Next to Christmas, Easter is my favorite holiday. Of course, when I was a kid, it was all about waiting for the Easter bunny, hunting around the house for colored eggs, unearthing baskets of goodies and finding the one special present that my parents always got for me and my brother on Easter. Then we’d get dressed up for church in clothes I hated wearing and cram ourselves in with the holiday crowd. The rest of the day would be spent relaxing and eating too much candy.
I’m much happier now that I’ve found a church with both a sunrise and regular Easter Sunday service and messages firmly rooted in Scripture that focus on the true meaning of this special time of year. It’s much more uplifting than anything we ever did when I was a kid–but I also wouldn’t trade those memories of scouting around the house in my PJs, looking for the stash of chocolate that I knew was hidden somewhere.
Though I’m not a huge candy fan any more for various reasons, I still love me a good seasonal treat. That’s why most of the recipes in this roundup are for cookies, candies and sweet breads–including some makeovers of Easter favorites from my childhood.
(Note that most of these recipes contain oil in some way, shape or form. Feel free to use oil-free substitutes if you wish!)
HEALTHY Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Eggs from The Kitchen McCabe — These “egg” candies feature a decadent peanut butter center and a raw chocolate coating for a healthier version of a certain brand’s popular yearly Easter offering.
Vegan Cadbury Creme Eggs from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan! — When you’re a kid, there’s nothing like biting the top off a Cadbury egg and sucking out the cream. Or splitting it in half and feeling your teeth dance as you slowly make your way through the center. Enjoy that ridiculously sweet sensation in a wholly vegan way with this awesome recipe.
Easter “Egg” Sugar Cookies from Alien’s Day Out — Who needs eggs (and all the cruelty of the egg industry) when there are egg-shaped sugar cookies with pastel-colored frosting?
Chocolate Cinnamon Tea Bread from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes — Starting with a base of spelt bread and earthy cinnamon, this loaf becomes a slightly “sinful” dessert with the addition of chocolate chunk crumble topping.
And just so you don’t completely rot your teeth out of your head before the holiday is over, here are a few ideas for foods that aren’t strictly for dessert:
Mixed Greens Salad with Beets and Walnuts from Veg Kitchen — Beets get a tangy makeover in this colorful salad courtesy of Nava Atlas. Combined with carrots, walnuts and leafy greens, it’s a healthy way to start off your main Easter meal (or to detox after all the chocolate).
Deviled “Eggs” from Happy Herbivore — Made with potatoes, hummus and black salt, these healthy little “devils” look just like the traditional appetizer but contain none of the fat or cholesterol.
Vegan Ricotta Pie — Another update of a classic in the QV household, this sweet “cheese” pie uses two kinds of tofu to mimic the texture of traditional ricotta. (Though now I’m wondering if there’s a way to get the same results with a nut-based cheese!)
Finally, if you just can’t decide what to make, try this tasty list of suggestions from Oh She Glows.
Do you have any Easter favorites that you’ve veganized or want to make vegan? Share in the comments!