The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 16, 2014

Amanda Stone: Easter baskets can include healthier treats

CARTHAGE, Mo. — If the Easter Bunny had his way, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be loading up Easter baskets with candy. Bunnies don't eat that stuff.

Maybe I'm taking things too far this time, but I'm just going to say it: Chocolate bunnies are morbid. The hollow ones from the grocery store aren't even that tasty, as far as chocolate goes. They can hardly be classified as chocolate. This year, use Easter baskets as a lesson on bunnies by including a rabbit's favorite foods. Carrot sticks with individual packs of hummus or almond butter are great.

If you don't want your kid to hate the Easter Bunny, include some sweet stuff, but choose wisely. Drizzle banana and strawberry slices with chocolate; sprinkle them with nuts for an added protein crunch. Plastic eggs are great for portion control; fill them with cocoa-dusted almonds, trail mix and dried fruit. Homemade goldfish crackers and fruit snacks are a great addition.

Load your Easter baskets with some fun outdoor stuff, too. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water guns and sandbox toys are always winners. Make a garden-themed basket by including gloves, seeds and a cute watering can. Older kids may act too cool for Easter baskets, but they still want in on the fun. You can use the same snacks for them, and perhaps a new beach towel or swim suit. The Easter Bunny loves summer fun.

Recently I had the pleasure of touring two of our area's candy factories. Candy House Gourmet Chocolates and Minerva Candy Company both have lots of homemade treats for Easter baskets. After much salivating from the sheer proximity to an abundance of chocolate, I came home inspired. I also came home with some chocolate. I'm only so strong.

This year I'm going to make a healthier version of my favorite Easter treat, chocolate and peanut butter eggs. Try these recipes to help create a cleaner Easter basket.


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