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Grow with Nutrition

Easter Celebration

 

Do you have a favourite Easter Food Tradition?

Whether it is to celebrate a religious festivity or the welcoming of spring, Easter has become a holiday welcomed by all and enjoyed with many fun food traditions.  Here are some popular examples.

 Eggs – renewal of life

  • First one up is the Easter egg which is thought to represent the renewal of life.
    • As many of you have probably done so, picking up a marker or some dye during the week leading up to Easter has probably led you to colouring images and designs on an egg, as part of a tradition.
    • Hard boiled eggs are either left as decorations from your child’s school project or enjoyed around the table during whatever celebration you have during the Easter holiday.

Why Ham?

  • Ham was a natural choice prepared for Easter dinner many years ago before refrigeration systems had been developed.
    • Meat that were prepared and preserved in the fall months were not quite ready to be eaten come the Easter holiday, with the exception of the pigs that were done in time to put ham on the table. And so, ham became the traditional protein component for that meal. Today it continues to be a popular main dish.

Chocolate – just a little will do it!

  • Cadbury only released the first chocolate egg in 1873 in England. From then on, the concept spread across all continents and now children and adults worldwide see chocolate as a symbol of Easter. Do you have a favourite chocolate Easter treat?  One that was found running around in an Easter egg hunt or sharing an Easter gift basket with a friend.  There is a Lindt store in my city and every Easter I go there to find chocolate bunnies, rabbits, chicks and my favourite the carrot umbrellas. The key is to have these yummy treats in moderation.

 Keep balance in mind

I always suggest a balance approach to the diet, so have a bit of chocolate throughout the weekend,  but be sure to include lots of nutrient packed foods over the holiday as well. Here is delish side dish with some sweet (maple syrup) sure to be a great accompany to any of your festive meals!

Melange of Roasted Baby Vegetables (recipe adapted from www.eatingwell.com/)

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pearl onions
  • 2 cups baby carrots (1/4 inch of greens left on) , or mini carrots
  • 12 ounces baby turnips, peeled (1/4 inch of greens left on) and halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, or lemon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the onions, carrots, turnips, oil, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, salt, pepper and thyme sprigs in a large bowl; toss to coat well. Spread the vegetable mixture in a single layer on a large baking sheet with sides. Roast, turning the vegetables twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots, about 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl; remove thyme stems. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon syrup, vinegar and 1 tablespoon parsley; toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve!

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