I was on ABC10 TV out of Sacramento yesterday to show their viewers (a.k.a. Easter bunnies) how to pull together a ‘healthy Easter basket’. Hmmm…. that’s an oxymoron, you say. Believe it or not, options outside of solid chocolate bunnies, Peeps and sugar-coated sugar do actually exist.
Here are my five basic principles when it comes to “healthify-ing” this tradition.
- Include plant-based foods and plant-based colorants.
- Load up on whole grains.
- Use healthy fats.
- Cut back on sugar.
- Swap out milk chocolate with dark chocolate.
Oat & Berry Bars: These whole-grain, gluten-free bars are made with oat flour and rolled oats layered with an organic berry purée sweetened with just apple juice.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies will surprise you! They’re made with garbanzo bean and fava bean flours, oat flour, zucchini, dairy-free dark chocolate, and organic unsweetened applesauce. Gluten-free.
Fudge Brownies: These fudge-y treats are made with whole wheat flour and… spinach. Really! Their moist richness comes from just a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, unsweetened applesauce, and golden ground flaxseeds. You have to taste ’em to believe they’re not loaded with hydrogenated fat and white flour.
Banana-Date Granola: Most granolas are made with lots of oats, sugar and fat. Here’s a no-sugar/no-fat-added granola (no kidding!) made with a base of protein- and antioxidant-rich orange lentils plus some rolled oats, fruit purée, nut butter, seeds, nuts, and dates.
Cocoa-Nuts: Need a healthier twist on those milk chocolate-covered nuts? Try these! Naked almonds are sweetened with a tad of pure maple syrup, organic coconut sugar, and a healthy dusting of pure unsweetened cocoa. You get the health benefits of the nuts with less sugar and sans the saturated fat.
Rice Krispie Cones: I created these cones for my kids when they were little and they’re pure fun! Guaranteed to put a smile on your child’s face.