5 Healthy Easter Treats

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Easter can still be a time of indulgence even for us health-conscious folk with so many creative healthy recipes now available!

Here are our top picks for healthy treats this Easter:

Easy, Healthy, Homemade Dark Chocolate

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup natural organic cacao powder
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1-2 tablespoons pure raw honey or pure maple syrup*
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

METHOD:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well mixed and smooth. You can pour the chocolate into moulds to make chocolate candy, you can put the chocolate into a cake decorator (or plastic bag with the edge cut off) and pipe out chocolate chips, or you can pour the chocolate into wax or parchment paper and make bars. Freeze until hardened – about 30 minutes. Store the chocolate in the fridge.

http://www.primallyinspired.com/easy-healthy-homemade-dark-chocolate/

Dark Chocolate Easter Eggs

INGREDIENTS:
70g finely grated cacao butter
1/2 cup raw cacao powder, sifted
2 tbsp raw honey
Pinch of sea salt
Seeds from 2 vanilla pods

METHOD:
Melt cacao butter in a small, dry metal or glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in cacao powder, honey, salt and vanilla seeds.

Fill Easter egg moulds with mixture, reserving a little for joining. If making hollow eggs, use a pastry brush or a swirling motion to bring chocolate up the sides of the mould. Refrigerate until set.

To assemble eggs, melt reserved chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. Brush melted chocolate along edges of egg halves, press together firmly and return to fridge until set.

Makes 2 large hollow eggs or 12 small solid eggs.

Notes: For a gourmet addition, fill large hollow eggs with tasty treats like goji berries, dried cranberries, flaked coconut and macadamia nuts. Or place these chopped ingredients into the melted chocolate for texture in your solid eggs.

http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/houseandgarden/food/8625095/healthy-chef-homemade-dark-chocolate

Raw Healthy Carrot Cake

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups almonds
1/12 cups pitted soft dates
2 cups raisins
4 cups carrot pulp
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoons fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
pinch sea salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Lemon Frosting
1 ½ cups whole raw cashews
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon maca
1 cup dried coconut
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon Zest
1 tablespoon vanilla

METHOD:
– Soak the raisins and the dates in separate bowls, each in 1 ½ cup water for 5-10 minutes to soften. Drain the soak water and set aside.
– Using a juicer, juice about 20 carrots in order to acquire the 4 cups of carrot pulp needed (you can drink the carrot juice if you wish).
– In a food processor or blender grind the almonds into a fine mill.
– Add the dates and one cup of the raisins and grind until you have a smooth paste. In a large bowl, mix with the carrot pulp, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, lemon zest, orange zest, sea salt and walnuts, and the remaining one-cup of raisins.

To make the frosting:
– Soak the cashews in 2 cups fresh water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.
– In a food processor or blender, grind the dried coconut into a powder and set aside.
– Blend the cashews, honey and ½ cup of the date soak water, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until smooth. Add a touch more of the date soak water if necessary to aid in blending.
– Add powdered coconut and blend well. It may be necessary to help the blending along by scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula and continue to blend. Allow to stand in the refrigerator if necessary to thicken.

Putting the cake together:
– To layer the cake: Split the cake batter in half. Line a serving platter with plastic wrap or waxed paper.
– Press half of the dough into an even circle. Slip pressed dough on plastic wrap or waxed paper off the platter. Press the remaining dough directly on the platter into an even circle for the bottom layer. Spread just less than half of the frosting on the bottom layer leaving a 1-inch border.
– Delicately flip over the layer on the plastic wrap or waxed paper onto the frosted layer. Re-shape any mishaps and smooth the sides.
– Spoon the remaining frosting on top of the cake and spread evenly over the top and sides. If you wish, this cake can be prepared into one layer.
– Press the cake dough into an even circle on a serving platter, and frost evenly. For best results, allow chilling and setting in the fridge for one hour or more.

Recipe courtesy of David Wolfe

Hot Cross Buns

I’ve used large muscatel raisins in this recipe, but they are also delicious with sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts or a combination of dried cherries and 85% organic dark chocolate to give it that Easter touch.

INGREDIENTS:
220g whole meal spelt or whole-wheat flour
50g rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried yeast
125 ml (1/2 cup milk) your choice of dairy, almond, rice, oat, soy
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or 1/2 of paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil or olive oil
1 free range / organic egg, lightly beaten
80 g muscatels or raisins
50 g currants

METHOD:
Mix the wholemeal flour, oats, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
Warm the milk, vanilla and honey just a little until just slightly warm, then pour into the mixing bowl along with the egg and  oil.
Mix the dough for about 6 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and mix through.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or glad wrap and leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough and tip in onto your working bench.
Kneed a little then shape into 10 rolls.
Cover lightly and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until double in size.
Preheat your oven to 160 C.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Cool.
You may like to pipe a cross made from either white or dark chocolate on top.

Makes 10 hot cross buns.

NOTES:
These buns are delicious lightly toasted with a light spread of macadamia nut butter.
Add sun-dried cherries and dark chocolate in place of  raisins and currants.
Add sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts in place of raisins and currants.
Sprinkle with a few oat flakes before baking for a rustic effect or brush with egg wash before baking for a lovely glace finish.

https://www.thehealthychef.com/2013/03/healthy-hot-cross-buns/

Grain-Free Raw Brownie Bites

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups walnuts
Pinch of salt
1 cup pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

METHOD:
1. Add walnuts and salt to a blender or food processor. Mix until the walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add the dates, vanilla, and cocoa powder to the blender. Mix well until everything is combined. With the blender still running, add a couple drops of water at a time to make the mixture stick together.
3. Using a spatula, transfer the mixture into a bowl. Using your hands, form small round balls, rolling in your palm.
Optional: You may like to roll the finished brownie bites in chopped nuts or dried coconut.
Makes approx. 8 medium sized brownie balls

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

http://paleogrubs.com/raw-brownie-bites

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