My philosophy with desserts is always: If you’re going to have it, enjoy it. There’s no point in guilting or shaming yourself over something you already ate, or not enjoying every morsel of something if you’re going to have it anyway. But since I save my treats for those moments, there are lots of times I still want a little something but don’t mind if it’s just a healthier upgrade of the real deal. If you and your boo find yourselves on a health kick or otherwise trying to eat a little lighter this Valentine’s Day, here are three ooh-worthy desserts that are low on sugar and processed ingredients, and packed with nutrients, flavor and V-day vibes.
Naturally sweetened chocolate truffles
This recipe is a crowd-favorite among my clients AND takes less than 5 minutes to make. I often keep a batch of these in the freezer, as they make the perfect little healthy fat bomb and are rich enough to satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth. Simply melt together in a saucepan:
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 – 3 T. real maple syrup (until you get a smooth consistency)
1/2 t. vanilla
Pinch smoked sea salt
Then pour onto a parchment-covered sheet pan or into chocolate molds. Pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and you’ve got yourself homemade chocolate — free of refined sugars and full of all the good stuff.
If making your own chocolate is a little too *extra* for you, look for a vegan dark chocolate bar with at least 70 percent cocoa. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense the bar. Even better if you can find a bar that uses cocoa butter instead of processed oils. And I get it — chocolate gets a bad rap because it seems almost too delicious to be a health food — but it’s actually full of healthy fats and minerals like magnesium (which promotes a regular heartbeat and muscle contraction), zinc (which boosts the immune system), selenium (which is needed for reproductive and thyroid health), and iron (which helps your body build oxygen-carrying red blood cells).
To take it up a notch, melt the chocolate bar with 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee in a saucepan (stirring frequently to prevent burning and adjusting amount of butter as needed) then dip strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries into the chocolate and set aside to let the chocolate harden. Everyone knows about chocolate-covered strawberries, but it’s more fun to see how the taste changes with different kinds of fruit AND to sneak in even more vitamins and antioxidants in every bite. Win win. 😉
Ok, I’m not claiming champagne is a superfood BUT compared to its counterparts, it is lower in calories and sugar than most other alcohols. To up the nutrient content of your bubbles, add a splash of pomegranate juice and a few pomegranate seeds. The seeds float to the top while the juice turns the champagne a pretty pink hue, making it feel extra festive for Valentine’s Day. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants and have been shown in studies to lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure and help prevent cancer. Not bad for a cocktail, eh?
What are your plans with your honey or girlfriends this Valentine’s Day?
Are you guys keeping it light or indulging to celebrate?
– – –
P.S. Want to know how to navigate the social side of eating — relationships, work events, travel, and more? Check out my self-paced online program all about navigating social settings without having to be a hermit, or feeling like a total outsider.