Ah, Easter. Egg hunts. Pastels. Multi-colored baskets stuffed with gooey Peeps, waxy chocolate bunnies and sticky caramel. Kids everywhere would kill us for saying this, but there IS a way to make the day a little less sugar-laden and a little more nutritious, while still having a good time. Check out our healthy Easter tips below, and drop us a line with your own healthy holiday ideas.
- Instead of Easter baskets brimming with candy, go with a theme. For my boys’ baskets this year, I’m going with Fun in the Sun. They’re getting water balloons, squirt guns, swim goggles, sunglasses and pool toys. Yes, they’re getting some chocolate, but I feel slightly better knowing that at least some of their items will lead to healthy outside play time.
- Veg-up your deviled eggs. Mix finely chopped vegetables (may we not-so-subtly suggest Mann’s Broccoli Cole Slaw, pulsed a few times in a food processor?), with hard-boiled yolks, a splash of white balsamic vinegar, Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Spoon or pipe into the hard-boiled egg whites, dust with a bit of smoked paprika, and watch them disappear.
- Skip the chips and veg-ify your dips. For pre-brunch snacks, avoid crackers and go with colorful vegetables and a variety of dips instead. Our Stringless Sugar Snap Peas are a perfect dipping vessel. Try them with our beautiful Beet Hummus below for an extra-healthy dipper, or go with a spicy peanut dip.
- Add more veggies to your buffet. For your main event, offer your guests a vegetable quiche, big green salad, and lots of vegetable side dishes. Instead of cheesy scalloped potatoes, roast some fingerling potatoes along with green beans, and serve with a buttermilk vinaigrette.
- And for dessert…If you’re looking to add vegetables to even your dessert table at Easter, carrot cake is an obvious choice. Consider our Power Blend instead for moist, oh-so-delicious sweet muffins. A blend of six superfoods, you’re adding more nutrients, color and taste than carrots (or zucchini) alone. I made the recipe below at the office last week, and they were a huge hit.
See? It’s not so painful to add healthy veggies to your holiday, is it? I just need to convince my kids now…
Beet Hummus with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
- 4 small beets, boiled and peeled (approximately 8 oz.)
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until nearly smooth.
Serve with Mann’s Stringless Sugar Snap Peas or other crudités.
Makes approximately 2 cups.
Power Blend Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 10-ounce bag Mann’s Power Blend
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- Turbinado sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Spray eighteen ½ cup muffin cups with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Pulse Veggie Power Blend in a food processor a few times, and stir into the flower mixture, along with the walnuts, raisins and coconut.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the oil and vanilla. Peel and core the apple, and grate it using a box grater. Stir the apple into the egg mixture, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins, filling them three-quarters full. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the turbinado sugar and bake until puffed and a tester comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
Cool muffins in cups on racks for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Muffins keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Makes 18 muffins