For many of us, Easter can often be a time of more food indulgence than Christmas! With a long weekend, school holidays, plus much-needed holidays planned, it can all amount to a lot more eating.
However, enjoying Easter fayre doesn’t have to mean making unhealthy food choices during the break. Here are many healthy swaps you can make which will be just as tasty.
Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her five top ways of enjoying healthy Easter food.
Delicious asparagus sprinkled with Parmesan
Whilst all vegetables taste much better when eaten seasonally, asparagus stands out from the crowd in this respect. Asparagus that has travelled halfway around the world to the supermarket storeroom is often tough and tasteless. However, English asparagus is now just coming into season this Easter, and it is delicious!
Asparagus boasts many health benefits. It’s high in energising B-vitamins, especially folate, vitamin C and other antioxidants. Importantly, asparagus helps feed the good gut bacteria that is so critical our overall health.
Even better, it’s so simple and quick to cook. Roast in the oven for around 10 minutes in a little olive oil and serve either as a starter or side sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Easter pancakes for all the family
Children and adults alike love pancakes whatever time of year, so Easter is a great excuse to enjoy them. What’s more, pancakes are great for fussy eaters because they provide an energy dense, protein-rich breakfast to keep sugar levels in check. It’s also another great way of encouraging the whole family to enjoy more fruit by adding some bananas and blueberries.
And for those with sensitivities to gluten (or just wanting a different taste), why not make them with buckwheat? Despite its name, buckwheat is gluten-free and produces some very delicious, slightly nutty-flavoured pancakes. Enjoy with fruit and a dollop of natural yoghurt.
It’s no surprise that there’s lots of chocolate around at Easter! However, many people don’t realise that dark chocolate contains some great health benefits. Dark chocolate is packed with super-healthy polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. The polyphenols also help manage high blood pressure, as well as providing other health benefits.
If you’re not quite ready to ditch the traditional milk chocolate Easter eggs, why not serve a slightly healthy dessert using strawberries dipped in melted chocolate. That way, you’ll be doubling up on antioxidant power with the fruit and chocolate and will be supporting the immune system too.
The family of cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. Whilst many will be happy to hear that Brussels are not in season right now, the traditional Easter Day roast could really benefit from some delicious cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a very healthy vegetable, containing loads of fibre, vitamins, and minerals, together with plant compounds that help protect the body from serious disease.
What to give your cauliflower some extra flavour? Why not toss the heads in olive oil, lemon and crushed garlic and roast in the oven? Garlic is another superfood and is especially healthy for the heart and immune system.
You can have turkey at Easter too!
Many of us have been programmed to have turkey at Christmas time and rarely throughout the year. However, over recent years, many people have taken the opportunity of enjoying turkey over the Easter holidays too. And it will bring plenty of health benefits.
Turkey is naturally low in fat, so it wins hands down when put alongside traditional Spring lamb. Plus, turkey is slightly lower in calories but higher in protein than chicken. It also contains much more of the immune-boosting mineral zinc than chicken. A turkey crown is an even lighter option, with very little fat and no wastage.
Have a wonderfully, healthy Easter and enjoy some of these delicious and nutritious foods along the way!
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