It’s easy to overindulge during the Easter break, but with these dark chocolate Easter eggs you won’t have to feel guilty for having one too many.
Provided by fitness guru Lauren Hannaford, the recipe is made with healthy substitutes including protein powder, oats and coconut flour and are covered with sugar-free dark chocolate, meaning they’re super low in calories, too!
1/4 cup IsoWhey Strawberry Smoothie protein powder
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup ground oats
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)
55g (6 squares) of sugar-free 70 per cent cocoa dark chocolate
- In a large bowl, mix the IsoWhey protein powder, coconut flour, oats, almonds and milk. Set aside.
- Melt 3 squares of chocolate and divide it between 10 egg moulds (use ice cube tray if necessary). Smooth chocolate around the edges of the mould so it covers all the sides and the bottom.
- Put the moulds in the fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate has set.
- Remove the moulds once set and fill each mold with the protein mixture.
- Once you fill each mould, melt another 3 squares of dark chocolate and smooth over the filling until it is all covered.
- Put the moulds back in the fridge to set (approximately 20 minutes).
- Remove chocolates from Easter egg mold and enjoy!
Here’s a sweet treat for the last-minute rush before Easter Sunday morning!
6 medium milk chocolate eggs
500g milk chocolate gelato
125g white chocolate
125g thickened cream
50g caramel fudge sauce
- Take gelato out of the freezer for 10 minutes to soften.
- Carefully cut off the tops of the milk chocolate eggs and fill the eggs with milk chocolate gelato (leaving approximately 1.5cm to the rim).
- Place eggs into the freezer for gelato to set again.
- Prepare the White Chocolate ganache by finely chop the white chocolate and place it into a bowl, heat the thickened cream in a small sauce pan until just boiling, pour the cream onto the white chocolate and stir until completely melted and let it cool.
- Take the eggs out of the freezer.
- Pour a thin layer of white chocolate ganache in each egg to cover the gelato.
- Place eggs in the freezer for 5 minutes for ganache to set firm.
- Take eggs out of the freezer and distribute a small dollop of caramel fudge sauce on the white choc ganache to replicate an egg yolk.
- Place eggs back in the freezer until serving time.
I recently had to organise travel plans and noticed that getting around is going to cost a bit extra in honour of Jesus who died over 2000 years ago. Is it just me or does it sound a bit bizarre? I’ve thought for a long time from the bits I’ve heard about Jesus that he actually sounded like the very first hippy.
No, not the 1960s free love sort that you’re visualising but the type of hippy that roamed around not too fussed about a regular address. The ultimate couch surfer. Surrounded by people who just wanted to hang with him as he went around promoting love and peace and all that. That sort of hippy. Aren’t they sort of anti-commerce, anti-ownership types?
So, have I missed something very important here? Or has commerce got the thought of Jesus very wrong and sort of screwing with his image a bit? I don’t know. Maybe it’s me and I just haven’t got the gist of what he was really about.
Perhaps as well as being the Christian Savior of Souls, Jesus was actually a secret advocate for commerce. Seriously. Think about it. People apparently flocked to him and I imagine it would have cost them a bit to be by his side. They did a fair amount of traveling. I can’t imagine he would have had to pay for much with all those followers supporting him. He wasn’t a carpenter all his life so someone was obviously sponsoring his cause. Hmm…. the first to be sponsored and the first hippy perhaps?
Millions of people Christian or not celebrate his birth and death every year. Perhaps Jesus would like it to costs us a fortune and boost our commerce sector in his honour? He apparently died over 2000 years ago and still he continues to influence our economy. Surely only the ultimate advocate for commerce could get that sort of recognition?
Anyway, let’s not speculate any further. I want to check out some evidence so I’ll start with the people who are working Easter weekend. After all they keep commerce running. Is it double or triple time you’re getting paid folks? If not, it bloody well should be. Your employers are going to make a killing this Easter long weekend in honour of Jesus.
The hardware shops for one are expecting a bonanza Easter long weekend. Fours full days to complete those DIY projects everyone. Come on, it won’t cost much to finish that decking and pergola. Jesus has once again provided time off to get it done, so get to it! The hardware shops will be thanking Jesus secret advocacy for commerce. Easter would surly be their busiest time of the year. Thank you Jesus… Ka-Ching!!!
Then of course there’s the chocolate manufacturers. The ultimate Easter commerce champions. Some have had their products on supermarket shelves since the week after Christmas.
After Easter, chocolate will be on special. Smart fundraising teams will be handing out their annual chocolate boxes to families to raise money. I ran a few of those, so yeah, guilty! They actually don’t expect you to sell a single chocolate but, over the weeks after Easter, they know your family will slowly consume what’s in front of them. While the taste of chocolate is on everyone’s lips they know your family won’t be able to resist. Nasty, hey?!
When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Well according to a new survey conducted by Officeworks, it wasn’t recently. Through their survey, the giant office supply store discovered that 95 per cent of us are at our happiest when we are participating in an activity that we love, however only 20 per cent are making the time to engage in these pursuits and activities.
As the Easter break fast approaches, why not schedule some time to re-discover or discover your passion. Whether your interests be creative, energetic, free, or costly, there is no doubt that your mood and mentality will reap the benefits. Dr Paula Watkins from the Happiness Institute shared her top 5 activities that will certainly keep you busy and entertained over the holidays, and the best part is that all these are kid friendly – so no excuses!
- Getting Outdoors
When was the last time you spent some quality time outside? And no, walking to work from the bus stop doesn’t count! This Easter why not get outdoors and enjoy discovering parts of your city or region that you didn’t know before.
It may be a lazy afternoon spent reading a book under a tree, some time in the park with you’re your family, or if you’re looking for something more physical, why not try a long walk or bike ride through local National Parks and reserves? A little Vitamin D never hurt anybody and according to Watkins, increasing the amount of exercise you do “stimulates dopamine and other happy hormones.” Like they say, the best things in life are free!
- Art and Design
Remember how much you loved art at school? Well why not pick it up again this Easter break as a hobby and introduce it to the whole family. Painting and drawing is a great way to relax and is extremely therapeutic. “The precision required, paired with quality family time, will leave you feeling connected to your mind, body and soul” says Watkins. Painting and decorating your very own Easter eggs is a great way to celebrate the holiday.
Photography is an art and can be the perfect way to document special moments as well as gain a new perspective on familiar landscapes. Yet taking photographs doesn’t have to be a solo hobby and can be a fun way to get everyone involved, particularly over Easter when a lot of extended family spends time together.
Get creative with how you take your annual family photo – create a photo booth with props and a theme. Alternatively, for those who are passionate about photography, allow time to produce a photo-shoot with friends and family. As Dr Watkins highlights: “Special moments like these with loved ones will leave you feeling connected and content.”
Sick of hearing the top 40 on repeat every time your turn on the radio? Are you still listening to that same old album you purchased 2 years ago? Those who are passionate about their music know that there are hundreds of artists across all genres that are amazingly talented and produce music that does more to the soul than any medicine could do. According to Watkins, “listening to music stimulates the brain, boosts mood and serves as an emotional and stress release.” All that from just listening to music – we should do it more often!
Remember all of those photos you took of your most recent birthday that are hiding in the dark corners of your computer? Why not retrieve them along with all the other photos that hold special meaning and create a scrapbook? Officeworks spokesperson, Watkins highlights the benefits of reminiscing: “It is known to be good for our health. This kind of nostalgia can boost mood and helps to provide a sense of meaning.” Scrapbooking can bring your memories to life and let your favourite moments be more regularly recognised and appreciated.
If you’re into DIY these holidays, this chocolate Easter nest recipe will brighten up any Easter basket or family gathering. They’re relatively simple to make, contain few ingredients and can be loads of fun to make with the little ones, too!
100g packet Chang’s fried noodles, roughly crushed
3/4 cup pink fairy floss
110g packet candy coated milk chocolate Easter eggs
12 miniature toy chickens to decorate
- Grease a 12-hole, 1 1/2 tablespoon-capacity round-based patty pan. Line the base and sides of each hole with a 3cm x 10cm strip of baking paper.
- Place chocolate melts in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth.
- Add noodles to melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Working quickly, place 1 rounded tablespoon mixture in each hole. Using a spoon, mould into a nest shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
- Remove nests from pan by sliding a butter knife under baking paper. Remove paper and arrange on a large plate.
- Place a little fairy floss in the base of each nest. Top each nest with 1 Easter egg and a miniature chicken. Voila!
Recipe via Taste
Since Easter is just around the corner, it’s time to put on your Sunday best and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family.
We here at SHESAID have come up with our own outfit ideas for whatever event you have on the weekend, so sit back, and shop courtesy of our friends over at THE ICONIC.
Unlike us grownups who relish in doing nothing, downtime is a kid’s worst nightmare. So with the school holidays about to kick off, you might well be scratching your head and wondering how on earth you’re going to keep the littlies entertained these holidays without spending an arm and a leg.
Well, ladies, fear not, because we’ve compiled a list of ten fun, cost effective, or free ways to keep the kids occupied this Easter and all of which are activities you might get a thrill out of yourself.
Heading to the movies is something the whole family can enjoy! Usually around school holiday time there are several kid friendly movies that are released that both boys and girls will enjoy. Heck, you might even be amused yourself! If you’re concerned about the cost however, have a look online for any deals or specials – there’s usually school holiday promotions running across various cinemas or via discount websites such as Groupon.
Arts and Crafts
For a few dollars you can pick yourself up an arts and crafts pack or buy your own DIY pieces. You could create a collage, decorate a photo album or photo frame, or even make paper lanterns – there are loads of ways to get creative! If you’re stuck for ideas, the world wide web will be your best friend.
Effective, free and fun! Kids love to get outdoors and play, particularly if it involves monkey bars and slippery slides. So instead of letting them climb all over the furniture indoors, head to your local park. There will be no mess left to clean up, you’ll get some much needed vitamin D and you can pack a picnic and make a day of it, also.
Trampolining has become incredibly popular in recent years, with trampoline centres opening up in nearly every town. The centres are kid friendly with supervised jumping areas, dodge-ball games and foam pits and are relatively cheap at about $15 per person per hour.
Remember the thrill you got from riding the train as a kid? It was like Christmas. These holidays venture out of town for the day via the train.
Make play dough
Kids enjoy making play dough just as much as they love playing with it. It’s relatively easy to make, cost effective and the little ones will appreciate playing with something that they helped to create.
Bike riding is great exercise and can also be lots of fun. There are plenty of scenic bike tracks around, so find one that’s local and plan your journey. Be prepared to make a few stops along the way however, so be sure to pack some snacks and water.
Getting creative in the kitchen can be fun for both the adults and the littlies. Maybe you want to try out a new clean or vegan chocolate slice recipe, or whip up something a little more traditional like cupcakes or choc chip cookies. Regardless of whether it’s healthy or indulgent, if it’s sweet and fun to make, the kids are guaranteed to have a good time. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy licking the bowl!
Find free events
There are plenty of free events organised by councils throughout the school holidays, so be sure to find out what’s going on in your area. It might be an Easter parade, a street show, or a chocolate hunt (yep, the City of Sydney have organised an Easter egg hunt in the city), so head to your city’s website or pick up your free local magazine.
Camp out in the backyard
As long as the weather allows for it, organise a camp-out with the kids in your backyard. To do so, pitch a tent, or set up a sleeping area on the balcony or trampoline. You can watch the stars, roast marshmallows over the barbecue and tell stories. It’s an imaginative and cheaper alternative to the real deal, but just as fun, nonetheless.
This Easter you don’t have to give the gift of chocolate. In fact, there are loads of quirky, creative and sentimental presents you can give that will bring a smile to someone’s face. Not only will they last longer than chocolate Easter bunnies or eggs, but they’ll be more appreciated by those who don’t like, or want, chocolate these holidays.
To help you pick out the perfect gift, we’ve compiled a list of 8 of our favourite items. Enjoy!
1. Easter Candle Egg
Available from: Etsy – $8.73
Forget about chocolate Easter eggs, because these handmade gold painted candles are the perfect alternative and come in at roughly the same price. Available in various colours, they’re a gift that won’t be devoured in one gulp!
2. Hot Cross Buns Flavoured Syrup
Available from: Not On The High Street – $12.23
Now you can have the taste of hot cross buns all year round! This handmade syrup is a great way to add some Easter flavour to your coffee and can also be enjoyed over porridge, pancakes, ice cream and waffles. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.
3. Easter Bunny Ears Pendant
Available from: Etsy – $32
Nearly every woman loves receiving jewellery, adult or child, so why not surprise that special someone this Easter with this adorable handmade bunny ears pendant. Measuring 2cm in length and 1.5cm in width, it comes complete with a natural copper chain and hand crafted clasp.
handmade / Easter gift
4. Personalised Easter Sack
Available from: Not On The High Street – $20.39
These holidays make someone’s Easter egg-stra special with one of these personalised hessian Easter sacks. They’re great for the kids to stash their egg-hunt booty in and will have the adults smiling, too. Medium or large sacks are available with print colours in blue, pink and grey.
5. Car Play Mat T-Shirt
Available from: Etsy – $29.55
This is the perfect father, son gift that both will enjoy! It’s a play-mat for the littlies and a massage station for Dad – what more could you want in a gift?
6. Personalised Hand Bag Bunny Mirror
Available from: Not On The High Street – $16.31
These cute handbag mirrors make for lovely Easter bunny gifts! Each mirror is embroided on the back with a bunny using vintage and recycled fabrics and you can opt to include a personalised message of up to 50 characters on the woolen pouch.
7. Good Egg Funny Mug
Available from: Etsy – $14.78
What’s better than the gift of telling someone they’re a “good egg”? The mug is microwave and dishwasher safe and the ink is heat-set. You can also create you’re own unique design if you’d like to add an extra something special.
8. Stainless Steel & Leather Hip Flask
Available from: Etsy – $26.87
This stainless steel bunny flask is a thoughtful gift that won’t break the bank. The design is etched for a long-lasting effect and the leather sleeve that accompanies it is hand dyed. You can also personalise the sleeve with initials or a name of your choice using the various font types available.
Images via Shutterstock, Etsy and Not On The High Street
Five charming do-it-yourself ideas to transform your Easter into the perfect unique event.
Whether you’re time-poor, hunting for craft ideas for the kids or just want a quirky touch to make your house a little bit more festive, we’ve found an awesome Easter idea for you.
1. Ombre Easter eggs
Ombre has been one of the biggest trends in the last 12 months, influencing everything from hair colour to wedding cakes. So naturally, we swooned when we saw this trend applied to an Easter table setting.
Start by lining up six glasses, filled three quarters full of boiling water. Mix two teaspoons of white vinegar in each glass and stir thoroughly. Then, add two drops of coloured food dye to the first glass and double the number of drops in each glass so that the first is a light colour and the last glass is a dark hue.
Submerge a hard boiled egg in each glass for five minutes or until you’re happy with the colour. Dry it off in an empty carton and continue with remaining eggs to make an ombre egg table setting.
2. Paint card bunting
We love this easy cheat idea to making gorgeous rainbow bunting in ten minutes!
Simply head to your local hardware store for mini sheets of paint colours. If you have left over paint cards from past renovations use those to avoid waste.
Print out an egg shape or use a cookie cutter as a mould. Trace the shape on each paint sheet and carefully cut out each bunting shape. Punch holes at the top and string each egg in order of colour and voila- easy rainbow Easter bunting!
3. Rainbow eggs
Using a pin, prick a small hole in an egg and empty out the contents for cooking. Set aside the empty eggs and wash them so they’re ready for display.
Using different shades of embroidery thread, use a hot glue gun to secure the end of the thread at the bottom of the egg and slowly wind the thread around in a circular motion. Brush a thin layer of glue on the egg every now and then to secure the threat so it sticks tightly to the egg base. Change the colours to your liking and display in a bowl with chocolate eggs.
4. Stylish bunny ears
Who said bunny ears had to be white and fluffy? We love this stylish variation on classic rabbit ears. Twist two long pipe cleaners into the shape of long bunny ears. You might need to use more pipe cleaners and secure them to form one fish-like shape.
Then, wrap tulle around the pipe cleaner ears and glue to secure. Tie the end of the pipe cleaners around a plain headband and decorate the tulle with rhinestones as desired. Done!
5. Mini egg planters
Create mini terrarium-like planters using left over egg shells. Use a knife to carefully crack the egg in half, keeping the shell in tact. Simply pour some soil into the shell and position some small succulents or moss in the planter. Arrange your mini succulent pots in the empty cardboard egg carton and there you have it- a quiky DIY easter garden.
This tasty twist on hot cross buns is a fun way to celebrate the Easter holiday and is sure to leave everyone in the family happy. Vegemite at a time of the year when we all find ourselves over indulging in chocolate and sweet foods, gives your savoury taste-buds a delicious work out.
Using an Aussie classic this recipe delivers and is a great take on an Easter favourite. These are best served warm and with a spread of butter.
10g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup vegemite
1 tbsp caster sugar
20g butter, melted
31⁄2 cups flour, sifted
3⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp water
1 vegemite 145g tube, for topping
- Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and mix until yeast is dissolved. Add the eggs, vegemite, sugar and butter and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour and cheese and mix until combined then knead for 5-8 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and springy.
- Place the dough into a clean bowl and cover. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approx. 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Knock back the dough then knead lightly. Divide into 12 even portions. Knead each lightly then stretch each ball out slightly and place 1⁄2 teaspoon vegemite onto each and roughly knead through.
- Roll each into a smooth bun and place on a greased baking tray with 1cm gap between them. Set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Beat together egg and water then brush over the buns. Using the vegemite tube, squeeze crosses onto the buns.
- Bake in a hot oven 200°C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bases are crisp and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe courtesy of Vegemite Australia
Easter is always a tricky time of year for weight loss. There’s so many delicious goodies out that will add those extra centimetres everywhere you don’t want them. Between the hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and carrot cakes that will be available when you visit family and friends, there are lots of extra calories that can set you back in your weight loss goals and put on that unwanted weight.
Resisting the treats at Easter can be really hard, because everywhere you look, there are temptations. The grocery store is floor to ceiling full of chocolates, there’s Easter eggs on the table at work and everywhere you turn someone is offering you something full of sugar. Be calm, and stay strong. There are a couple of tricks you can use to resist the chocolate and stave off those unwanted calories this year.
When your colleagues are tucking into the Easter treats in the lunch room, distract yourself by making a cup of tea or watching a funny YouTube clip. When you feel like you want chocolate at home, try going for a walk, playing with your pet or doing the laundry instead. Distracting yourself will let the chocolate craving pass and you’ll get more things done.
Staying active will make you feel good and make you think about bad food less. When you’re working so hard to achieve results, you often eat better food to feel good on the inside and look great on the outside. Staying active can keep your mind off the chocolates and on the squats.
Keep It Away
Don’t even buy chocolate to have in the house this year. By removing the temptation, you’re less likely to feel like sneaking a few eggs or a slice of cake. When doing the groceries, avoid the aisles where you know you will feel compelled to the naughty food.
Make It Healthy
If you’re doing Easter at a friend or relative’s this year, make some healthy treats instead of bringing over chocolate. Protein or bliss balls with raw cacao or your own homemade, healthy hot cross buns are a great alternative to the fatty and sugary snacks. That way you also ensure that there will be things there that you can eat.
All In Moderation
If you do feel the need to have a little sugar hit, try to have a small amount of dark chocolate. The dark chocolate will take away your craving without all the added calories from cream and caramel filled eggs.
Images via flowers-kid.com
Did you love Easter when you were a child? It was one of my favourite holidays when I was growing up and now as mum I want my children to fill their own Easter baskets with wonderful memories. Here are some of the fun things we do at home that you can try, too.
1. Easter stories
Easter is not just about eating lots of chocolate and having a good time. Help your children learn more about the meaning of Easter by reading Easter picture books together. Even if you’re not religious, the history of Easter and the symbolic meaning behind it can be interesting to kids and adults.
2. Dyeing Easter eggs
There are different ways to approach this – you can blow the egg out of the shell and dye the shell only or you can dye hard-boiled eggs, which is my family’s tradition. To colour the eggs, use special egg dyes, food colouring or natural dyes (beetroot juice will colour your eggs red and boiled onion peel will make them yellow). To make your eggs even prettier, draw on them with a candle before dyeing, attach a leaf or use stickers.
3. Egg fights
This is not what you’re thinking, there’s no egg throwing involved! The egg fights are a game we play with our hard-boiled dyed eggs and the mess is minimal. Each child picks an egg, then they hit the eggs against each other, first the sharp ends, then the bottom ends. The winner is the person who ends up with their egg intact.
4. Easter egg hunt
For many kids the egg hunt is the most exciting part of Easter, but it finishes too quickly! Most often we just hide chocolate eggs and let the kids find them, but if you want the fun to last longer, you can make the rules more complicated. Prepare clues to take children from one hiding spot to the next or hide a variety of objects and give each child a checklist of what they’re looking for.
5. Cooking together
Do you have a special treat that you only make for Easter? Involve your kids in preparing the traditional meal. Even if you don’t have anything that you’ve been making year after year, it’s never too late to start a new tradition. Try making hot cross buns, a special cake or bunny-shaped cookies.
Do you have your own favourite Easter family activity?
Image via pixabay.com
With Easter just around the corner, it’s so easy to be tempted by all the chocolates lining the supermarket shelves. There’s caramel, strawberry and cream eggs galore, not to mention the bunnies and hollow eggs that you ate for breakfast on Easter Sunday as a child.
Unfortunately, those memories are long gone and we seriously need to consider the sugar, fat and calorie content of treats before tucking in. Binging over Easter can take your body goals off target, as well as adding to your sugar and cholesterol levels and making you feel a bit awful.
Luckily, there are still some little treats that you can indulge in that won’t shoot your calories through the roof, and we’ve sought out the most delicious low calorie Easter chocolate.
2x Cadbury Mini Caramel Eggs = 100 Calories
It may not seem like many, but it will allow you to get rid of that caramel craving quick smart. Two little eggs is just enough to taste the chocolate, but not quite enough to add the unwanted weight. It’s a perfect balance.
1x Cadbury Creme Egg = 172 Calories
The classic Creme egg is a favourite around Easter time. With that deliciously creamy-caramel filling all encased in a Cadbury chocolate egg, it’s a delicious cheat snack for you to indulge in.
Malteser MaltEaster Bunny = 159 Calories
With a crunchy, malty inside, the Malteser bunny is a delicious alternative that keeps your calories in check, but allows a bit of sugary goodness.
Half a box of Cadbury Mini Eggs = 110 Calories
If you have the self control, a little box of Cadbury mini eggs is over two hundred calories. Stop at half the box and leave the rest for another time. Two chocolate cravings sorted in one tiny box.
4x Kinder Mini Eggs = 116 Calories
Relatively new to the shelves, Kinder Mini Eggs are filled with a delicious hazelnut filling. Four little eggs will hit that craving sweet spot.
Kinder Surprise = 111 Calories
Feed your inner child with a Kinder Surprise egg. Even though it’s available all year round, it is often overlooked and passed up for family sized blocks of chocolate. Bring back childhood memories, crack open the egg and see which toy is inside.
Images via skinnyopinion.com, voidlive.com, chocolatebuttons.co.uk, france-export-fv.com and revolvingfloor.com
Hey girl. If you can’t get through each day without a cheeky treat, you may feel slightly more guilty turning to a block of chocolate over looking at a picture of Ryan Gosling. Here, however, are some good reasons as to why you actually should choose that box of Malteasers over a rerun of Blue Valentine.
Chocolate can help warm your toes
Ok, ok. So if you were in a room with the real Ryan Gosling, I’m sure he could warm your toes too. If you only have a picture of him though, it would need to be printed on a thick piece of paper for the same effect. Chocolate warms your toes by improving your blood flow and circulation. There’s a reason you get those hot chocolate cravings in the middle of winter.
Chocolate makes you happy instantly
The coco in chocolate boosts serotonin in the brain which enhances your mood. While watching Crazy Stupid Love can also enhance your mood, it takes a couple more hours to do so. If you’re in need of an instant pick-me-up, chocolate is the way to go.
Chocolate is good for that time of the month
Similarly to the above point, brain serotonin drops prior to and during your period. While a picture of a hunky guy may help a bit at this point, the stimulation of serotonin that comes from a chocolate bar will do a lot more for getting you through the next six days or so.
Chocolate shows you care
One joy of Easter is hiding chocolate for the kids to find and sparking their wonder about a giant rabbit’s generous habits. Similarly, giving a box of chocolates to mum on Mother’s Day says ‘thanks’ for the myriad of dinners she’s cooked for you. Yes, mum would probably like Ryan Gosling too, but he’s not as widely available as a box of Cadbury Favourites.
Chocolate stops you from being sick
The cocoa in chocolate gives you a healthy dose of antioxidants with each mouthful. These antioxidants protect your body’s cells and can work to prevent various forms of sickness. Will Ryan Gosling be there to help protect you from heart disease? I don’t think so.
Chocolate makes people buy romantic literature
Ok, so Ryan Gosling may have the same effect, but we don’t know because this hasn’t been tested under rigorous scientific conditions. A 2013 study however did find that customers in a book shop were more likely to buy a romance novel if they were exposed to the scent of chocolate. If you ever need to shift any old copies of Fifty Shades of Grey at your next garage sale, just rip open a Twix.
Countries that eat more chocolate produce more Nobel Laureates
There is a significant correlation of chocolate consumption and a country’s number of Nobel Prize winners. It is no surprise that Switzerland tops the list both in terms of chocolate intake and Nobel Laureates. If you’re looking to make a serious breakthrough in quantum mechanics, eating a Bounty wouldn’t go astray. To date, there has been no study on how Ryan Gosling affects a country’s production of Nobel Laureates.
Chocolate works like truth serum
A UK survey found that more than 70 per cent of people would reveal their computer password in exchange for a chocolate bar. If you want to hack your friend’s Facebook page to spam it with cat pictures, just give them a block of Dairy Milk. I’m not sure watching The Notebook will give you this kind of access.
Chocolate is widely available
The real Ryan Gosling is not.
All in all, the benefits of chocolate far outweigh the benefits of Ryan Gosling. Now if Ryan Gosling were standing in front of you holding a Crunchie that would be a whole other matter.
This post was written by Jodee Wearne, the owner and manager of Just In Time Gourmet in Perth who provide a wide range of pre-designed gift baskets and create your own hampers as well as a wide range of chocolate goodies!
I love how creative you can be with baking, much more so than cooking. The possibilities are endless, especially when it comes to holiday-themed baking. Since Easter is only a few weeks away, anything egg or bunny shaped suits the occasion, but the following recipe is especially clever as it is not what it seems.
These delicious filled chocolate Easter eggs look like your boiled brekkie egg has been coated in chocolate, but thankfully taste much better as the egg white is creamy cheesecake filling and the yolk is fruity jam goodness. The best part about it is, it’s super easy to make!
Here’s what you need:
6-8 hollow chocolate easter eggs
150g cream cheese, softened
30g (about 1/4 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
125ml (about 1/2 cup) thickened/heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp orange or mango juice
- Carefully cut off the top third of the chocolate eggs with a sharp knife. It doesn’t have to be perfect and actually looks more “real” with uneven edges. Put hollow eggs in the fridge.
- Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Whip cream in a separate bowl and then carefully mix with cream cheese mixture.
- Put the chilled eggs in egg cups and spoon or pipe cream cheese mixture into chocolate egg shells. Chill eggs for at least 30 minutes.
- Slowly melt butter, apricot jam, and juice on low heat and stir until smooth. Chill in fridge until slightly thickened.
- With a small spoon, carefully scoop out a hole in each egg filling and fill hole with the fruity sauce. Keep chilled until serving. Enjoy!
Recipe and image via raspberricupcakes.com
Easter is a time of celebration with friends and family, but just like any holiday it can also be a time of overindulgence. And with supermarket shelves loaded with chocolate eggs and hot-cross-buns, not to mention the festive spirit looming, temptation is high. Going without or going all out doesn’t have to be your only option these holidays – you really can have your chocolate and eat it too. Here’s how to have a guilt-free Easter:
Instead of buying milk chocolate eggs this Easter opt for dark chocolate. It’s richer in antioxidants, lower in sugar and is far less moreish. The higher the cocoa content the better it is for your health, so try to go for a 75% cocoa or higher variation to ensure you reap the maximum benefits.
Get into the Easter spirit this year and make your own goodies. There are loads of healthy and delicious recipes available on the internet and it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained over the school holidays. Why not try making your own chocolate eggs with some coconut oil, cacao powder and rice malt syrup? Melt all the ingredients together and place into Easter egg moulds (or any mould) and refrigerate until hard. You can also add things like raspberries, nuts and coconut before cooling to add some flavour and extra texture.
Don’t go OTT
Going over the top during the holidays is usually the undoing of healthy habits. Avoid the temptation to overindulge this Easter by moderating the amount of treats you eat. Allow yourself one day over the Easter weekend to eat chocolate, or input your sweets into your calorie count for the day. Remember, moderation is key!
Take it easy
It’s easy to go overboard with chocolate gifts at Easter, particularly if you’re buying for your children. And while the intention is good, the adults usually end up sharing in the chocolate load over the course of the weekend, if not the weeks to follow. This year cut back on the dairy milk and opt for gifts like baking kits and plush bunnies, or if you’re gifting a partner why not try a nice bottle of wine or a cheese hamper?
Get in some extra exercise
If you know you’re going to let your hair down over the Easter break, then try to fit in some additional gym classes in the weeks leading up. You’ll burn extra calories, meaning those sneaky hot cross buns won’t go straight to your hips and you’ll be feeling great, which decreases the temptation to overindulge. If you your schedule is already choc-o-block (pardon the pun), try to get in some exercise between celebrations over the Easter weekend such as a walk, swim or bike ride.
Image via Shutterstock
The temptation of brightly coloured eggs have been lining our supermarket shelves for months and in just a few days the chocolate bonanza will begin. Kate Troup, naturopath and founder of W8less 40 Day Challenge, is here to tell you that indulging in that chocolate Easter Bunny may have some hidden benefits for you:
Denying yourself something that you want can make the cravings worse and end up in a binge. Planning ahead and having just one small Easter egg is better than convincing yourself that you won’t have any and ending up scoffing down the whole bag of them. Consider it the “controlled burning” approach to chocolate: a little bit of something bad now to prevent an out of control rampage later.
Build better relationships
Traditions are important in our increasingly isolated society. Loneliness is a significant risk factor for long term health problems and it affects people of all ages. Occasionally relaxing your stance on eating a certain food for the sake of being sociable could actually help improve your health.
Because you can
Gratitude is the foundation of positivity. Positive people live longer and suffer fewer health conditions. So rather than getting stressed over the struggle to resist the temptation of Easter eggs, enjoy a small treat and feel grateful that you are in the position to do so.
Your heart will love you for it
Chocolate is good for your heart and not just because it’s an aphrodisiac. Chocolate helps lower blood pressure, increase the level of good cholesterol and improve the function of blood vessels. In fact, one study found that heart attack survivors who ate chocolate reduced their risk of dying from heart disease threefold compared to people who avoided it.
It helps keep you slim
Chocolate might actually protect you from diabetes and obesity. Antioxidants called flavonols seem to improve sensitivity to insulin and improve the metabolism of sugar, both of which are important in the prevention of diabetes.
Now, after all that good news all that’s left is to choose a healthy Easter egg option. The best thing to look for is a smaller portioned egg with 85 per cent cocoa as the darker the chocolate, the better.
Easter is a joyous occasion and we all look forward to enjoying some time off to relax, spend time with family and friends and of course indulge in Easter treats. And for most of us, food is at the heart of our Easter celebrations, but for those struggling with their weight, this can represent a stressful and confronting time.
But armed with some simple tips, from Andrea Baker from The Biggest Loser Retreat, Easter needn’t be a time where a focus on diet can spoil enjoyment or celebration.
1. Don’t deprive yourself. Depriving yourself at a time when temptation is high can lead to a binge or blow out. Instead, choose morning tea as the time to have your treats rather than later in the day or after dinner when your body will not have as much time to burn these extra calories as fuel.
2. Choose quality over quantity. Instead of buying mountains of cheap Easter eggs that you may feel compelled to eat ‘because they are there’, invest in good quality dark Belgium chocolate. The extra you spend will be saved in calories.
3. Make a pact with yourself to walk every day over Easter. An easy 30-minute walk everyday will help you burn the extra calories and make you feel in control of your eating when you are offsetting it with some exercise.
4. Distract your cravings. If you have had your quota of treats but are still craving more, let yourself be distracted by something else for 15 minutes to see if the craving passes. If it doesn’t, don’t deprive yourself, have some, but use the tips above to monitor your intake.
5. Choose a healthier chocolate option. Rather than store bought chocolate, why not make a healthy chocolate cake like the recipe provided by our Executive Chef David Hunter. It is not only delicious, nutritious and guilt free, but the kids will love it too.