March 21, 2016
5 healthy Easter alternatives
Easter is the time to treat yourself to delicious things to eat – but with many people still trying to offset the indulgences of Christmas, new year, Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day, you may well be looking for some alternatives to the standard chocolate fare. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options aside from the sugar-laden sweets that fill the shops, and they make great gifts for other people, as well as delicious treats for yourself.
So, why not do something different this Easter and swap an Easter egg for one of our healthy alternatives?
If you can’t face sacrificing chocolate altogether, why not trade your usual milk chocolate egg for a dark chocolate version? Chocolate with more than 70 per cent cocoa solids has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, and it’s delicious too. Plus, because of its extra-chocolatey taste, it often satisfies a cocoa craving quicker than milk chocolate, which means you might even end up consuming fewer calories than you would otherwise!
There’s no better way to celebrate a special occasion than with a spot of baking – and that doesn’t have to mean creating something packed with fat and sugar. In fact, there are plenty of healthier cakes, biscuits and cereal bars that provide a little guilt-free indulgence. Look for recipes that feature oats and fruits, which provide bulk and fibre, giving you a slow release of energy, as opposed to a sugar hit followed by a crash. Why not try making some Easter biscuits? Use cutters in the shape of rabbits or chicks to make the perfect Easter gift.
If you’re really keen to avoid over-indulging but still want Easter to feel a little special – or you have a friend or family member in that position – then why not put together a fruit basket instead? Bananas, oranges, pomegranates and some varieties of apple are all in season at this time of year, and make great additions to a fruit basket.
For variety, add some dried or baked fruits too – these are perfect for the on-the-go snacking. Alternatively, make your own trail mix by combining the dried food, nuts and seeds of your choice – delicious!
If you’re putting together a fruit basket as a gift, consider slipping a few fruit-based recipes in as well – this will give the receiver some creative ideas for enjoying their basket. Decorative touches, like a ribbon, help transform this into a truly memorable present.
Anyone who has ever enjoyed chocolate strawberries dipped in fondue will understand the delight of eating chocolate-dipped fruit. A good way to increase the nutritional value of your Easter treats while lowering the calorie count, chocolate-covered fruit manages to feel wonderfully indulgent while still being (relatively) healthy.
You can enjoy chocolate-covered fruit two ways. Firstly, you can turn it into a social affair by melting some chocolate (for the healthiest snack, choose a chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids) and encouraging everyone to dip chunks of strawberry, banana, kiwi and other fruits. Alternatively, you could dip the fruit yourself and leave the chocolate to set around it. Then, you can hand them around later (or simply indulge in them yourself!) like traditional chocolates.
Filled plastic eggs
Of course, eggs are the traditional symbol of Easter, and you might not want to give them up – especially if there are children in your family. However, there are alternatives that allow you to have the best of both worlds. Among the best is buying some plastic eggs and filling them with small treats. This has the added advantage of allowing you to personalise each egg, meaning it can not only include a little of what everyone likes, but can be as healthy as you like too. For example, while the children might like a little more chocolate, adults might like their eggs to have more nuts and seeds.