Healthy hot cross buns and other treat alternatives
The Easter holidays are upon us, and what better time to treat yourself? Just make sure you don't eat ALL the hot cross buns or end up eating more than your fair share of Easter eggs. If you're looking for some healthier alternatives to traditional Easter treats, the Expertrain team has you covered - from chocolate eggs and hot cross buns to vegetable side dishes for your Easter roast. Here goes!
Healthier hot cross buns
Yes, those double-chocolate hot cross buns from Sainsburys or Tesco Finest hot cross buns may be calling your name, but wait a second. Making your own could be a far healthier option as you have total control over the ingredients. Why not try one of these healthy recipes?
This healthier recipe uses almond flour, spelt flour, orange zest, macadamia nut oil and spices, with sugar swapped out for liquid stevia. It's low in fat, low in sugar and diabetes-friendly, so the whole family can enjoy a hot cross bun with their cuppa!
This is a delicious, fruity take on the traditional hot cross bun, spiced with cardamom and loaded with chopped apricots. It uses almond milk and coconut oil, so would be suitable for vegans too - yummy!
Try these gluten-free hot cross buns with a delicious cashew cream icing to satisfy your sweet tooth without any of the additives or preservatives found in supermarket varieties. This recipe uses a gluten-free flour mix, almond milk (so it's suitable if you're avoiding dairy) and coconut sugar and oil, loaded with good fats.
Using candied ginger gives these a real 'sweet treat' feel whilst the addition of dates, dried cranberries and apricots helps you on your way to five a day - who said cake can't be healthy? We love the rich ginger flavour of these hot cross buns, and will be making some this Easter weekend!
Healthier chocolate treats
Just because your kids, nieces or nephews are chowing down on Easter eggs, doesn't mean you need to do the same (although we won't judge you for it). But why not use the Easter break to do some healthier baking and whip up some of these chocolate treats?
Oh She Glows remains one of our favourite foodie blogs for vegan recipes, and this recipe for dessert cups with coconut butter, sunflower seed butter and chocolate (made with cocoa powder, maple syrup and coconut oil) creates the perfect treat when you're craving chocolate. You can store these in the fridge or freezer until needed.
These taste SO chocolatey it's almost hard to believe that they're fairly healthy (compared to having a typical bar of chocolate, that is). They're easy to make, loaded with protein from the hemp and vitamin E from the walnuts, for smooth, clear skin. Because they're raw, there's no baking required, just process the mixture in your food processor and then make the chocolate topping. We love these!
Another of our favourite Oh She Glows recipes, these little chocolatey peanut balls can be made in advance if you're having friends or family over for Easter, and they're a great way to curb that chocolate craving, whilst getting some extra healthy protein in your diet too. With coconut flour, maple syrup and natural peanut butter and a yummy chocolate topping, these are the best treat ever - you won't even miss those chocolate eggs.
These are a great treat to make for the whole family to enjoy - kids love them! With a Rice Krispies crust, gooey caramel filling made with dates and peanut butter (use the natural kind, if you can) and a chocolatey topping made with coconut oil and dark chocolate (loaded with antioxidants), these are a guilt-free treat!
Healthier roast dinner
Planning on sitting down to a lamb roast dinner? We featured some healthy lamb recipes earlier on in the week, so today we thought we'd go with how you can make the rest of your roast a bit better for you. Healthy side dishes are one of our favourite things!
Roasting new potatoes in their skins with vitamin C-packed Brussels sprouts, rosemary, immune-boosting garlic and a good glug of olive oil makes a healthy side dish to serve with roast meat. Plus those potato skins are loaded with fibre!
Why not leave out the potatoes altogether and serve a colourful mix of roast vegetables with your lamb (or other meat)? Parsnips, carrots, red onions and butternut squash or sweet potatoes are perfect, but you could add your own choice of vegetables. Roasting them in the oven gives them a sweet flavour that's perfect with a roast dinner.
This dish is great served with pork, but tasty with any roast meat. With cider vinegar, sugar, star anise and cinnamon, it's packed with flavour. Red cabbage is affordable to buy, so pick some up on your weekly shop. Loaded with phytonutrients, red cabbage also contains lots of antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and mop up free radicals that can damage your body.
Healthier savoury snacks
Put down that family-sized bag of Doritos and step away from the Pringles. We've got some savoury snacks that you can enjoy this Easter that won't kill your healthy eating.
Roasting edamame in the oven with sea salt, cracked black pepper and heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil makes a great crunchy, savoury snack - and you can use frozen edamame, so this can be ready in as little as 40 minutes!
Got some avocados, tomatoes, a lime and some chilli? Then you can make a bowl of fresh, creamy guacamole without any of the additives found in shop versions - some brands contain double cream, adding loads of fat and calories to what should be a healthy dip! We recommend serving your guac with toasted pitta chips for a great snack to enjoy with a Netflix movie - just make sure the whole family agree on what to watch!
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use your favourite nuts - whether that's walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds. Mix them all up with some olive oil, rosemary, sea salt, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes, roast them in the oven and create a delicious savoury snack that is ideal for vegetarians, vegans, carnivores - everyone! Nuts are loaded with good fat and protein, just make sure you share them!
Add the flavours of India to some air-popped popcorn for a spicy, savoury treat that's low in fat and calories. Try a mixture of salt, cumin, curry powder, garlic powder and coriander powder - yum!
Got enough inspiration now to avoid temptation this Easter? It's worth bearing in mind that it's okay to have a cheat day this Easter weekend and treat yourself, just don't turn it into a whole weekend of treats! Our healthier alternatives are tasty, easy to make and a lot healthier than processed snacks and foods, so there are no excuses! Happy Easter everyone!