Indulge in goodness and have a healthier Easter

RECIPE: Low-fat chocolate brownie *** Win a $50 dining voucher

WEIGHT-LOSS expert and low-fat cookbook author Annette Sym has challenged the Easter bunny this year to swap chocolates for carrots.

Annette recognises her health message will earn her the title of "Easter Grinch" but she's prepared to wear the criticism if it means that kids won't gorge on kilos of chocolate later this month.

"Sensible eating habits seem to fly out the window at this time of year. The amount of chocolate the average child consumes at Easter equates to about two family-sized blocks of solid chocolate," Annette said.

"Just because the chocolate comes in the shape of an egg doesn't justify overindulging."

Restricting chocolate will also help avoid having hyped-up children.

"Sometimes children get so many eggs, they're eating chocolate for weeks. It's important to remember there are plenty of other ways to make Easter special for children, such as doing Easter crafts together or giving them an Easter gift," she said. "You can leave little bunny footprints throughout the house and pop a carrot into the kids' Easter basket with their chocolate egg, so they know the Easter bunny has been."

Here are Annette's tips for reducing children's chocolate consumption at Easter:

  •  Give them hollow chocolate eggs rather than solid ones.
  •  Do some Easter craft projects together - paint real eggs or make Easter baskets.
  •  Give them an Easter-related gift such as an egg cup, book or cuddly toy.
  •  Bake hot cross buns with the kids.

Annette said it wasn't just the kids who needed to worry about overindulging.

Easter for adults is also a minefield of fat and sugar, particularly on Good Friday when many people eat fish and chips.

Annette has recommended swapping the Good Friday favourite, takeaway fish and chips, for lower-fat alternatives such as a piece of grilled fish and oven-baked potato wedges lightly coated with cooking spray.

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Low-fat chocolate brownie


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 4tbs (60g) Flora Light margarine melted
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup gluten-free icing sugar
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Cooking spray



Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced).

In a medium-size mixing bowl beat egg whites for two minutes using an electric beater.

Add milk to melted margarine then pour into bowl. Add cocoa and beat on low speed until combined. Sift icing sugar into mix then fold in hazelnut meal and walnuts with a wooden spoon.

Coat a square cake tin (about 19.5cm) with cooking spray then pour mixture evenly into tin.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until firm to touch in centre. Leave in tin for five minutes.

Carefully turn out onto a wire rack, then turn over onto another wire rack right side up. Once cooled slide onto a flat surface and cut into 16 squares.

  Recipe courtesy of Annette Sym's Symply Too Good To Be True Book 7.



Our advertisers have generously provided a $50 voucher each week, which you can spend at the restaurant featured in the following question.

QUESTION: Who has fresh vegetables and salami to tempt your taste buds?

Send your answer to or drop it into The Echo office at 218-232 Molesworth St, Lismore, no later than noon on the following Tuesday. Please include your name, address, phone number and answer. Good luck!

Last week's winner: Beverley Anne Smith

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