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On the Menu: Heart healthy Valentine’s Day treats

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day by making your loved ones a delicious treat that is heartwarming and heart-healthy.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Valentine’s Day comes with many sweet treats and decadent cakes. However, those treats do not have to be full of sugar, fat and calories to taste good. 

There are many ways to make a nutritious, flavorful and decorative dessert that does not require a fancy, time-consuming recipe. Mercy Health Registered Dietitian shares some recipes that will put you right in the Valentine’s spirit with their red and pink colors and are perfect for an office party, Galentine’s Day or a romantic evening. 

Here are a few fun treats to add a little flavor (and health) to your love this year.

Chocolate Raspberry Parfait

Ingredients

Raspberry cream:

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Chocolate cream:

  • 1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Garnish:

  • ½ cup fresh raspberries, for garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the raspberry cream, combine the raspberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the raspberries start to break down, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the tofu and lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate the mixture until completely cool.
  3. To make the chocolate cream, place the tofu, cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth and creamy.
  4. To serve, fill six (6-ounce) parfait cups halfway with the chocolate cream. Fill the ramekins the remainder of the way with the raspberry cream.
  5. Chill for 1 hour before serving. The chocolate and raspberry layers can be made separately 1 day ahead and then assembled to serve.
  6. Just before serving, garnish each ramekin with a few of the fresh raspberries.

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 12 medium strawberries, rinsed and dried
  • ⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (2 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Cut strawberries into heart shapes
  2. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High in 20-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted, about 1 minute. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and place on a wax paper-lined plate. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. To make ahead: Refrigerate chocolate-covered strawberries for up to 8 hours.

Strawberry Banana Ginger Smoothie Bowl 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup Strawberries - frozen or fresh
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk - you can use any choice of milk
  • 1/2 Cup Ice
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Seeds - optional
  • 1/4 Cup Water - optional - for a thinner smoothie

Topping

  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Coconut Flakes - unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Pistachio
  • Dark Chocolate Bar - optional

Beet Cookies

  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Pureed Beets
  • 1 tablespoon Tapioca Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Add peanut butter, egg and brown sugar to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in the beet puree, tapioca flour, vanilla and chocolate chips and mix well.
  4. Form into circles and flatten them.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and enjoy.

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