Halloween is around the corner and many families will be carving silly pumpkin faces, making costumes, decorating homes with spooky spiders and gremlins and getting ready to feast on treats. Excited little trick or treaters will collect candies and chocolates in every colour under the rainbow. But these days many families follow a vegan plant-based diet and abstain from eating meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, whey, or anything else taken from animals, and therefore don't eat everything they bring home.
Dr. Julie Chan, a board certified naturopathic doctor that has been trained extensively in Nutritional Medicine, founded Liberty Wellness Clinic in Markham, Ont. Many of her patients are vegan or vegetarian, including children.
"Families are going more plant-based and although some aren’t fully vegan, many have expressed how they’d like to reduce their meat intake. Most of my patients are off dairy because dairy is one of the most inflammatory foods and an obstacle to healing," Chan explains.
Chan, also vegan, believes, "Vegan diets can be incredibly healthy and most vegans are eating a nutrient-dense but calorically low diet which improves their overall body mass index (BMI), cholesterol values, blood sugar, cardiovascular health, and it can overall, reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.”
Canadian vegan families (or those with sensitivities to meat or dairy) can rejoice because there are so many delicious plant-based goodies available. Of course, just because food is vegan doesn't make it healthy, but Halloween is once a year, so if ever there was a night to indulge, this is it.
"There are a lot of commercial candies that are vegan. Keep in mind though that these candies are full of food colourings and high fructose corn syrup and are not healthy,” Chan says. “For parents who want to stick to plant based goodies this Halloween, there is an abundance of vegan treats that are available on the market but make sure you do read labels and watch out for food additives.”
So with that in mind, this mouth-watering spooktacular list includes plant-based Halloween treats from vegan companies and mainstream commercial brands.