Heather Mills looks forward to a guilt-free Easter
Easter is almost here and I’m sure many of you want to enjoy your chocolate treat without the guilt of it being the indulgent season. Well, here is a fantastic piece of news – guilt free chocolate does exist!
These last few years there has been a significant rise in the quality of vegan, organic chocolate. At my restaurant, VBites, we have a great range of organic and vegan chocolate that is just right to give as an Easter gift – that is, if you can bear parting with it.
All over the county, companies are waking up to the benefits of vegan, organic chocolate. It is kinder on the waistline, has health benefits, is better for the environment and tastes fantastic! Vegan chocolate is one of the staple foods in any vegan kitchen; I often use it in cakes, muffins and desserts (check out this week’s recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie) to add that indulgent and rich flavour.
“Some of my fellow skaters were hesitant to eat my chocolate muffins at first, as the outfits we had to wear were so figure-hugging”
When Matt and I were skating in Dancing On Ice, I took a basket of chocolate muffins in on show day. Some of my fellow skaters, boys and girls, were hesitant to eat them at first, as the outfits we had to wear are so figure-hugging, but when I explained that dark chocolate is healthier than other types, the muffins were polished off in a matter of minutes!
There are so many reasons to choose organic, vegan chocolate. Vegan chocolate, which is dark by nature, has naturally fewer calories and lower levels of saturated fat than milk, plain and white chocolate. This means that you can feel less guilt about giving vegan Easter eggs out to loved ones or even eating them yourself.
Dark chocolate contains as much as four times as many flavonoids as milk chocolate. Flavonoids have anti-oxidant properties and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and help achieve a drop in blood pressure. Organic chocolate doesn’t contain additives, which also can cause problems such as osteoporosis, migranes and hyperactivity. On average, organic vegan food also contains higher levels of Vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Vegan produce is also good for wildlife and the environment. The UK government has said that it causes lower pollution from sprays, produces less carbon dioxide – the main global warming gas – and less dangerous wastes. Through my charity campaigning I have come across much wildlife left homeless by the chemical damage to habitats and landscapes. Don’t let your Easter celebrations contribute to this destruction.
Since leaving Dancing On Ice, and after taking a short break, I have had more
time to spend on my charity campaigns. In addition to the work I have done with Physicians for Peace, I have now joined forces with AgeUK (formerly Help the Aged and Age Concern) in collecting walking aids for the Haiti earthquake survivors. AgeUK have opened as collection points for prosthetic limbs and other donations to help those who need it in Haiti. I’ve also been busy organising more events at VBites following the success of last month’s Valentine’s events, where one couple celebrated 25 years together and another couple found love at the restaurant! I’m, encouraged to continue putting on events to celebrate all that is great about our local community.
Easter made easy
Don’t know what to do with the children this Easter? Head down to VBites for a vegan chocolate eater egg hunt! On Saturday 4 April from 11am we will be hosting an Easter egg hunt in and around the restaurant. With prizes, giveaways and maybe even a special appearance from the Easter bunny, it will be a day to relax, enjoy… and indulge in plenty of vegan chocolate.