Traditionally Easter is a time when we see friends and family and enjoy various gatherings. Whilst it’s not going to be possible in quite the same way this Easter, it’s still a great opportunity to enjoy some wonderfully healthy, tasty dishes and treat yourself.
Whether you enjoy a traditional roast or would like to try some vegetarian alternatives, there is lots of in-season food on offer.
Clinical nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares her favourite recipes for an Easter Day treat!
Start the day right
Whilst many people love the great British breakfast fry-up, this is very high in calories and fat and can make many of us feel really bloated. Eggs, of course, are the food of the Easter celebration, so before you tuck into the chocolate variety why not start the day with a traditional Easter breakfast of boiled eggs. In fact, eggs make a great breakfast whatever day it is.
Eggs are a great source of protein, delivering all the essential amino acids, helping balance blood sugar levels, whilst keeping you feeling fuller for longer without bloating. Why not serve them with some sourdough bread, which is much kinder to the digestive system and really tasty too. And don’t forget to find your marker pens and decorate the eggs before you enjoy them!
For many, Easter is not complete without eating roast lamb. British spring lamb, as the name suggests, is at its best right now. Lamb is an intrinsically fatty meat, so it’s good to try and cook a leg which is naturally lower in fat. It’s a great source of protein but also rich in immune-boosting zinc, plus it contains some omega-3 fats at higher levels than grass-fed beef.
To further boost the immune system and to enhance the great natural taste of the meat, roast the lamb with some garlic and rosemary which are natural accompaniments. Serve it with some Jersey Royal potatoes (also in season right now) which are rich in nutrients, especially vitamin C. Add some delicious broccoli, stir fried with sesame seeds, and glazed carrots. Both vegetables are rich in antioxidants to further protect the immune system.
And for the vegetarians, why not bake some in-season vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and spinach with a cheese and chive sauce. This dish would work well as a vegetable side and a tea-time treat too.
Roasted ham is another traditional favourite at Easter. If you’re wanting to relax after lunch why not cook the ham ahead of time and serve cold. How about using wraps rather than bread and add some lovely salad vegetables, especially sweet tomatoes which complement the ham well. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene which is another powerful antioxidant and great for the immune system.
Easter is all about colour so vegans and vegetarians can embrace the colours of the rainbow with a carrot, sweet potato, celeriac and beetroot pie. All vegetables are in season, providing a nutritional feast. The more colourful your vegetables the more nutrients you’ll be eating.
Why not make some easy Easter biscuits so you can have a little sweet treat and the younger members of the family can join in with the baking? And of course, no Easter is complete without sone hot cross buns. They don’t take too long to prepare and cook, and you can use gluten-free flour for those that can’t tolerate gluten. Why not use brown flour rather than white, which contains some energising B-vitamins and won’t upset blood sugar too much. They’ll make a great snack the next day too. And for the vegans, hot cross buns are great made with almond milk and a dairy-free spread.
So, make the most of your Easter eating and enjoy some of these healthy and nutritious dishes.
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