For me, Easter = hope. Both religious traditions and commercial symbols reflect the message of creation and possibility. Spring is the time of the year that everything seems to wake up and come alive again…a reminder that you can endure the harshness of Winter and survive.
With the awakening of nature and the return of bright colors, we are naturally inspired to clean out the old. It is the perfect time to take a fresh approach or start something new. Do you have an area of your life that needs a new beginning?
Today, my hope is that we simply take a new look at the way we address EVERY holiday…without sugar at the core. There are SO many ways to celebrate joyous moments in our lives, but sadly we seem to focus on extremely decadent food. I really am ok with the occasional treat. I too like to indulge in sweets from time to time. But we are sending a very clear message to our next generation that good times = bad-for-you food.
In my constant effort to debunk that myth, I want to give you some delicious AND healthy ideas for an Easter Brunch as well as some calorie-friendly options for your Easter Baskets.
For Easter brunch, you have to serve eggs. In my opinion, there is no better way to eat eggs than Eggs Benedict. However, Eggs Benedict usually involves hollandaise sauce which is little more than egg yolks and butter. Luckily, I have found a few ways to make a healthier version of this classic dish.
Starting with the base, I like to use Thomas’ Light English muffins. They are lower in calories and high in fiber, which helps you to feel full. I also like to offer ways to add more vegetables, so I serve mine with a light creamed spinach (you may remember this favorite recipe of mine) and sliced tomatoes. I also swap higher fat meats for the much lighter, Canadian bacon. You can go low-maintenance and serve scrambled eggs or go with the traditional poached egg option. Both are delicious.
Now the sauce…this is where a healthy meal can go bad. I’ve looked for a few alternatives – using natural butter-flavored grapeseed oil instead of butter, a trans-fat free margarine and egg substitute, or a fellow blogger used mayonnaise and Dijon mustard as an alternative. I can’t say that I found one that is perfect, but I will say they are close…so give them a try and see what you think. Either way, I like to serve this all in a deconstructed manner, so guests can build their Eggs Benedict just as they like.
Any good brunch includes some fresh fruit and this is the perfect time of the year for beautiful berries. I love a good asparagus tart, but I found another fellow blogger who uses a cauliflower crust instead of the traditional puff pastry – a much healthier swap that I must try! To top of your meal, I recommend my Tweety Bird mocktail; just as good as a mimosa but suitable for all ages.
I wanted to give you a whole slew of non-candy ideas for Easter baskets that will get you started or get you thinking of even more ideas. You can even use smaller items to fill eggs, and you won’t have to worry about finding a bug-filled egg a few weeks down the road!
In addition, I think the basket itself needs a fresh approach. Why spend money year after year on the brightly colored wicker baskets or the plastic pail when you can buy something that is really useful? Consider a storage bin that your child can use in their bedroom or play area. Try filling an insulated lunch bag or beach tote. The container can be part of the present.
Help the Easter Bunny by considering non-candy surprises that make your children hop with joy. Give your children so much more than cavities this year. Take the opportunity to give them something they can really enjoy for days and weeks to come.