Have a Healthier Easter This Year !

The Easter Bunny is the bearer of all things sweet, delicious, and right with the world. But this Easter doesn’t have to induce the same sugar high as Halloween. Instead, fill those Easter baskets with some healthy alternatives.

Chocolate Covered Fruit

For a chocolate fix with a healthy dose of fruit, dip whole strawberries , grapes, or bannas slices in melted chocolate. Microwave the chocolate on 50-percent power in 30-second increments, stirring between spurts, until smooth (or use a double boiler). Place the chocolate-ized fruit in mini muffin papers so the chocolate doesn’t smear all over the rest of the basket’s contents. To scale back on the chocolate, drizzle the melted stuff over fruit with the tines of a fork. For an added crunch, roll the fruit in chopped nuts.

Fruit Snacks

Standard fruit snacks often contain a host of artificial flavors, syntheric colors, and preservatives. While it takes some time, it may be worthwhile to make your own fruit snacks using real fruit (this version uses just four ingredients—strawberries, lemon juice, honey, and gelatin). Pour the mixture into a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet and cut into cubes, or use bunny-shaped molds to get extra festive!

Individually-Wrapped Treats

Now that you know how to choose the good stuff, it’s time to healthify that Easter basket in another less obvious way. Chocolate bars are exciting and all, but individually wrapped spheres and squares of chocolate offer built-in portion control. Instead of ripping open a bar, grab one or two pieces at a time to enjoy.

Dark Chocolate

This time of year, supermarkets stock their shelves with bunny- and egg- shaped treats… which are loaded with sugar, syrups, and hard-to-pronounce stuff. While we wouldn't tell you to forego choclate completely (that's just cruel), you can choose a healthier chocolate bar or egg by keeping a few things in mind. To reap the benefits of dark chocolate, choose a bar with 70 percent or more cacao. Healthy bonus points: Cacao has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk for coronary heart disease  . Make sure the first ingredient on the label reads “cocoa butter” or “cocoa liquor.” When sugar is the first ingredient, it may taste sweeter, but it has far fewer health benefits. Organic chocolate bars, or eggs  while generally a little pricier, are more bang for your buck. Why? They’ve got fewer ingredients (usually just cocoa, sugar, and sometimes an emulsifier, vanilla, and milk) while other bars feature artificial flavors and cocoa processed with alkali (which knocks out some of the flavanol antioxidants) 

Wishing you all a fab Easter