Life Eat & Drink Rabbit v chicken: Why eating the Easter bunny is your healthiest choice
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Rabbit v chicken: Why eating the Easter bunny is your healthiest choice

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That damn Easter bunny. What is he good for?

Think of that creepy stare. Some say cute, some say psychotic. And what is he hiding inside those pointless floppy ears?

To be fair, when the Easter bunny brings those foil-wrapped chocolate eggs on Sunday morning, he’s encouraging our children to attain excellence on the path to obesity – as is their cultural right.

Turns out, of all the meats we might consider for a celebratory meal – chicken, pork or beef – rabbit is actually the healthiest.

So what can we do about him?

How about rabbit ravioli with a cloud of ricotta and wrapped in prosciutto — said to be lovely “though the portion was on the smaller size” — as served at Il Bacaro, Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

Or what about “OMG the rabbit ragu with chilli is to die for”  from Vinnies Ristorante, Casula, NSW.

You could pray that Adelaide’s Chianti restaurant still serves Coniglio Al Forno – half a farmed rabbit slow cooked with pancetta, onions, port and sage, served with rosemary potatoes.

Sounds a bit fancy? Prefer to cook your own Easter feast?

Try this widely shared recipe from one Jon Godar, a rabbit farmer in Indiana.

“Place a whole rabbit and some chopped celery in your slow cooker. Cover with water and cook on low for 13 hours. Remove the meat from the bones and serve over egg noodles.”

What’s the point of eating a rabbit?

A 2013 study found that rabbit is much healthier than other meats, including chicken, being higher in protein and lower in total fat.

Rabbit meat was richer in calcium than other types of meat, and lower in fat and cholesterol, according to foodandnutrition.org.

Compared to roasted chicken (skin removed), 100 grams of roasted domesticated rabbit provides nearly twice as much iron, more selenium and about half the heart-killing sodium.

Rabbit meat “also provides 320 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids — more than four times the amount found in chicken”.

 A 2015 study concluded that rabbit meat was highly suitable for people with diabetes, due to its low fat and low-cholesterol qualities “and the nutritive value that is on par with fish meat”.

Come here bunny, bunny

Rabbits are available from speciality butchers, easily found online.

One thing to keep in mind: Like roasting chickens, rabbits tend to be sold whole, rather than in pieces.

With the skin off, they’re not as cute as the kids might hope. So maybe show them this video while you get to work making that casserole.

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