ZOE Head Nutritionist Dr Federica Amati’s Easter Supermarket Food Swaps

ZOE Head Nutritionist Dr Federica Amati's Easter Basket Supermarket Swaps

With Easter around the corner, supermarket shelves are packed with ultra-processed foods such as chocolate, pastries and snacks – making it harder to make healthy choices and to eat your 30 plants a week. Dr. Federica Amati, Head Nutritionist at ZOE, shares her tips for making the smartest food choices during the Easter weekend – using simple swaps so that you can still enjoy your favourite snacks and feed your friends, family, and gut with goodness, too.

Below are five excellent tips from ZOE Head Nutritionist Dr Federica Amati that will help make those indulgent treats a little more gut-friendly. By following the tips, you can tuck into your Easter Egg, savour that hot cross bun, and dive head first into those crispy roast potatoes. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes and food combinations to supercharge your microbiome too.

Hot Cross Buns
The humble hot cross bun has its time to shine in the run-up to Easter. Here are the best ways to truly make the most of this staple snack.

Federica’s food swap: “Nobody should miss out on a hot cross bun this year if you like them. To help make the most of your bun, add nourishing berries and seeds or pair a savoury bun with cheese, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of seeds for a tasty twist.

“Remember, a hot cross bun is not enough on its own for a meal, though, as you’ll only feel hungry later. If you’ve got some extra time, try making your own or buying from the local bakery for the freshest, healthiest version.”

A young girl eating a small Easter egg

Easter Eggs
Finding the perfect Easter Egg is a tradition we all love, whether you’re choosing one for yourself or gifting one to somebody else.

Federica’s food swap: “Rather than stocking up on lots of low-quality milk chocolate eggs, opt for a dark chocolate option—ideally 70% or more and one from a sustainable ethical brand—cocoa runners are brilliant for this. Dark chocolate also has several more polyphenols than green tea or red wine and is rich in magnesium.”

Roast Potatoes
No roast dinner is complete without them, but there’s no need to buy pre-made, packet-roast potatoes from the supermarket (they’re usually far more expensive than the homemade alternative).

Experiment with different vegetable sides and salads to accompany your roast, using seasonal vegetables, like these roasted carrots with tahini yoghurtor a polyphenol salad filled with carrots, cauliflower and pumpkin seeds (it’s rocket fuel for your microbes!)

Federica’s food swap: “Making your own roasties doesn’t have to be hard work, especially if you parboil them first, and toss them in the hot pot before popping in the hot oven, then they’ll roast even quicker than shop-bought ones.

“Keep the skins on for extra fibre, shake the potatoes in gram flour (made from chickpeas) to make them super crispy and bake in extra virgin olive oil.”

The ultimate companion to an Easter Sunday roast doesn’t need to be straight out of a packet, and it doesn’t need to compromise flavour, either.

Federica’s food swap: “If you’re roasting meat, add a glug of red or white wine to the cooking dish or tray over your hob and simmer, adding a little boiling water and flour to make your own gravy. Another easy trick is to melt miso (a fermented food) into boiling water, add some flour and a splash of wine and whisk until it thickens.

“My favourite trick? If you don’t have miso in, marmite works really well and gives it an extra punch of flavour.”

A glass of red wine with a selection of cheese and fruits

A glass of wine with a meal is a wonderful thing and can be healthy when enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet. Red wine is rich in polyphenols, and research suggests that small amounts of red wine may reduce your chances of developing heart disease and can improve your gut health.

Federica’s food swap: “If you’d like to enjoy a drink with family and friends, opt for one small glass of red wine (rose’ and white have fewer polyphenols) with your meal and try to mix it up over the festivities with lo/no alcohol alternatives too.

“There are so many great options for lo/no alcohol wines, beers and spirits – so have fun experimenting and hunting for your favourite ones.”

For more information o how how to supercharge your gut microbiome, visit www.joinzoe.com.

ZOE Head Nutritionist Dr Federica Amati's Easter Supermarket Food Swaps 2

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