When I say the word “Easter” – what comes to mind? Family? An extra long weekend away from work? I’m willing to bet the first thing you thought of was chocolate. (How much do you owe me??) Easter seems to be synonymous with chocolate. I definitely have memories of running around the house trying to find all the goodies left behind by the Easter bunny. Unfortunately, the chocolate you’re running out to buy your kids for your Easter egg hunt is filled with some pretty nasty stuff. Loads of sugar, corn syrup, and dyes (among other things). While checking out labels this week I noticed that a well known Easter candy contained Tartrazine, a food dye. It is derived from coal tar (ew). At my house, we’ve decided to stay away from buying these sugar laden treats and instead give our daughter stuff that she can use, play with or get creative with.
This is what my daughter is getting this year: sidewalk chalk, two bottles of nail polish (free from lots of the nasty stuff that is in traditional nail polish), her favorite snack – dates and pumpkin seeds, some hair accessories, stickers, and some homemade story stones to add to her collection.
So what do we do with all of this? We have bought reusable empty eggs that we can fill with these small things. I scored a giant sized one this year that I will be able to roll a new pair of leggings into for her. We keep all of the empty eggs in a bag and store it so next year we can do the same thing.
Some other ideas you could consider are: a small toy, art supplies or a book. It isn’t a prerequisite to buy a whole bunch of stuff. AND – the time you spend with your child is worth way more than anything that the Easter bunny could ever leave them.
After the hunt, why not spend some quality time making your own homemade chocolate with your kids? It is super simple, ready very quickly and the best part – all of the ingredients actually contain some benefit for you.
This chocolate bark is dairy free (awesome for anyone who is dairy intolerant or sensitive!!) It uses maple syrup instead of any refined white sugar. Maple syrup contains trace minerals, and so when used in small amounts is a great alternative sweetener. It uses coconut oil which is an excellent source of healthy fats. And to top it all off – it contains cinnamon which is known to help balance blood sugar. Now, who can say their store-bought chocolate does that?
What would chocolate bark be without the chocolate? Cacao powder is a full of antioxidants, contains protein and extremely valuable minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium. Magnesium is an incredible mineral that is well known to help the body relax.
Yes. I am telling you that this chocolate may actually help your kids relax. You’re welcome 😉
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoons cacao butter*
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Coconut flakes
- Pumpkin seeds
- Goji berries
- In a double boiler on low heat, slowly melt the coconut oil and cacao butter until just melted.
- Once melted, take off of heat and add in cacao powder, maple syrup and cinnamon. Use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
- Prepare a baking sheet** with parchment paper and pour mixture into the centre of the parchment. Top with any toppings you would like.
- Place in freezer for twenty minutes or until frozen.
- *optional but will help make it more solid
- **if you would like a thicker bark, use a smaller container. Just use parchment paper which will help make it easier to remove once frozen.