Valentine’s Day is a great time to enjoy a treat or two with your favorite people. But that doesn’t mean you have to derail your health and nutrition goals.
This year, skip the box of chocolates and give one of these healthy, satisfying delights a try instead.
Raw Chocolate Strawberry Cake Pops
When you hear the words, “cake pops,” you probably don’t think of healthy treats. But this recipe lets you indulge without the guilt.
Packed with antioxidants and dense nutrition, these raw cake pops are gluten-free and easily adaptable to create the flavors you crave. The cake is light and fluffy, and the cacao coating tastes great. One bite and you’ll agree – Cupid’s got nothing on these healthy treats!
To make these cake pops…
First, soak 1/2 cup raw cashews for at least one hour. Drain them and add them to a food processor or high-powered blender along with:
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of few vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder
Process until the cake batter is combined and holds together when you mold it. If it crumbles, add more water. Roll 1 tablespoon of batter into a ball with damp hands. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter, arranging the cake balls on a baking sheet. Freeze them for 30 minutes until the cake is firm.
While the cake sets up, make the coating by melting 1/4 cup of cacao butter. Add it to the blender or food processor along with:
- 1/4 cup soaked, drained cashews
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of raw vanilla
- 2 tablespoons of strawberry powder (you can make your own by grinding freeze dried strawberries!)
Take the cake out of the freezer and press a lollipop stick into each ball. Then immerse each one in the coating, swirling to finish without drips.
The pops will keep for up to three days in a cool spot.
Frozen Yogurt Fruit Cubes
No need to buy ice cream when you can easily make a healthier alternative right in your own kitchen. Best of all, these treats can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
To make them, mix 1.5 cups of plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of milk. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey, agave or maple syrup.
Add blueberries and raspberries to each cube of an ice tray. Alternatively, add cut up pieces of whatever fruit you prefer.
Pour or drizzle the yogurt over the fruit to fill the molds evenly. Add a Popsicle stick, if desired, and freeze the frozen yogurt fruit bites for five hours or until each cube is solidly frozen.
Strawberry Beet Muffins
Red is the color of Valentine’s Day, which makes these antioxidant-rich treats a perfect choice.
To make them, peel and grate fresh beets and dice a 16-ounce package of fresh or frozen strawberries. Mix 3 cups of strawberries with 1 cup of beets, set aside.
In a small bowl, beat two eggs before mixing in:
- 3 cups of unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sugar
Then, stir in the strawberry mixture.
From there, in a separate bowl, mix 3.5 cups of whole wheat flour with a tablespoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, fill a muffin tray 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.
Healthy treats are a delicious way to say Happy Heart Day to yourself and the people you care about. Another way to celebrate is by taking care of yourself and your own heart.
Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our free, online heart risk assessment today.