Bree Hester

The recipe for pumpkin pie dip comes from Sacramento Connect food blogger Bree Hester at

Healthy treats can help ease Halloween craving

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1D
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 - 12:26 pm

Trick or treat or temptation?

That bowl of bite-size chocolate bars might be calling your name, but with a healthier snack at hand you can avoid devouring the candy meant for the witches, superheroes and ninjas at your door.

The doorbell interruptions necessitate something that doesn't need a lot of fuss and can be enjoyed over time. Yet, it's Halloween, and that calls for something out of the ordinary – a treat, if you will.

And, no, it's not too late to put these snacks together, even though the goblins come out just about dark.

On her "Baked Bree" blog (, Bree Hester airs an easy dip with sliced apples and graham crackers. Hester says her healthy pumpkin pie dip takes about three minutes to make.

The dip, which tastes just like pumpkin pie, is perfect for kids, but they'll be out gathering sweets door-to-door. Hester says she's found that adults, too, gravitate to the dip for a graham cracker or two.

Or try dressing up microwave popcorn. Lemon-Parmesan popcorn was a hit with friends, a snack I can pull off even while my kitchen is gutted for remodeling. It's a version I developed from an Eating Well recipe.

The citrus and cheese flavors are a pleasant change of pace and tilt to the savory rather than sweet.

Not only are these snacks simple to prepare, they require few ingredients. You may have all you need already in your kitchen.

Healthy pumpkin pie dip

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Makes: 1 1/2 cups


1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla


In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Chill for 30 minutes. Serve with apple slices and graham crackers.

Lemon-Parmesan popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2 1/2 minutes

Serves: 2-3


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups popped popcorn


In a bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon pepper and cheese. (You can add a pinch of salt if the popcorn isn't already salted.) Pop the corn according to instructions on the package. Drizzle over popcorn and mix well. Serve immediately.

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