Chocolate lovers mark Easter on the calendar with excitement and glee but what about those who feel chocolate simply does not entice? Non-chocolate lovers don’t despair, we can all share in the fun of Easter and today I am providing healthy non-chocolate alternatives which make the perfect gift, if you’re willing to share!
Home-made Fruit and Nut Cakes
Fresh home-made cakes make an ideal gift anytime of the year. A favourite of mine at Easter time is my Italian Nut and Rice Cake. Naturally sweetened with a little honey, orange and vanilla bean and a rich dose of healthy fats from walnuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts, its simply too good not to share with loved ones!
Home-made Goodie Balls
Fruit balls, bliss balls, goodie balls whichever name takes your fancy are a great option for catering to many different taste buds. Mixing and matching ingredients to create the ultimate bliss ball is half the fun. See below for my favourite version of bliss balls, rich in healthy fats and zinc.
Jar of Cashew Nut Butter
Its always fun to get a little creative in the kitchen. And a jar of freshly ground nut butter will surprise loved ones at Easter. It’s not only a thoughtful but equally drool worthy gift which can be used in a variety of ways. My go-to with cashew nut butter is generously spread on sourdough toast or hot-cross buns, dips for vegetables or fruit (eg banana), added to bliss ball recipes or simply enjoyed straight from the spoon!
Fresh Exotic Fruit Basket
Here in Oz, the weather is still warm around Easter so there is no excuse to not make the most of all the delicious fruit on offer. Always buy what is in season to ensure the greatest taste and nutrient content. My favourites at this time of year are figs, pears, grapes, persimmons and plums! Popping a selection of seasonal fruit into a nice basket is a heart warming and healthy gift, which I am sure anyone would like to receive.
Home-made Roasted Nuts
Home-made roasted nuts will set tongues wagging of all savoury fans out there! When it comes to roasted nuts, its an extremely versatile gift and allows you can be as creative as you want, talk about win win! A few of my top picks are:
Cashews: smoked paprika
Macadamia nuts: rosemary
Enjoy roasted nuts on their own, tossed into salads, stir-fry’s or add to snack-friendly trail mixes.
Remember, Easter is a time to enjoy and share with family and friends, so don’t let guilt around sweet food stop you from having fun. Stick to moderation when it comes the sweet stuff and balance your plate with lean protein, healthy fats and slow release carbohydrates.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Easter!
Serves: makes 20 fruit balls
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
10 dried figs, diced, hard stalk removed
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup cashew buts
½ cup pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp tahini paste
½ cup raspberries
1 cup LSA mix (linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds)
Combine everything except the raspberries and half a cup of the LSA mix in a food processor until smooth and slightly sticky.
Take a bit of the dough, put a raspberry in the centre, and form into a 2.5cm ball.
Roll the ball in the remaining LSA mix to coat.
Put the fruit balls in the refrigerator in an airtight container.