I have fond memories of Easter as a child, most notably of chocolate egg-hunting in the backyard with my Father. He would walk alongside me, drop an egg behind a bush when I wasn’t looking and then excitedly say “Oh look, there’s one!” Thanks Dad.
People who know me know that I am still like a kid at heart. I love to have fun, enjoy treats, and celebrate. As a nutritionist, that can be difficult to rationalize, but I have been working on ways to indulge, and feel good about it. I love to bake, and have been experimenting with natural ingredients, including herbal food colouring. Now that Easter is here, it’s the perfect time to have some more fun with this.
We’ve all seen them, the little mini-cupcakes in the grocery store’s bakery section, topped with colourful frosting, just begging to be eaten up. Unfortunately, commercial food colouring has been linked to many unpleasant things like allergies, ADHD, and even cancer. As good as they look, I would much rather make my own cupcakes , with high quality natural ingredients, and top them with naturally-coloured frosting. Why take a chance with artificial dyes, when herbs can look just as good, and give you nice things like enhanced immunity, pain-relief and protection from cancer? Just look at how cute they are! And there’s no funky herbal taste either. The yellow cupcakes are flavoured with lemon juice and zest, while the pink were supposed to be grapefruit, but need some more work (they still taste good!)
By using ingredients like unbleached flour, organic cane sugar, and aluminum-free baking powder, you can control the quality of your cupcake, decreasing the potential harm this little treat could do to your body. Turmeric and beetroot, the herbs I used for colouring, are readily available, so do not feel intimidated. Just mix some herb powder with water and add a little bit to your frosting, and watch the colour develop. It’s a lot of fun, and you will feel great using natural ingredients.
As a side note, you can also use foods to dye eggs for Easter. There is a lot of info available online about this, and trying it out was really interesting. I learned that eggs boiled with beet, but then rinsed in water actually turn beige, and eggs boiled with red cabbage turn blue. Who knew?
If you have any recipe questions, or tips on cupcakes or egg-dying, please leave me a comment, or email me.
Don’t forget, spring is a great time to make changes in your life, and your diet. I offer a free introductory consultation if you are thinking of working with a nutritionist. Please visit www.lemonholistic.com.