6 comforting, heart-healthy recipes for a happy Easter.News /
This is going to be an Easter unlike any other in recent memory. We are living in a time of social distancing, working from home, and separation from family and friends. These behaviours are even more critical for people living with heart disease, as they are more vulnerable to severe complications from COVID-19 (coronavirus).
When times are difficult, sharing a meal with loved ones (as long as you live in the same home) can bring comfort.
Now, more than ever is the time to enjoy simple heart-healthy foods to help celebrate the Easter holiday season.
Your first step is picking up heart-healthy ingredients
Your local supermarket may be experiencing stock shortages as supply chains work to meet a big jump in demand for specific products. To help when you are missing ingredients, we have included “swaps”, so you can still create these tasty dishes (using substitutes where needed)
Before we get to the recipes (we’re sure the anticipation is building!), here are some general tips for swapping between heart-healthy ingredients:
Fresh fruit, vegetables – swap with frozen, no added salt tinned varieties, fruit tinned in natural juice (drained) or alternative dried fruit options, including apricots and sultanas.
Wholegrains – switch between varieties. Be sure to check cooking times for pasta rice, quinoa and couscous.
Healthy proteins – swap white fish for salmon or tinned fish varieties with a similar texture. Firm fish can be replaced with alternative firm protein, including chicken breast or tofu. Legumes like chickpeas and lentils may be suitable swaps in other heart-healthy recipes.
Healthy fats - switch between healthy oils, such as olive, sunflower, canola, peanut, and sesame oil. Did you know seeds, unsalted nuts, avocado and olives also contain healthy fats which add flavour and texture to dishes?
Fresh herbs and spices – swap for dried or ground herbs, lemon or lime juice or vinegar. Also boost food flavours with spices and herbs, instead of adding salt (it’s the sodium in salt that is bad for your heart).
Looking for inspiration? Try these recipes for delicious, heart-healthy Easter meals
Get your teeth into the heart-healthy snack everyone in the family will love! The Heart Foundation’s fruity hot cross scones feature pumpkin, ricotta, buttermilk, currants and mixed spices. This recipe can be made ahead and freezes well into individual scones. These scones take 25 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook; the delicious results make this recipe one the kids will love to help with.
Do you prefer a savoury start to your day? Discover our Easter tarts; they are easy to prepare, and you make them with everyday ingredients, like wholemeal bread, eggs, and colourful vegies. Serve these veggie tarts with our side salad; this boosts your vegetable intake and gives you the benefits of healthy fats from olive oil and avocado.
Looking for some easy ways to change up this recipe?:
- Swap wholemeal bread for a multigrain alternative
- Swap spinach, capsicum, for tomato, corn or peas
Bursting with delicious, fresh herb flavours, even people who don’t usually enjoy fish will get caught up in the taste of these fish cakes. With two serves of vegetables per serve, this dish is better than takeaway! Plus, your taste buds will tingle with flavours including coriander, lime and curry.
Add your own twist:
- Use a different firm white fish or use drained tinned salmon
- Use dried herbs
Fish fingers are a staple of Aussie comfort foods: this recipe is a heart-healthy version of the all-time classic.
These seafood bites are covered with quinoa and sesame seed panko crumb, giving these fish fingers serious crunch! Serve with a refreshing yoghurt and lemon base tartare sauce.
Go against the tide with these alternative approaches:
- Swap white fish fillets for salmon or alternative protein (like chicken breast)
- Swap sweet potato for mixed roast vegetables or frozen vegetables
Head to the Mediterranean with this recipe! Catch three and a half serves of vegetables per serve, as well as healthy fats from fish, pine nuts and olive oil.
Swim upstream with these swaps:
- Use salmon or alternative firm protein
- Use mixed frozen vegetables
- Use other unsalted nuts, such as almonds, almond flakes or use a seed mix
Once Easter is done, try a fruity breakfast sensation that mixes oats, wholemeal flour, and a fruit and nut topping.
March to your own beat with these alternatives:
- Swap fresh fruit and berries for banana or drained tinned peaches
Looking for more delicious, heart-healthy Easter recipes? Download your free Easter recipes eBook.
We hope you enjoy the coming holiday break, even though we are experiencing real challenges this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay safe and have a Happy Easter from all of us at the Heart Foundation.