Easter can be a really difficult time of year for families and children with food intolerances – dairy chocolate fills the supermarket aisles and the smell of freshly baked hot cross buns wafts out of bakeries.  The last thing you want is for your child to miss out!  We are pretty lucky to live in a society now where food intolerances and allergies are well recognised, and there are some really great alternatives for all kinds of foods – including all our favourite Easter treats!

Today I’m sharing with you my super yummy and super simple chocolate recipe.  This is a dark chocolate, so when I make it for children I tend to use a little less cacao powder and a little more sugar to make it sweeter and less bitter.  Most kids love will love it! I usually pop a hazelnut or almond on top of mine before I freeze them, but obviously you can just omit the nuts if there are any allergies in your family.

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Cups
Makes 8-10 chocolates

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/8 cup coconut sugar

8-10 hazelnuts

 

Method:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until liquid.
  2. Add cacao and coconut sugar, and remove from heat, stirring well to combine.
  3. Once combined, pour into small patty cases, and top each one with a hazelnut.
  4. Freeze for at least 10 minutes, until solid, and enjoy! They will keep in the freezer for up to one month.

 

Teresa Cutter is a chef with a great knack for creating intolerance-friendly and wholesome recipes.  Her grain-free hot cross bun recipe is shared below.  You can find her at www.thehealthychef.com.

Gluten Free/Grain Free Hot Cross Buns
Makes 14

  • 300g (3 cups) ground almonds/almond meal
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/4 cup macadamia oil or light olive oil
  • 2 generous tbsps honey
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 80g dried cranberries or cherries
  • 50g dairy free chocolate, chopped, + extra for crosses (you can also use white chocolate instead)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Scoop or spoon out 14 small portions onto a baking tray (you can use an ice cream scoop!)
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle dark chocolate crosses on top if you like.

 

There are also a few really great companies that specialise in food alternatives for children with intolerances. Happy Tummies have an amazing online store where you can search on the sidebar according to what intolerances you or your children have – they have a range of products free from eggs, dairy, gluten, nuts, soy and wheat, and even some low sugar options, so you’re sure to find something that your family can eat.  They’ve got some really good Easter products which will definitely make your child feel included in the Easter festivities – with chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies and everything else you could possibly think of!  Because let’s face it, homemade chocolate is yummy, but it’s not as exciting when it’s not wrapped in pretty foil and shaped into a bunny!  Check out Happy Tummies to have a look at the huge range of choices they have for Easter, and imagine the look on your child’s face when they get a real chocolate bunny for Easter!

Another great way to celebrate Easter with your children, regardless of whether they have food intolerances, is to give some non-food gifts as well.  I know for many families, pyjamas as an Easter gift are somewhat of a tradition.  Books, crafts or movie tickets  are all great gift options too.  Make sure your children know that the most important part of Easter is spending quality time with their family.  Maybe you could take your children out individually, and give them a special day with your undivided attention and no other siblings around.  Maybe you could let them help you in the kitchen, if that’s what they like to do.  Even something as simple as spending time getting crafty and creative with your kids really means a lot to them – it’s important that Easter is not just about chocolate.

It’s your family, and your Easter – do it your way!