How to have an egg-stremely healthy Easter

Easter can be your first major hurdle if you’ve kicked off the year in a healthy way. But fear not, you can have your cake (OK, chocolate) and eat it too.

For those watching their waistlines and working on their health and fitness, Easter can be a truly tricky time. Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, hot cross buns… we could go on.

But consider this. A Creme Egg may take just a few (admittedly delicious) seconds to consume but burning it off requires a full hour of swimming, according to research.

“I get it, you set those New Year’s resolutions and you’re getting into the swing of eating well, exercising and staying on track and along comes the Easter long weekend, tempting you with all of the delights we know and love from this holiday season,” says best-selling cookbook author, fitness coach and House of Wellness TV co-host Luke Hines.

“But I’ve got good news: you can head into Easter incredibly confident that you can have your cake and eat it too – or in this instance, Easter treats!”

All chocolate not is created equal

Dietitian Teri Lichtenstein says the first key to healthy eating habits at Easter is to not “demonise” chocolate, but rather try to “savour it in small amounts”.

And the darker the chocolate the better. She says products containing at least 200mg of cocoa flavanols (bio-active compounds found in plants) can improve blood vessels elasticity, which helps with blood flow (and that means wellness).

“And happily, dark chocolate pairs very well with a range of fruits and vegetables including oranges and beetroot,” Teri says.

“With less than 4 four per cent of Australians eating enough veggies every day and only 30 per cent eating enough fruit, why not try getting a bang for your buck this Easter by combining chocolate deliciousness with fruit and veg goodness.”

Make it a mindful Easter

Use the time off to focus on a little self-care, adds workout guru Tiffiny Hall.

“Easter is a great opportunity to reset your exercise routine and prepare for the colder months ahead,” says the popular TV personality.

“Can you sneak in some extra workouts over Easter to feel more empowered? Take some time out to engage in some mindfulness and meditation? Anything that focuses on helping you to feel healthier mentally and physically over this time will be a huge head start.”

There’s an added benefit to combining the two. A US study found that when meditation and exercise are practised in tandem – in a twice-a-week routine – both might be even more beneficial than the sum of their parts, especially for those with depression.

Healthy Easter treat recipes

Our experts have come up with three delectably delicious healthy Easter recipes that will satisfy every last sweet tooth craving and leave you feeling great.

Simple Snickers Bites (low-carb, keto, gluten-free and dairy-free)

Simple Snickers Bars

(Recipe and image from The Fast Low-Carb Kickstart Plan, written by Luke Hines and available in bookstores and online.)

“This will crunch those cravings, and keep you looking and feeling your best,” Luke says.


  • 200g low-carb low-sugar dark chocolate, melted, at room temperature
  • 80g (1/2 cup) peanuts, roughly chopped, toasted
  • Sea salt

For the peanut butter filling:

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) canned coconut cream
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted
  • 250g (1 cup) smooth peanut butter
  • 115g (1/2 cup) raw cacao butter
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) Lakanto maple flavoured monk fruit syrup or maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt


Step 1.
For the peanut butter filling, place all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and melt together, stirring constantly, until nice and runny. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10–15 minutes.

Step 2.
Once slightly cooled, pour your mixture into a silicone square ice cube tray and transfer to the freezer to set for a minimum of one hour or until completely firm.

Step 3.
When you’re ready to assemble the “Snickers” bites, melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring as you go, until thick and creamy. Set aside to cool to room temp.

Step 4.
Remove one of the frozen peanut fillings from the mould and, using tongs, a spoon or even your fingers, dip it in the melted chocolate. Place on a wire rack and quickly top with the chopped peanuts and a pinch of salt. Repeat with the remaining filling pieces, working quickly before the chocolate completely sets.

Step 5.
Transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes to chill and firm before enjoying. (These bites will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to seven days or in the freezer for up to three months.)

Good to know: For a thicker chocolate coating, re-freeze the bites after coating with the chocolate (and before sprinkling over the peanuts and salt). Leave to set completely, then coat again before applying the toppings as before.

Makes 12

Blender Beetroot Brownie

Blender beetroot brownie

(Recipe and image from In Praise of Veg by Alice Zaslavsky, photography by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books RRP $59.99. See more online.)

“This delicious chocolate-beetroot brownie by Alice is extremely yummy and is exactly the sort of Easter treat we’ve been talking about,” Teri says.


  • 1 orange (preferably organic)
  • 1 beetroot (beet) of a similar size to the orange, plus one small finely sliced beetroot
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 200g dark chocolate, melted, plus 50g extra, chopped for the top
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 cups (200g) almond meal
  • ½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour
  • ½ cup (55g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (70g) walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt flakes
    yoghurt, to serve


Step 1.
Boil the whole orange and beetroot together in a saucepan, topping up with boiling water regularly to keep covered. Cook for about one hour, until both are soft and you can put a skewer through.

Step 2.
Line a 20cm x 30cm brownie tin or skillet with baking paper. (Line all the way up the sides if using a brownie tin but for the skillet version, simply lining the base will do.)

Step 3.
When the beetroot is cool enough to handle (but still warm), use some paper towel or a teaspoon to create some friction and help slip the skin off.

Step 4.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Step 5.
Pop the warm beet in a blender or food processor, along with the orange, butter and the 200g of chocolate. Blitz to combine, keeping the machine whirring until a smooth purée forms. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and blitz until incorporated.

Step 6.
In a bowl, mix together the almond meal, flour, cocoa, walnuts and baking powder, then add these to your blitz-machine and give it a few pulses, until the lumps of flour have mostly incorporated – but not too much, lest you bake a brick!

Step 7.
Pour the batter into the brownie tin or skillet, then dot with the extra chocolate and beetroot slices and sprinkle with salt flakes. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the brownie is fudgey and still moist. Don’t bother doing the skewer test … it’ll lead you astray.

Step 8.
Allow to cool slightly before digging in. Serve warm with yoghurt as a decadent pudding, or cut into small slices for lunchboxes and mid-afternoon snacking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, where it’ll happily keep for at least one week (but who are we kidding here?).

Serves six to eight.

Tiff’s Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Gluten free Hot Cross Buns

(Recipe and image from Tiffiny Hall’s online health and fitness program, TIFFXO)

“Easter doesn’t have to be a time you eat all the things and fall off the wagon,” Tiffiny says. “Of course one little treat won’t make a difference, but a chocolate binge will.”


  • 1 cup of almond milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 470g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 13 cup honey, warmed
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 12 tsp salt
  • 70g sultanas
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 tbs honey, for the glaze

For the paste:

  • 13 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp cocoa
  • 13 cup water


Step 1.
Combine the milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon of honey in a jug and stir to combine. Set aside until mixture foams, then mix in the zest and allow to infuse.

Step 2.
In a large mixing bowl add the flour, cocoa, warmed honey, mixed spice, salt, sultanas, melted butter, egg and yeast mixture. Mix until combined then turn out onto bench and knead until the dough is smooth. Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and sit in a warm place for one hour until doubled in size.

Step 3.
Line a 30cm x 20cm cake tin with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 180°c. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, roll into smooth balls and arrange snuggly in tin. Cover and allow to rise again for a further 30 minutes.

Step 4.
In a small bowl mix together the paste ingredients, transfer to a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 30 minutes.

Step 5.
For the glaze, place the orange juice and 1 tablespoon of honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the syrup reduces slightly and thickens.

Step 6.
Brush hot buns with glaze and allow to cool slightly before serving with extra butter.

Makes 12

 Recipe credits:

In Praise of Veg by Alice Zaslavsky, photography by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books RRP $59.99. See more online.)

The Fast Low-Carb Kickstart Plan, by Luke Hines and available in bookstores and online.

Tiffiny Hall’s online health and fitness program: TIFFXO

Written by Liz McGrath.