While it’s a lovely time in the family calendar, Easter can be challenging for anyone with a serious sweet tooth and for parents with the dual aims of imparting an Easter message without the sugar overload.
However, it is an opportunity for families to create their own traditions around Easter. Families are made up of the stories we tell ourselves about how we grew up, the values of our family. So, this Easter I have two recipes for you… one is a slightly less sugary version of mini easter eggs that you can use to tempt the kids; the second is one that has a place in our Easter traditions – a remake of a favourite that is nutrient dense and a personal favourite of mine.
Pancakes are a family holiday special in my household, but starting the day with a highly processed food is the way to set up a day of highs and lows in your blood sugar. Instead, I developed these higher protein pancakes that are simple to make with or without the use of a blender. They are still a little sweet and completely filling, especially when finished off with some sliced banana, berries, mango and yoghurt. It’s ok to splurge and add a little maple syrup and your favourite toppings because the base provides more nutrients that a regular pancake.
It’s high in fibre and protein due to the combination of buckwheat and oats. Both
significantly contributes to our feelings of fullness, while also supporting a healthy gut microbiome and our energy requirements. The whole grain of oat and buckwheat are key sources of vitamins B2 and B6, both associated with reducing risk of depression and anxiety, therefore supporting our mood and mental health. Best of all though, these pancakes reduce the pressure parents feel to both keep up the traditions of Easter and holidays while also addressing their family’s health.
Chocolate Almond Butter Eggs
My second recipe is simply a lovely Easter treat which would be loads of fun to make with your children, grandchildren or simply to keep in the freezer for an individual sized treat. They contain less than 1g of sugar per serve and should keep your kids feeling full for some time. Almonds particularly, are an abundant source of magnesium for your family.
Magnesium is actually at the core of the chlorophyll molecule (which makes our plants green) and this gives us a clue as to where the most abundant sources are: spinach, broccoli, silverbeet, kale, but also pumpkin seeds, chia, almonds, kidney beans, black beans and edamame.
Why is Magnesium important?
- It’s used in more than 300 chemical reactions in our bodies and we regularly lose it through sweat.
- It can help to prevent headaches associated with menstrual periods.
- It calms the nervous system which can help to limit anxiety and improve sleep quality. It does this by supporting receptors that help to control nerve excitement in the brain and muscles.
- It can support an improvement in insulin resistance, meaning your body can become more effective at removing glucose from the blood stream where is causes damage. This helps to lower inflammation.
- Magnesium relaxes smooth muscle improving our stress responses and it contributes to the management of our blood pressure.
- In order to metabolise and activate vitamin D, we require magnesium. It also increases calcitonin, helping to deposit calcium into our bones.