As much as our waistlines wish it were true, there’s just nothing romantic about vegetables. However, you don’t have to say “I love you” with a bouquet of celery just to keep it light this Valentine’s Day. Here are six ideas for heart healthy treats to woo your sweetie without landing them in a sugar coma.
Stick With Dark Chocolate
Thanks to the flavonols found in cocoa, a moderate consumption of minimally processed chocolate can be part of a heart healthy diet. In fact, consuming a little bit of chocolate every day may actually help protect your cardiovascular system. For the most heart healthy impact, stick to dark chocolate and aim for a bar that hasn’t been processed with added fat and sugar.
Whip Up a Fruit Dip
Melt down some dark chocolate chips and make your own chocolate-covered strawberries, or whip up a chocolate fruit dip and serve it alongside strawberries, bananas and pineapple. Check out this recipe that uses Greek yogurt for some inspiration.
Make It Mini
If you can’t imagine a Valentine’s Day without your favorite baked treat, try practicing the “everything in moderation” principle and making mini portions so you can indulge while still taking care of your body. Try these mini Nutella cheesecakes or these bite-sized strawberry cheesecakes.
Create a Dessert Pizza
Use a Substitute
Often, lightening up your favorite holiday treat is as easy as swapping out oil for applesauce in your brownie batter or using coconut oil instead of shortening. Check out this list from Health.com for more healthy swap ideas.
Say It With Fruit
If you know your Valentine is really trying to avoid sugary treats, show them the love with a corny fruit pun like “You’re the apple of my eye” or other sugar-free gesture that will show your appreciation without breaking their commitment to healthy eating.
With a little extra effort, this holiday known for its sugary sweetness can be good for your heart and your soul. Share your favorite recipes for heart-healthy treats in the comments section below or check out our free dessert cookbook for more ideas!