Celebrate Easter the Vegan Way

Want to continue celebrating Easter, sans cruelty to animals? It’s as easy as biting into a vegan chocolate egg.

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Here’s the great thing about Easter: Whether or not you believe in its religious history, there are still delicious vegan chocolate eggs to eat. Yes, here at VN we embrace veganizing pretty much everything, and holidays are no exception. Since cruelty-free living can coincide with any and every occasion, we’ve rounded up the best crafts, confections, and cookery we could find to ensure 2010 marks your most compassionate Easter celebration yet.

Egg (Decorating) Replacer
While Easter egg decorating and egg hunts clearly don’t align with vegan ethics, it isn’t the eggs involved in these memories that stir nostalgia, it’s the family bonding time. Time spent with parents or grandparents, sharing stories and working together, is a holiday tradition worth keeping alive. A simple alternative to egg decorating is painting wooden eggs or any wooden figure, which serves as a replacement and lets you enjoy the artwork year-round. Other items (plastic eggs filled with vegan treats, for example) allow for the same effect without contributing to unnecessary cruelty.

Easter Morning Brunch
After drumming up an appetite during the early morning “egg” hunt, children and adults alike can enjoy a compassionate brunch spread complete with Strawberry-Ricotta French Toast and Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup, Chive Biscuits with jam, a Tofu Scramble or Tomato-Zucchini Frittata, herbed hash browns, and smoked tofu. For a special treat, mix up mimosas, or do holiday brunch truly proud by serving Ginger White Peach Bellinis. Cap off your decadent midday meal with a fresh, crisp, and perfectly seasonable Strawberry Pie.

Candy Basket—Yes, please.
One of the most celebrated—and delicious—American Easter traditions is exchanging gifts and gifting children Easter baskets. While kids will certainly appreciate a basket brimming with goodies, consider also extending the same treasure trove of candy to vegan friends and family members. Cruelty-free chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks are easy to find, thanks to a host of vegan confectioners across the country. Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates makes Easter basket shopping easy with its Dark Chocolate Basket with Bunny—yes, the basket is edible—and Dark Chocolate Eggs. To satisfy crème-filled egg cravings, look no further than The Good Egg by Rescue Chocolate. Balance out that healthy dose of chocolate with vegan Jelly Beans by Paskesz or adorable Marshmallow Chicks and Bunnies by Sweet & Sara.

Healthy Holiday
Want to err on the side of health for your holiday treats? Create a special basket filled with your favorite homemade muffins, egg-shaped cookies, or carrot cake, along with recipes or a cookbook. If you’re looking to steer clear of edible offerings altogether, fill a basket with lovely seasonal flowers, such as daffodils and marigolds, or the quintessential symbol of spring, Easter lily bulbs. Another great gift that keeps on giving—to you and to others—is creating a herb or vegetable garden. Purchase heirloom and organic seeds from a local nursery and begin the process that embodies the true meaning of the season. A basic herb garden will thrive as long as you have sun, and staples like lettuce, kale, and collards will keep you in the green stuff for many months to come. Just think: This time next year you could be creating a new spring tradition by serving loved ones a home-cooked meal with homegrown veggies.