The Easter Bunny is the springtime bearer of sweet treats and delicious candy. But that rascially rabbit shouldn’t hop away with your fitness goals and overall health by tempting you with unhealthy edible.
This year, fill your Easter basket with some healthy alternatives and have an egg-cellent holiday.
Chocolate Covered Fruit
An Easter basket without chocolate is an egg-ceptionally cruel idea. Everyone needs some sort of chocolate treat this spring, but instead of downing a chocolate rabbit from ears to tail, mix in some healthy fruit. Chocolate-covered strawberries, grapes or bananas keep the sweetness while toning down the amount of unhealthy chocolate in your basket. For an added crunch, top the treats with healthy chopped nuts.
If you’re going to go the chocolate route, why not go with the healthy stuff? Studies have shown that dark chocolate is good for your heart and can curb sweet cravings. According to Woman’s Center for Wellness nutritionist Melissa Martin, the sweet secret lies with something called flavonols. They’re are a type of antioxidant found in cocoa and chocolate that, among other health benefits, can decrease appetite, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. The less processed the chocolate, the more flavonols present. Dark chocolate is less processed than milk chocolate, and cocoa that has not undergone Dutch processing is more beneficial.
Creme eggs and peanut butter-filled chocolate eggs may steal the spotlight this holiday, but there’s only one true Easter egg! These superfoods-in-a-shell are high in vitamin D, contain 6 grams of protein each and ideal for calorie-conscious eaters, according to Livestrong.com. Plus a little vinegar and store-bought egg dye can turn a blank white canvas shell into an eggstravagant piece of art.
Just because you want to be healthy this Easter doesn’t mean you have to give up the greatest candy of them all! Why even bother having an Easter basket if there aren’t any Peeps in it? Fortunately, a healthier recipe for the marshmallow treat exists that cuts down the preservatives and artificial dyes in the commercial sweets.
Peanut Butter Eggs
Though store-bought eggs taste like the nectar of the Easter gods, they’re often oversized and full of not-so-healthy ingredients. The filling, for instance, often contains more sugar than actual peanuts. Make your own PB eggs with recognizable ingredients and switch things up with almond butter for more fiber, iron, and Vitamin E.
Hopefully we haven’t lost you with our last healthy Easter suggestion. Carrots aren’t sweet and sugary, but if they’re good enough for the Easter Bunny himself, they’re good enough for us, right?!? Some baggies of baby carrots and a small container of a healthy dip like hummus can break up the sugar overload of your traditional basket and bring some much-needed veggies to the holiday.
Happy Easter, everyone!