Valentines Day Treats with a Healthy Spin

Categories: Well Nourished

By Becca Curry, Keene State College Dietetic Intern

Valentines Day has almost become synonymous with an “eat chocolate day.” The aisles of grocery stores become engorged with red, heart-shaped boxes yielding chocolates of all types. Valentines Day is a holiday meant for people send lots of love, and enjoy treats. But these treats don’t need to come in the form of food.

Instead of sugary confections, treat your loved ones with the gift of your time on this day. Go for a walk with your significant other, your best friend or your family. Plan a fun activity or find something new you would like to try. Whether it be an outdoor activity, a visit to a new store, crafts or an exercise class. Spending time with the people who are important to you is the best way of showing love on Valentines Day.

If you just can’t avoid sending a little extra love in the form of food make sure the food has some health benefits. Treating someone with delicious, healthy treats sends them love in more ways than one! You can please your loved ones with treats that not only satisfy their sweet tooth but also show love for their heart, literally.

Chocolate covered strawberries are the best of both worlds. While you can buy these traditional Valentines Day treats, the store-bought variety usually packs more chocolate and sugar than fruit.

Below is an easy chocolate covered strawberry recipe you can whip up at home. This recipe can also be used with different fruits such as oranges, bananas and berries.

The combination of fruit and dark chocolate provides a beneficial dose of vitamins and antioxidants your body will love. Plus, what a better way to show your admiration than surprising your sweetie with homemade, healthy sweets!

INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces high-quality dark chocolate

12 strawberries (or other fruit of your choice)

PREPARATION: Total time: 10 minutes

Microwave chocolate in a small bowl on medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on medium in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.

Dip the tip of strawberries in the melted chocolate. Set aside to harden.

Makes 4 servings

NUTRITION: Per serving: 133 calories; 9 g fat (5 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 13 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 3 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 37 mg potassium.

Recipe adapted from Eating Well:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/strawberries_dipped_in_chocolate.html