Halloween is quickly approaching! Snack a little smarter this year by replacing some junk with these Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers. They're easy to make, absolutely adorable, and perfect for filling up with your fave veggie dip - I recommend a tangy homemade buttermilk ranch dip. You, your parents, your kids, your kids friends, your colleagues, your neighbors, etc, etc, ... are all gonna love them.
When I made these I had school halloween parties in mind.
Our kids get loaded with candy and sweets around this time. Instead, let's contribute some healthy and let's be sure to make it fun. All I did was find big sweet orange bell peppers, cut out jack-o-lantern faces, and line the insides with black construction paper & saran wrap. I stuffed them like that into the fridge, ready to be filled with dip. You could pair the filled version with hearty whole grain crackers, fresh veggie sticks (like carrots, red bell peppers, celery, & cucumber), broccoli spears, & cherry tomatoes. Put your dippers into individual snack baggies so you and kids can grab an already packaged portion. You've got healthy snacking, halloween style.
Jack O' Lantern Bell Peppers
What you need:
- 4 Orange Bell Peppers
- Sharp Pairing Knife
- 2 Pieces Black Construction Paper
- Saran Wrap
What you do:
Carefully cut off the tops of your bell peppers. Remove & discard the seeds and any large veins on the inside. Cut out your Jack O'Lantern faces (two triangles for eyes, a triangle nose, and a smiling mouth). Don't worry if they aren't perfect.
Cut your construction paper so it is the right size to fit inside of your pepper, then place inside behind the face. Line the entire inside of your pepper with saran wrap. If you'd like your peppers to be single serve, stuff the bottom of your pepper with something like extra construction paper or dried beans so that only about 1/4 cup of dip would fit inside. Trim the saran wrap & fill with your favorite veggie dip prior to serving. I recommend my healthy homemade buttermilk ranch (recipe below!)
Print/Download this recipe!
Now for the filling.
You'd be surprised how much more enjoyable veggies can be when there's a little something special to dip them in. And that goes for adults as well as kids. The problem is, a lot of commercial dips are filled with artificial ingredients & preservatives along with a whole mess of unhealthy stuff. The good news: healthy, fresh dips can be whipped up in a snap and stored in the fridge to keep your healthy snacking on track.
Healthy Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dip
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 small handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 heaping tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1.5 teaspoons dried parsley)
- 1.5 heaping tablespoons fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
Peel your garlic clove and drop into a small food processor. Process until finely minced. Add in your basil, parsley, chives, & onion powder. (You could even add some dill here if you're into that sort of thing!) Process this until finely minced as well.
Pour in the yogurt, buttermilk, and salt & pepper, blend well until everything is combined. I like my dip on the thick side so I go light on the buttermilk, but if you're using it as a dressing or like it a little thinner then go for more buttermilk.
Taste to adjust your seasonings & store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.