So we started brainstorming. Mr. Texanerin came up with these ideas for the eyes (all of which are paleo!):

  • Blackberries – Too expensive unless they’re on sale.
  • Romanesco broccoli – Looks really neat but I’ve only seen this a few times in my life (not that I ever actively look for it).
  • Blueberries or raspberries – I’m guessing the blueberries would be too small and raspberries are again too expensive.
  • Olives – Nope. Not going to happen. These are for kids! Maybe that’d turn them off? Or maybe that’s just me.
  • Physalis – I don’t even know if these are common in the US, where most of you live, so… no.
  • 10/14/14 update: I just saw this idea on Pineapple & Coconut for lychees and blueberries. Check out Shanna’s creepy eyeball martini to see how she did it. This is, by far, the best creepy eye idea!
  • 10/30/15 update: One reader, Cymbre, used purple carrots for the eyes. They look great!
Halloween Monster Mouths - a great health Halloween snack! Free of processed food and naturally paleo, vegan, and gluten-free. Can also be made nut-free.

All I came up with was chocolate eyeballs! I didn’t want to use those hard sugar candy things because they’re probably pure sugar or sugar mixed with weird stuff. I’m cool with chocolate, though.

To make the chocolate eyeballs, I started off by piping a glob of semi-sweet chocolate around the tip of a toothpick. While I was making them, I was thinking, “I’m so happy I’m doing this the right way! It’d be so me to get the colors mixed up and pipe the wrong one first.” Then I piped one glob of white chocolate onto the center of a black glob of chocolate and realized… whoops. But it turns out that piping the semi-sweet chocolate first worked and though I haven’t tried it the other way, I think it works even better than piping the white part first.

So while I was piping away, Mr. T went grocery shopping to look for other cool things for the eyeballs and found some grapes. I’m sure any kind of grape would work but he found these really large pinkish orangish ones. To get the chocolate chip in the middle to stick, he cut a little X into the non-pointy tip of the grape, peeled back a little bit of the skin, and just stuck a chocolate chip there. They stayed firmly in place for many hours but I just have a feeling they’re going to fall off eventually. If you try this, know that it might fail. But the grapes alone were neat enough! And you know what would have been so much more disgusting? To peel the grapes. I doubt the chocolate chip trick would work then, though.

Halloween Monster Mouths - a great health Halloween snack! Free of processed food and naturally paleo, vegan and gluten-free. Can also be made nut-free.

Figuring out the blood was easy. Homemade strawberry jam sweetened with just honey. I used strawberry jam for blood in these whole wheat witch fingers and it looks and tastes great.

See that second picture? Mr. Texanerin complained that this one wasn’t “realistic at all” (like the others are?!) because there should be blood on the teeth. How can it eat a fly and have blood in its mouth but not have bloody teeth?! So I added more blood. And I like how it looks.

The most difficult part about these is cutting the wedge out of the apple slice to make room for the mouth but it wasn’t all that difficult. You could have an extra apple around as a practice apple, just in case. I got 5 monster mouths out of 1 apple, making this, in my opinion, an economical Halloween treat. :)

Halloween Monster Mouths - a great health Halloween snack! Free of processed food and naturally vegan, paleo and gluten-free. Can also be made nut-free.

I used slivered almonds for the teeth and they were perfect. Just make sure to poke a hole with a sharp paring knife where you want to place the teeth to make it easier to stick the almonds in. And when inserting the upper teeth, flip the apple wedge upside down to make it easier.

And because these are just fruit, nut butter and chocolate, if you choose, these monster mouths are super allergy-friendly. They’re naturally paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free + vegan (be careful of the jam and chocolate you use) and can be nut-free if you use Sun Butter and sunflower seeds for the teeth.

Healthy Halloween Monster Mouths (paleo, vegan, nut-free options)

♥♥♥♥♥
Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Healthy Halloween Monster Mouths (paleo, vegan)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 18 mouths

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (43 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (use Enjoy Life for dairy-free)
  • 1/4 cup (43 grams) white chocolate chips, melted1
  • 36 toothpicks
  • lemon juice
  • 4 large apples
  • natural peanut butter (I used this homemade peanut butter but you can use any kind of nut butter or Sun Butter)
  • strawberry jam (I used this homemade honey sweetened strawberry jam)
  • dried cranberries or other dried berries
  • slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Place the toothpicks evenly on a Silpat, piece of parchment paper or wax paper.
  2. Using a Wilton Tip 12 (or whatever tip you want to use) pipe a 1/2" - 3/4" circle of semi-sweet chocolate around the 1/4" - 1/2" top of the toothpick. Make sure that the chocolate is also going under the toothpick. I made sure of that by ever slightly pushing down the other end of the toothpick so that the top part of the toothpick, which you're piping onto and around, elevates just a little.
  3. Let the circles cool and firm up completely, about 1 hour. If you're in a hurry, place them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  4. Use Tip 10 (or whatever tip you like) to pipe a circle of white chocolate around the semi-sweet chocolate circles, making sure that the two types of chocolate overlap by at least 1/4". This makes the eyeballs easy to remove from the Silpat and much sturdier than if you just pipe the white chocolate next to the the semi-sweet chocolate. Let the circles cool and firm up completely, about 1 hour or place them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  5. Core the apples and cut into 4-5 pieces (it'll depend on the size of your apples). Try to cut them at such an angle that they stand easily on their own.
  6. Cut out a wedge for the mouth. Try not to have the bottom half of the wedge be at a downward angle so that the peanut butter doesn't seep out. Also try to make the wedge large enough so that you can easily add the teeth.
  7. Use a pastry brush or dip the backs and bottoms of the apples in the lemon juice. This is to prevent the apples from browning. There's no need to use lemon juice on the inside mouth part since that'll be covered up with peanut butter.
  8. Spread on a little bit of peanut butter.
  9. If you want to add strawberry jam do that now. You can also do it after adding the teeth but it's a little more difficult then.
  10. Toss in a dried cranberry.
  11. Use a sharp knife to stab the parts where you want to add the teeth. There's no need to dig a hole. This will be inserting the teeth easier.
  12. Insert the teeth on the bottom. Flip the mouth over, stab the parts where you want to add the teeth, and insert the teeth. Turn back over.
  13. Place the mouths on the serving plate.
  14. Gently remove the eyeballs from the Silpat. Insert them straight down into the mouths or in a way that supports the mouths and doesn't make them fall over.
  15. Serve! If using lemon juice, these stay at room temperature for at least 8 hours without browning.

Notes

  1. See the beginning of the post for fruit alternatives to the chocolate eyeballs.
  • Please see the last paragraph of the post for allergy-friendly notes!

I did a backwards date search to try to find who came up with the original apple mouth idea. It appears to be from Family Fun magazine in 2008 but I can't find anything on their website to link to.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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44 comments on “Healthy Halloween Monster Mouths (paleo, vegan)” — Add one!

  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay) says
    October 20, 2014 @ 2:27 am

    So stinkin’ cute!! I LOVE it!!

    Reply
  • Melissa from HungryFoodLove.com says
    October 17, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

    Soooo creative!

    Reply
  • Kim Beaulieu says
    October 16, 2014 @ 6:10 am

    These are so cute. I mean scary. I mean cute. Okay, scary and cute.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kim Beaulieu
      October 17, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

      Haha. My husband kept looking at them, giggling, and saying, “They’re not scary!” But whatever. I’m fine with cute. :)

      Reply
  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 16, 2014 @ 2:48 am

    I love the grapes for the eyeballs! They are perfect for the healthy spooky snacks

    Reply
  • Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos says
    October 16, 2014 @ 12:07 am

    These are brilliant Erin! I swear – the creativity is amazing and I love that they are not full of processed stuff. Fabulous job!

    Reply
  • Crystal Barrett
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    October 15, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

    AHHH! I just love these! I love them because they are so adorable!! Also, because they are healthy! I don’t know about anyone else but I hate feeding my kids junk. My husband basically bribes them with marshmallows all day long …. ugh. It would be wonderful if I could make these and they loved them just as much as I do! Great Job!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Crystal Barrett
      October 17, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

      Aww, thanks so much for your comment! I hope you do get to try them and your little ones will like them just as much as you do! :)

      Reply
  • Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) says
    October 15, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    These are so fun!

    Reply
  • Anita says
    October 15, 2014 @ 8:00 am

    So adorable! My daughter is only 2 and I’ve been holding off on introducing her to candy for as long as possible. These are a perfect alternative!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Anita
      October 15, 2014 @ 9:43 am

      Yay! So happy that your daughter can now have something Halloween-y for Halloween. :)

      Reply
  • Lana@NeverEnoughThyme says
    October 15, 2014 @ 3:40 am

    How cute are these?!? I always dreaded Halloween when my daughter was little because it was a non-stop sugar fest for days afterward. Something really cute like this would have been so, so much better.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lana@NeverEnoughThyme
      October 15, 2014 @ 9:43 am

      Thanks, Lana! And while I don’t have kids, if I do one day, I’m going to be prepared with stuff like this (even if they prefer the sugary stuff!) :)

      Reply
  • christine says
    October 15, 2014 @ 3:09 am

    My kids would love these. I will just sub sunbutter instead of peanutbutter because of an allergy!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to christine
      October 15, 2014 @ 9:42 am

      Great idea! I hope they’ll like them. :)

      Reply
  • Heather // girlichef says
    October 15, 2014 @ 12:29 am

    These are so much fun! I was totally going to suggest grapes before you mentioned them, too…they’re so creepy as eyeballs when you peel them. My kids will get a kick out of making these this month!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Heather // girlichef
      October 15, 2014 @ 9:41 am

      I know! I should have peeled them. I only realized that while writing up the post. Darn! I hope your kids will enjoy them. :)

      Reply
  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) says
    October 14, 2014 @ 11:44 pm

    I love everything about these, but the blood is freaking me out a little bit. Loving the oogly googley eyes though!

    Reply
  • Paula-bell'alimento says
    October 14, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    This is so stinkin adorable. My kids would love to make these.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Paula-bell’alimento
      October 15, 2014 @ 9:40 am

      But you do the cutting part! I might have almost injured myself a few times. ;)

      Reply
  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    October 14, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

    This is the first healthier “scary” Halloween treat I’ve seen this year! I love this idea. Too cute!

    Reply
  • Stephanie @ Back For Seconds says
    October 14, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

    FINALLY! A super creepy awesome halloween treat that isn’t pure junk! Love these, Erin!

    Reply
  • The Food Hunter says
    October 14, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    kiddos will love this

    Reply
  • Cookin Canuck says
    October 14, 2014 @ 6:04 pm

    This is such a cute idea! This would actually be the perfect thing to make at a Halloween party, with the kids jumping in to make their own monsters.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Cookin Canuck
      October 14, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

      Ooh, that’s a great idea! I guess as long as someone prepares the actual apple part beforehand, it’d work out really well! The lemon juice kept the mouths from browning for as long as I kept them out (8 hours).

      Reply
  • Shanna @ pineapple and coconut
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    says
    October 14, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

    My kids LOVE olives but I wasn’t sure on how to totally make them look like eyeballs since they like the black ones and not the green and the green make better eyeballs. Plus for my drinks I needed a sweet food for eyeballs not savory, and thanks for sharing my drinks!! I can’t WAIT to make these for my kids for after school snack this week. They are going to be so surprised!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Shanna @ pineapple and coconut
      October 14, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

      I hope they’ll like them! And that my directions make sense. I think I spent 6 hours writing this up (I’m the slowest writer ever) and by the time it came to the directions I was pretty tired. ;) And haha. I love that we’re discussing what makes for better edible eyeballs. :)

      Reply
  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It says
    October 14, 2014 @ 10:21 am

    I love these!!! When trick or treaters come to my house (which is rare here in Australia) I only ever have fruit to offer or really old stale lollies that Ive hidden from the kids months before!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lisa | Mummy Made.It
      October 14, 2014 @ 11:01 am

      Thank you, Lisa! And haha. I love that you give them stale lollypops. :)

      Reply
  • Ciorba says
    October 14, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    An excellent idea my girls will be excited. Thanks

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Ciorba
      October 14, 2014 @ 11:00 am

      I hope they’ll enjoy them! :)

      Reply
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies says
    October 9, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    This is a totally adorable idea!

    Reply
  • Laura
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    October 9, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

    This is so awesome–you rock! Those pink eyeballs are pretty creepy, but I think I’d go for the chocolate ones. I think kids will love this.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Laura
      October 9, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

      Thanks! My husband kept laughing at them. “These aren’t scary at all!” But I think they’re neat. :D

      Reply

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