Try These Healthier Valentine’s Day Treats!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re single or in a relationship, today is usually all about two things: love and food. Why not add health to the mixture? We’ve got healthy versions of chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cupcakes for you to bake and try! 

Rock-star ingredients in these recipes: 

Beets: Considered a “superfood”, beets contain massive amounts of vitamins, antioxidants (betalain), and minerals. They also contain potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, B and C. 

Cashews: Compared to other nuts, cashews have more of the good fat but less fat overall. Healthy fats can improve your heart health and promote levels of good cholesterol. Cashews are high in magnesium and phosphorous, useful for strong bones and teeth. They also have a delicious, natural, and buttery taste! 

Whole Wheat: Choosing whole wheat over white refined flour is like choosing a hundred dollar bill over a penny.  You get so much more! Refined flours have been stripped of most of their nutrients, whereas whole-wheat flours contain fiber, healthy fats, and B vitamins.

(*Be careful- “multigrain” and “seven-grain” products are not whole grains! Look for ingredient lists that show 100% whole wheat.)

Greek YogurtGreek yogurt has more protein and probiotics than regular yogurt. It also improves digestion and boosts immunity.

Almond Milk:  Almond milk is packed with vitamins and minerals that help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It is high in calcium and has fewer calories than cow’s milk.

Healthy Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookies

tyler

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs (or 2 tablespoons egg replacer with 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips 

Note: For even more amazing cookies, add 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Add coconut oil and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a mixer to beat together the oil and sugar.
  3. Slowly add in eggs until the mixture is fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and applesauce to this mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly while stirring.
  7. Spray a cookie sheet and shape small balls of dough into hearts.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. 
  9. Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool.
  10. Enjoy! 

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Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cashew Maple Frosting

What’s the surprise healthy element in these cupcakes? BEETS! Instead of using food coloring, these cupcakes get their color naturally from steamed and pureed beets. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup pureed beets
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup beats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Florida Natural Cane Sugar 
  • 2 eggs (or 2 tablespoons egg replacer with 6 tablespoons water)
  • ~1/2 cup non-dairy buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white or rice vinegar 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350°C.
  2. Scrub the beets thoroughly. If you have a steamer basket, steam the beets until they are soft enough to cut through. Add extra water to the pot because they can take a while to steam. If you don’t have a steamer, wrap the beets in foil and roast them at 250°C for about an hour with a bit of oil.
  3. After peeling, puree the beets in a food processor or blender. You can also grate the beets.
  4. Combine the almond milk, lemon juice, and vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, evenly mix the pureed beets, yogurt, applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond milk mixture.  Mix in the eggs.
  6. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and mix together until there are no clumps.
  8. Spray a mini cupcake tray or line with cupcake liners.
  9. Pour batter about ¾ of the way full, and bake for about 10 – 12 minutes.
  10. Let cool before adding frosting.

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Cashew Maple Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water for a few hours
  • ¼  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1.5 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • ½ cup almond or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon melted coconut oil

Note: Pure maple syrup can be expensive at most grocery stores, but I picked up a bottle at Aldi on Fletcher Avenue for $3.99! Most pancake syrups are derived from corn syrup and do not contain any real maple syrup, so check the ingredient’s list before purchasing!

Instructions:

  1. Let cashews soak in water for a few hours.
  2. Drain and rinse your cashews.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Adjust seasoning as you want. I added more cinnamon and a little more almond milk to increase smoothness.
  5. Let chill until cupcakes are cool.
  6. Enjoy! Leftovers will keep in the fridge or freezer. 

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Do you love our recipes or have any to share? Let us know in the comments!

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