Valentine Day treats for the health conscious valentine

Valentine+Day+treats+for+the+health+conscious+valentine

Sophia Iacona

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many can’t help but begrudgingly remember that they’ll have to pass up on decadent sweets and desserts. Whether it be for health reasons, a New Year’s resolution or just striving to live a healthier life, avoiding sugary foods seems almost impossible around certain holidays, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are three sweet, guilt-free dessert recipes that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
 

Whole Wheat Strawberry Oat Bars

If the word whole wheat wasn’t in the name of the recipe, it would be impossible to notice that these scrumptious bars lack bleached white flour—not to mention all the granulated sugar that’s been replaced by natural honey.
This recipe is simple to make, easy on the ingredients and healthier than their white-flour-three-cups-of-sugar counter parts. The only downfall of this recipe might be the 50 minute cook time, but these bars are well worth the wait.
(Bonus: strawberries can be replaced by any fruit of your choice. I added blueberries to mine.)
Recipe from www.joyfulhealthytreats.com
 

INGREDIENTS

Crust & crumble:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups regular oats (not the instant kind)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Strawberry filling:

  • 3 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white whole wheat flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  3. To make the crust & crumble, to a large bowl add melted butter, white whole wheat flour, regular oats, honey, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt. Mix until just combined, mixture should be a little crumbly. Scoop out 1 cup of the mixture and set aside, that will be your crumble.
  4. Add the remaining mixture to the prepared pan. Spread the mixture out and using your fingers press into the bottom of the pan so the crust is in an even layer.
  5. To make the Strawberry Filling: to a small bowl add strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and white whole wheat flour. Toss to combine.
  6. Add the strawberry mixture on top of the crust and spread out evenly.
  7. Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the bars.
  8. Bake the bars for 50 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

 

Greek Yogurt Fudge Brownies

Indulgent, quick to cook and no butter? No you are not in fact dreaming. These brownies substitute butter with greek yogurt to make the perfect fudgy brownie. Plus, flavored greek yogurt can be used to compliment the chocolatey flavor. Good flavors to use include cherry, strawberry and peach.
While typical brownies take about 40 minutes to cook, these brownies will be out of the oven and ready to enjoy in a short 20 minutes. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and this dessert makes the perfect anytime treat.
Recipe from www.backforseconds.com


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

1.) Preheat oven to 350. In a glass mixing bowl heat 1/3 cup chocolate chips with coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each burst until smooth and melted. Let cool slightly.
2.) Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, sugars, and flour.
3.) Stir yogurt and vanilla into cooled melted chocolate. Gradually add in the dry ingredients stirring just until combined. Do not over mix.
4.) Spray a 8×8″ pan with cooking spray and spread the batter evenly into the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 20 minutes. They will look underdone but they are ready! Let cool before cutting.
 

Momma Scarlett’s Energy Balls

These energy balls are practical, healthy and convenient. Medjool dates provide natural sweetness without any added sugar. An added bonus: the sweet and protein packed snacks can be prepared weeks ahead of time and kept fresh by being placed in the freezer.  These treats have become fan favorites at The Fanscotian, and are sure to please anyone, especially a class of hungry teenagers after a long day of school.
Recipe courtesy of Mindy Scarlett

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 cup of medjool dates soaked in warm water
  • 1/4 of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • Dried cherries to taste
  • Blender
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak the cashews in warm water overnight then drain thoroughly
  2. Blend cashews and put into a large bowl
  3. Drain the dates and blend them and put them in the bowl with the cashews
  4. Add in the desiccated coconut, almond flour, and cherries then take a spoon and make sure everything is mixed together
  5. Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and make them into little balls with your hands
  6. Cover each ball in desiccated coconut and put in the freezer to set for one hour
  7. Take the balls out of the freezer and gently drizzle melted semi sweet chocolate over the top
  8. Take the balls out of the freezer and gently drizzle melted semi sweet chocolate over the top
  9. Put back in the freezer for 10 minutes and then enjoy!