Jack-o-Lantern made from an orange

Orange Jack-o-Lantern

This post is my community service post for better nutrition before I start posting all of the candy and cookie recipes for the upcoming holidays.  We should all strive to eat a healthy, well-balanced  diet.   This post is my contribution toward that goal.  I know someone is reading the title of this post and thinking “Aren’t most Jack-o-Lanterns orange?”  They are, but allow me to explain.

I was over at Craving Some Creativity looking at these cute printables that turn store-bought pudding cups into Halloween Treats.  They are a great way to make an ordinary lunchbox ingredient into something special, so click on the link and check them out.  As I scrolled down the page, there was a photo of the final lunch, and one of the things included was a Jack-o-Lantern made from an orange.  That seemed like an awesome idea.   I knew that I had to give it a try.

a paring knife and an orangeAll you need to complete this task is an orange, and a small paring knife.  I found that my orange balanced better with the stem end facing down and the navel facing up.

Carefully cut shapes for eyes, nose, and mouthBegin by carefully inserting the knife into the orange and carving out a shape.  I favor triangles.  Baker’s Man prefers crescent moon shapes.  Be careful to only go through the outer skin and the pith.  You want to leave the inside membrane of the orange segments intact.  When I cut out this shape, I thought that I was cutting out one of the eyes, but when I sat the orange back onto the table, I realized that I had cut the eye too low on the surface of the orange.  The “eye” became the nose.   It’s a good idea to place the orange on the table to look at it after making the first cut to ensure things are where you want them.

Jack-o-lantern face carved onto an orangeI continued to carve the orange until I had created a complete jack-o-lantern face.

While I was playing around with oranges, one of them ended up naked.  Naked meaning that someone peeled one of my orange jack-o-lanterns before I could take it outside for a photo shoot.  Remembering that I had seen a post for turning tangerines into pumpkins last year at One Hundred Dollars a Month, I confiscated the orange and inserted a piece of celery into the center as a pumpkin stem.

orange pumpking and orange jack-o-lanternBoth “pumpkins”, side by side, looked pathetic.   I really had envisioned a better picture.  Tangerines, or mandarin oranges, make a much better looking pumpkin.

Later, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I found the top of the piece of celery I had inserted into the peeled orange.  It had been cut off and was headed for the compost, and the leaves had wilted.   I realized that it might look good as a stem and leaves on the jack-o-lantern orange.    To my surprise, it fit perfectly into the navel on the top of the orange.  I think it looks really nice like this.leaves and a stem on an orange jack-o-lantern

After the photo shoot, I stuck my orange jack-o-lantern into a ziplock bag in the fridge and forgot about it.  Three days later,  I remembered that I needed to take him for lunch.  (For the record, I wasn’t going to take him out to eat; I planned to eat him.) Even with the pieces missing from his flesh, the orange was still sweet and juicy after three days in the fridge which means that you could make these oranges 3 days before your party if you want to serve a healthy snack.

If you’re looking for other healthy Halloween Treats, check out this post for cute little Kiwi Frankensteins over at Simply Healthy Eats.  They are so cute and very healthy. The post there says that they can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.  With these two Halloween fruit treats, you are on your way to providing some healthy choices for your party guests.  Throw in a Halloween themed crudite, and someone might actually walk away from your party having eaten their 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

For seasonal treats for your kids lunches, there are also instructions for turning individual fruit cups from your pantry into cute jack-o-lantern snacks.   The instructions can be found at Thrifty Fun.  The example called for mandarin oranges, but peaches will work just as well.

My conscience has been quieted.  I can proceed with my cookie, cake, and other dessert recipes knowing that I have given you a few healthy recipes to try.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

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