Easter eggs seem to have become so commercialised they have lost any of their real significance. This, by the way, predates any Christian connection. Before examining what they are made from, and why you should consider making your own healthy easter eggs, let’s just have a quick look at the origin, the real significance of them.
Easter eggs first appeared in the Pagan times. The Pagan times started around 10,000 BC. In the northern hemisphere, the timing of Easter is in the spring, when the significance is of new growth, new life, renewal. The egg is the start of new life. The celebrations were that winter was over, spring is here. And Easter tends to fall in April, the month of the spring equinox.
People exchanged eggs as a symbol of new creation, of nature’s rebirthing a new year, new life, new harvests.
The word Easter comes from the words Eostur, Eostre, Eastar, Ostara or Ostar.
Ancient civilisations, such as the Egyptians, the Persians, the Phoenicians and the Hindus also have a common thread with eggs and the start of life on Earth.
Christianity adopted this ancient festival, claiming it as their own, with various adaptations down through the ages.
It does leave one wondering about the significance of the easter eggs and Easter in the southern hemisphere. Why are we celebrating winter is over, when it is just beginning? Something to do with the illogicality of the human? The dominance of the northern hemisphere? Pure commercialism? Tradition? Who knows. People don’t always look for the reason behind a day or two off work!
But getting into the nitty gritty of how easter eggs are made is another matter entirely.
Chocolate is considered to be one of the few superfoods. It is nutritionally superior to many common foods. BUT, only in its raw state.
The main chocolate producers process the raw chocolate so much, the resulting chocolate has little nutritional value. But that’s not the end of the story.
Chocolate is expensive. So sugar is used as the main ingredient. This makes the cocoa go further. Cocoa butter is also expensive. So the common chocolate makers use cheaper oils instead.
Around the world, these cheap vegetable oils come from cotton, soy and canola. All of these have been genetically modified. It is estimated that 90% of the cotton grown in Australia is GM. This will be the same across the world, unless there is a government policy to ban its growth.
Any oil in the supermarket, or listed in ingredients in processed foods (including chocolate and easter eggs) as ‘vegetable oil’, rather than a specific oil, is likely to be from these sources.
Easter eggs are favourites with children. You might like to reflect on the potential harm you are inflicting on their growing bodies, not just from the excess sugar, but from the GM oils.
True Food, from Greenpeace, do keep an updated list of those products which contain GM ingredients. Check them out for your country.
Making your own chocolate, and then moulding them into easter eggs, may not be that difficult. And they are a lot more healthy.
To make the chocolate, combine 2 parts raw cacao with one part honey (or other healthy sweetener) and one part coconut oil or cacao butter. Add any further ingredients of your choice, such as fruit or nuts. Adjust to your taste.
This is truly decadent and out performs any chocolate on the market on health grounds. You can create your own variations as you see fit.
Have healthy easter eggs this year and celebrate the start of new life. Here in Western Australia, the wet winter is a welcome relief from the hot, dry summer, so many plants do ‘spring’ into new growth, even if the animals wait until spring.
For more information about healthy foods and recipes, click here.