Supermarkets are catering more than ever to those on ‘free-from’ diets or people wishing to limit their sugar intake. There is no reason why Easter should be any different! Of course, there’ll be temptations galore and delectable deliciousness at every turn, but have you ever tried some of the healthier alternatives now available? You may just be pleasantly surprised! The shelves are loaded floor to ceiling with huge boxes from the most popular confectionary companies… however, you will spot so many yummy alternatives to the celebrated sugar-fest if you know where to look. Also, try browsing the Easter produce from more specialist chocolatiers. You are almost always guaranteed to find something suitable online these days too.
If the chocolate is of a lower quality, particularly white and milk chocolate, you will almost always find that sugar is the main ingredient. However, if you’re still looking for a tasty chocolate fix without sugar hitting you like a sledgehammer, consider instead a better quality dark chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content. This type of chocolate is a healthy chocolate that contains the most powerful antioxidants and the least amount of sugar. Better quality chocolate also contains fewer ingredients than cheaper white or milk chocolate. Ideally, you only want to see 5 ingredients; the longer the list, the more chance of artificial flavours and hydrogenated fats/oils etc you ideally want to avoid. Labelling laws require ingredients to be listed in order of weight, therefore most milk and white chocolate eggs will actually have sugar listed first as their main ingredient, unlike good quality dark chocolate.
If you really wanted to be good this Easter, why not ditch the food altogether?! Kitch little Easter trees and bonnets are really making their mark in the shops these days, plus handmade crafts such as knitted and crocheted chicks and lambs are completely adorable in an Easter basket/ Other crafts such as hand-painted, blown eggs and pastel coloured bunting also make lovely gifts… and completely calorie-free!
If shop-bought confectionary and knitting isn’t your thing… how about baking? There are hundreds of recipes online that cater for standard or specialist ingredients. You are the creator, so you and you alone get to choose what ingredients you choose to use in your homemade cakes, biscuits and puddings. You can choose to use healthier and/or allergy-friendly ingredients … for example, seize the opportunity to use almond/coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, avocado instead of butter or honey instead of sugar. Perhaps treat yourself to some delightful new cookie cutters and cake moulds; there are countless designs for Easter themed shapes such as eggs, chicks and bunny rabbits.
If you have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet one, we would recommend that you take a look online… there appears to be a sudden trend for Easter eggs made entirely of cheese, complete with chutney and biscuits. Need we say more?! We also recommend that you either choose or bake items that are small and (ideally) individually wrapped. This simple trick can establish a healthy, satisfying and tasty portion size from the start and reduce the compulsion to binge on sugar.
At the end of the day, Easter is what you choose to make it. Don’t get needlessly swept up in food and drink expectations just because the shops are telling you too. Enjoy your weekend and remember to brush your teeth!