Easter treats - grain-free Easter buns, plus dead-easy DIY organic chocolate eggs

We are so excited about Easter this year. My 3yo has been ecstatic preparing for a visit from the Easter bunny, and I've been busy organising our ritual Sunday-morning brunch.

It's been many years since I have enjoyed a traditional hot-cross bun. Since giving up gluten and practicing the GAPS diet, I have been limited to an overly-sweet cardboard assortment of bun-like substances that are nothing quite like the real thing.

Thankfully, a little time off this past week has given me some room to experiment with grain-free and GAPS  cooking techniques and I have been able to create these truly awesome Easter buns, which are just like I remember them - if not better.

 

Hot Cross Buns (GAPS-friendly, grain-free, SCD, Paleo)

  • ¼ cup psyllium husk
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 ½ cups almond meal
  • ¼ cup arrowroot (for GAPS, substitute with an additional ¼ cup psyllium husk)
  • 3 eggs
  • rind from 1 orange
  • juice from ½ orange (large size)
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon dried ginger
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup sultanas or black currants (we prefer sultanas, but currants are considered traditional)
  • olive oil for baking

Home prepared marzipan:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon boiling water

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius.

Whisk together the eggs and melted coconut oil. Gently stir through the remaining ingredients (excluding the dried fruit). Mix to form a smooth paste, then stir through the dried fruit.

Rub your hands with olive, then use them to roll the buns into round (1.5inch) balls. Stack them together on a baking tray then place in oven to bake for 20-25 mins until firm and lightly browned.

Remove from oven and decorate with marzipan cross if desired (I must confess, I don't usually bother, they taste superb without the marzipan - which is really just about decoration).

To make the marzipan:

Blend together all ingredients in a food processor on high speed. Roll out 1/2cm thick using a rolling pin, then cut into thin strips. Place strips in a criss-cross pattern on each bun. Return the buns to the oven, and bake for a further 3 minutes (or until lightly brown) on grill setting.

Remove the oven immediately, and enjoy the buns with lashings of butter.

DIY chocolate eggs

Of course, if you've gone to all this effort to make buns, you must team it up with something truly sweet and delicious, like home-prepared chocolate. To save myself re-inventing the wheel, I'll link you through to a recent article I prepared for Fairfax media on awe-inspiring home-made chocolate. You might be surprised to know that when you make it yourself, it contains far less sugar, as well as zero additives or preservatives. You can also choose organic varieties of raw cacao to create an organic-chocolate of your own. Here's a pic from earlier today; these are the eggs I made by following this recipe.