Choose your chocolate wisely…

With Easter, it’s hard to enter a shop and not notice the huge displays of chocolate baskets, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and chocolate nests.

chocolate cereal cakes in a baking trayBasically, there’s chocolate everywhere.

The onslaught of temptations started weeks ago. If you’ve managed to resist the urge to try one, more or all of the enticing-looking goodies so far, then you’ve earned yourself a pat on the back… and carte blanche to eat as many chocolate eggs as the Easter Bunny can bring over the long weekend.

Right?

It’s unrealistic to think we have to stick to a healthy-eating plan when we’re on holiday or have a little time off work.  After all, nothing says Easter like the crack of a chocolate egg as you break it into pieces, thinking you’ll ‘just have a bit…’

But most of us can’t stop at a bit and before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole egg.  That’s OK, you tell yourself – chocolate’s one of those ‘superfoods’ full of antioxidants so you’ve done yourself some good.

Sorry to shatter the illusion but you probably haven’t.

To get the benefits from chocolate you need to bypass most of the commercial varieties and upgrade your chocolate fix to one that comes with a label that says ‘raw’ or ‘organic’ and has a high cocoa content (85% is best).

Good-quality chocolate is packed with nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamins.  It has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t cause huge spikes in your blood sugar levels.

What’s more, it’s scientifically proven that raw cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain and therefore acts as an anti-depressant, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing.  Hurrah!

Who needs those shop-bought eggs in their pretty foil wrappers?  Treat yourself to a few bars of decent-quality chocolate, grab your apron and create your own healthful treats for a guilt-free Easter.

Why not try this take on Easter nests from the book Super Healthy Snacks and Treats by Jenna Zoe?

No-bake crispie cakes

(Makes 24)

You’ll need:

  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60ml coconut oil or 60g sunflower spread
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 110g plain cornflakes (no added sugar)
  • 2 x 12-hole muffin tins, lined with paper cases

How to prepare:

  • Put the chocolate, coconut oil (or sunflower spread) and salt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Leave until melted and completely smooth.
  • Tip the cornflakes into the melted chocolate.
  • Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon but don’t be afraid to crush some of the cornflakes.
  • Scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin case, patting the mixture down as you go.
  • Put the muffin tins in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove just before serving.

You can store any leftover cakes (if there are any!) in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Happy feasting!

Emma Sasai

About Emma Sasai

Having spent over 13 years living overseas in Japan and the US, I returned to home shores in 2008 and set up as a freelance writer and editor. I juggle several different clients and write about topics that cover a broad spectrum. I might begin the day editing non-fiction books for children and end it interviewing a communications executive in London. In between all this, I cater to the needs of a Japanese husband and our two children. I thrive on a challenge, both mental and physical, which is why most days begin with a big sweaty workout. My creativity is fuelled by endorphins, tea in copious amounts and my homemade raw chocolate.