It’s that time of the year, where we all forget our New Year’s Resolutions and dive headfirst into pies, pastries, cookies, and every other unhealthy and fattening food on the planet.
That’s right, I’m talking about Easter.
But in a decade of empowering others to eat for the body they want and achieve stunning weight loss results, I’ve learned a few things. Here are the two biggest lessons I want to share with you this Easter season:
- You can’t break all your nutrition rules every time a holiday comes around. Otherwise you’ll be on a rollercoaster of binging, restricting, and yo-yo dieting for the rest of your life — and yuck, nobody wants that.
- Every flavour you crave is available to you on a healthy calorie, plant-based diet; you just have to learn how to indulge differently.
It truly is possible to eat, celebrate, and enjoy in abundance, without putting on extra pounds…so long as you have the right ingredients.
To that end, I’d like to share with you three of my all-time favourite Easter recipes. These recipes are deliciously full of holiday spirit, but beautifully free of all the processed junk, gluten, butter, dairy, eggs, and other unhealthy, fattening ingredients that have no place in an optimal diet for healthy weight loss or maintenance.
Enjoy these healthy alternatives to your favourite Easter treats — and please share your success stories and photos in the comments!
Note: I have included a few ingredients in these recipes, like coconut oil and powdered sugar, which I don’t normally recommend you eat. However, since this is a special occasion, and since these recipes are still so much better for you than the traditional, fattening alternatives, I’ve made a few exceptions.
Vegan (Seriously!) Chocolate Cream Eggs
Wait, really? Yes! These sweet and indulgent chocolate cream eggs are a special-but-still-slimming treat for Easter. Remember, as long as you leave out the eggs, dairy, and processed ingredients, the finished product is cholesterol-free and relatively low in fat.
I wouldn’t lie to you; this recipe is shockingly good. You better get cooking right now.
Simple, Slimming Ingredients:
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon Celtic salt (optional)
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- vegan food colouring (optional)
Note: Can’t find vegan food colouring? Want to keep this recipe super clean? Experiment with totally natural sources of gorgeous colours: mulberry juice, blueberry juice, and mango juice are all amazing!
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Note: You can also use an egg-shaped mold for more uniform results, but I gotta say, it’s more fun shaping the eggs by hand.
- Mix together your agave syrup, vegan butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Slowly add in powdered sugar until you have a thick gooey cream-like mixture. If you want to add food colouring, split cream into different bowls and do that now. Allow to set in freezer.
- Melt your chocolate in a double boiler.
- While it’s melting, form egg-like shapes with your frozen cream, then return to freezer to set again. (I suggest you remove the eggs from the freezer one at a time for the next step, to keep them easy to work with.)
- When your cream eggs are firm, remove from freezer (one at a time), and drop one by one into the melted chocolate. Scoop them out, allow excess chocolate to drip off, and then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- When you’ve covered all the eggs, pop back in the freezer, and leave until chocolate hardens.
- Be nice and share — and enjoy this Easter season the healthy way!
Dreamy Sweet Potato Pie
You are going to love this perfectly sweet, creamy pie with a mouth-watering coconut almond crust. And the best part? You can enjoy it guilt-free, knowing the food dynamics in this recipe are supporting your healthy weight loss or maintenance.
Note: If you see purple sweet potatoes at your local market, use them — they turn this recipe a stunning shade of purple — perfect for Easter!
Simple, Slimming Ingredients:
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic salt (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 kilo (2 pounds) sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thick
- ¾ cup coconut milk (check the label and choose a preservative-free one!)
- ½ cup maple syrup (or less if you like things a bit less sweet!)
- 1½ tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional — or use more if you like a kick!)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Guilt-Free Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can full-fat, additive-free coconut milk
- 2 dates (soaked for at least 10 minutes, and up to 12 hours)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Grease a 20-centimeter (9-inch) pie pan with coconut oil.
- Combine all those sexy crust ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer them to your pie pan. Wet your hands to make them non-stick, and press the crust evenly into the bottoms and sides. Why not get your little ones to help, too!
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust puffs out a bit and turns a gorgeous golden-brown. Use the back of a spoon to gently push the crust down, and resist the urge to eat the crust and skip the rest of the recipe!
- Now for our dreamy filling…Bring a pot of water to a boil — make sure there’s plenty of space for all your sweet potatoes — then add those beauties and cook for 10 minutes at a boil, or until soft enough to poke a fork into them. Drain, then add sweet potatoes to a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Next, add all your filling ingredients, and blend on high until smooth as a dream.
- Pour filling into the crust, even out the top, and bake 45 minutes, or until firm-with-a-bit-wiggle.” Let cool before serving. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely before serving it.
- Finally, a slimming whipped cream you can enjoy in abundance! First get your coconut really cold by leaving in the fridge overnight (or at least an hour if you’re in a hurry). We want the cream to separate from the milk. Then separate the hard cream on top, transfer to a large bowl, and add the dates. Use an electric beater to beat the cream for 2–3 minutes. Don’t expect it to stiffen like traditional whipped cream — just get it firm enough to spoon on top of each slice.
- Serve, share with loved ones, and enjoy the stunning body-shaping properties of healthy calories and satisfying flavours at this year’s Easter celebration!
Super-Powered Hot Cross Buns
Everyone’s favourite Easter treat just got a healthy calorie plant-based makeover. These softy, fluffy hot cross buns are just perfect.This recipe makes 12 tasty treats, but feel free to double or triple to satisfy more healthy celebrators.
Simple, Slimming Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 3/4 cup room temperature/lukewarm unsweetened non-dairy mylk
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 teaspoon Celtic salt (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 1/2–4 cups flour of choice (choose a gluten-free baking blend to keep this wheat-free!)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried currants
Vegan “Egg” Wash
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy mylk
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
- In your stand mixer bowl, add yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and lukewarm water. Let stand for a few minutes. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, or if you want to have more fun, skip that and use your hands!)
- When yeast gets a bit foamy, add lukewarm milk, oil, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, remaining sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, and 1 cup of flour. Combine with a spoon.
- Add 2 more cups of flour and set the mixer to knead — or knead by hand.
- If dough is a bit sticky, add another 1/2 cup of flour at a time.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, until no longer sticky. Add raisins and currants in the last minute to get them involved.
- Oil a medium bowl lightly, and transfer your finished dough to it. Cover with a towel and leave in a nice, warm spot until it doubles in size. (Usually around 1 hour)
- Line an 11″ x 13″ (approximately 28 x 33 centimeters) pan with parchment paper. Leave a bit extra around the edges so it’s easy to remove the whole thing from the pan after baking.
- After your hour is up, push the dough down and knead for a few seconds to get rid of any air pockets.
- Separate into 12 equal pieces, roll each one into a ball, and place on the parchment-lined pan. Don’t worry if they get pretty cozy in there.
- Cover with a towel, place in your nice, warm spot again, and leave to rise for 30 minutes. In the meantime preheat oven to 375°F.
- While you’re waiting, make your vegan “egg” wash by combining unsweetened mylk and maple syrup.
- When rolls are ready, use a pastry brush to coat the top of each one with your “egg” wash.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, then remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.
- Now remove the parchment paper and buns from the pan all in one go, and place on cooling rack. using parchment paper overhang as handles and place onto a cooling rack. Don’t separate them yet if they’ve joined during baking.
- Allow to cool fully, and make your icing while you wait by mixing powdered sugar, vanilla, and unsweetened non-dairy milk together in a bowl. When you have a thick icing consistency, transfer to a piping bag with a small tip — or a small ziplock bag, and snip off one of the corners.
- Once buns are totally cooled (very important that they’re not even warm for this step), pipe your icing crosses over the top (3 lines across, 4 lines down).
- Share with the whole family, and enjoy the incredible, satisfying flavours and textures!
And be sure to join my amazing weight loss revolution, too. With my specially-designed program, Food Dynamics: The Taste and Flavour Solution, you’ll get all the support, all the recipes, and all the knowledge you need to start selecting body-shaping foods and eating for healthy weight reduction. Ignite the power of healthy calorie, plant-based nutrition today!
Originally published at medium.com