After weeks of giving up your favourite treats, lent is nearly over! The shops are full with chocolate eggs and everyone is looking forward to Easter Sunday. If you have managed to stay off the sweet stuff for the entire time this week we look at ways to help you get your chocolate fix in a healthy way.
When buying Easter eggs, I try to buy the best quality dark chocolate I can afford. By choosing dark chocolate the taste is richer so you are likely to consume less. It also has less sugar and is packed with minerals potassium, zinc, selenium. It contains antioxidants and can help reduce your cholesterol. Instead of tucking into a sugar milk chocolate egg with candy, Green and Blacks do a very nice dark chocolate selection egg with burnt toffee and ginger mini bars for a healthier treat.
Organic chocolate has become popular with people seeking a healthy alternative. It is important to remember that these eggs still contain the same amount of sugar and fat as normal eggs so should be consumed in moderation.
Some health food shops, like Holland and Barrett sell no added sugar chocolate eggs. These eggs are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like xylitol. Unfortunately by comparison, these eggs still contain the same calories as a milk chocolate egg! I tend to avoid these types of eggs because too much artificial sweetener can cause digestive upsets.
To be really creative you could make your own chocolate! This is really simple and you can add our own flavours, add melted coconut oil, cacao, maple syrup or honey and some vanilla extract to a bowl. Mix well, using the skin of an avocado, place the mixture inside and refrigerate for a few hours. Ease out of the skin for a yummy home made treat!
If you do find yourself on the receiving end of an egg or two, I have some tips to help you enjoy the best of both worlds. Firstly break the egg into pieces. Choose one or two pieces to enjoy, letting the rich chocolate melt on your tongue and last so much longer. Put the rest of the egg away for the next few days. If you receive more than one, why not give away the other eggs, the local nursing home would love a treat. And if you are buying for children try to ensure they only receive one egg. Next week I have some suggestions for fun healthy Easter activities, till then, stay healthy!