Between pricey prix fixe menus and absurdly long wait times, dining out on Valentine’s Day is never what it’s cracked up to be. If you haven’t yet scored a reservation at that new brasserie people have been raving about, don’t sweat it. Instead, use the night as an opportunity to kick back with your date (or your best friend!) and toast Cupid’s handiwork with some homemade eats and a whole lot of chocolate. It might sound cliche, but this is the one day that we get a pass to indulge in all things sweet and chocolatey — so why wouldn’t we? Maybe you’re trying to avoid a post-meal sugar crash. We get that. But there are clever ways to tailor chocolate cheesecake, mousse and more for a romantic night at home.
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Chocolate is the aphrodisiac of choice on Valentine’s Day. But not all varieties of this confection are created equal. Here’s a rundown of the most-lovable options for you and your waistline.
At first glance, cocoa powder and raw cacao powder might look the same, but get a bit closer and they’re anything but. Once you get to know antioxidant-powerhouse cacao powder, you realize it’s the real deal: Made from cold-pressed raw cacao beans, it is thought that the vitamins and minerals stay intact. Meanwhile, cocoa powder is produced from raw cacao beans that have been roasted at high temperatures and then ground, reducing all those naturally occurring health benefits. This Valentine’s Day, make your sweetie swoon when you serve up these decadent cacao-packed recipes for everything from gooey truffles to spicy hot chocolate.
True, true — honesty is the most important part of any relationship. But what’s a little white lie here and there? Or what about a dark, chocolate-smothered lie? It sounds sinful, but here’s the deal: All of these Valentine’s Day chocolate desserts are — wait for it — secretly healthy. They are also all suspiciously delicious, so who’s to know?
Let’s not make dessert complicated this Valentine’s Day. For the easiest, tastiest dessert, all you need are three ingredients and three steps: cinnamon crackers, bananas and chocolate; then melt, roll and freeze! These are ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry, and if you don’t they’re certainly easy to find at any grocery store. The dairy-free chocolate-covered bananas are made extra-special with a crunchy coating of crushed cinnamon crackers. If you have kids, invite them to help out in the kitchen by peeling bananas or crushing the crackers. With such a tasty and simple recipe, this might just become a year round dessert staple.
Whip up a deliciously romantic menu for your Valentine’s date. These dishes will surely set the mood; pick a few of your favorites and serve them by candlelight.
- Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
- Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese
- You and Me Chicken Pot Pies
- Champagne Risotto
Instead of curling up with a pint of ice cream while watching a romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day, try a lower fat ice cream-alternative instead. This special sundae recipe uses low-fat ricotta cheese to lessen up the calories, while maintaining a creamy taste. Top your “sundae” with crunchy add-ins like KIND Healthy Grains Clusters along with a sprinkle of dried fruit and coconut flakes for a fun, crispy texture. (Save any extra granola and fruit for snacks later on during the week with milk or on top of yogurt.) A sprinkle of dairy-free chocolate makes this sundae gleefully indulgent. So go ahead, dig in all you want.
Are you planning on cooking a romantic dessert for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day or want to spread the baked goods love to your friends and family? Here are some yummy, gluten-free desserts from a few amazingly talented bloggers and bakers. These desserts use some surprising ingredients like quinoa and buckwheat flour to make these sinfully sweet treats healthy for those who avoid gluten. You don’t have to be a master baker to create a mouthwatering dessert either — some of these recipes are just as simple as a delicious spin on pancakes! From fudge to cakes and even s’mores, these desserts will make everyone fall head over heels for gluten-free treats!
Valentine’s Day Round Up: 29 Gluten-Free Recipes
- Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Butter Icing by Jeanne Sauvage of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking
- Raw Vegan Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Mousse Crepes by Tess Masters of Healthy Blender Recipes
- Gluten-Free Eclairs by Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery
- Devil’s Food Cupcakes from the Gluten-Free Mommy
- Allergy -Free Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats by Cybele Pascal of The Allergy-Friendly Cook Read more
The perfect Valentine’s Day pair is chocolate and nuts. This homemade chocolate bark is super simple to make. Just combine dairy-free chocolate chips and your favorite nut: hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts — whatever you like. Chocolate Love Bark is also kid-friendly; ask kids to help you choose the nuts and sprinkle them onto the melted chocolate. This dessert is perfect for bringing to a Valentine’s Day party or for gifting; it keeps well wrapped up in plastic wrap or in a container.
Each of these desserts has 400 calories or less, 20 grams of total fat or less, 10 grams of saturated fat or less, and a max of 400 milligrams of sodium per serving. Dessert should be a special treat and most definitely can be enjoyed on Valentine’s Day. If you’re trying to watch your figure, cut calories even further by sharing dessert or cutting the portion in half.