Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

treats

Valentine’s Day has associated with decadence – fancy heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are the holiday’s signature item.

February is also another-kind-of-heart-month – it is American Heart Month – as in, learning-how-to-take-care-of-your-ticker time.

Thankfully, for the chocolate lovers among us, science has revealed that the sweet treat is actually good for us (in moderation, of course).

Here are some delicious, heart-friendly treats (some with chocolate, some without) you can make for your loved ones to show them how much you care this Valentine’s Day (or any day).

Chocolate-Filled Raspberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup white, milk, or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil (I like this brand because its non-GMO and certified organic)

Instructions:

  1. Place clean, dry raspberries hole-side up in a mini cupcake pan (this will make them easier to fill with chocolate).
  2. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t over-cook – stop the microwave when the chips are ALMOST completely melted. Stir the mixture well until smooth.
  3. Transfer the melted chocolate-coconut oil mixture into an icing piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Fill each raspberry with the chocolate.
  4. Place the mini-cupcake pan in the freezer for 15 minutes so the chocolate can set. Store the filled berries in sealed containers or bags.

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt vanilla Greek yogurt (or flavor of your preference)
  • Strawberries, clean and dried

Instructions:

  1. Dip strawberries (or any fruit you’d like, really) into the Greek yogurt. Coat well.
  2. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until yogurt coating sets. Slice in half or leave whole.
  4. Place in sealed containers or bags and store in the freezer.

Insalata Caprese (“salad in the style of Capri”)

heart

Ingredients:

  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4″ slices. Then use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut heart shapes from each slice (save the leftover scraps of cheese for snacks).
  2. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ circles.
  3. Layer the tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella hearts on a plate.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Heart-y Trail Mix

Ingredients:

  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried cherries
  • Dried Goji berries
  • Cashews
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dark chocolate bits or chips
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Coconut flakes

Instructions:

  • Any combination of these ingredients will work well together – and all of them offer significant health benefits.
  • Mix in a large bowl and separate into sealed containers or bags for a ready-to-go heart-healthy snack.

Additional Recipes & Resources:

Simply Rich Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Gluten-Free Coconutty Almond Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 13th, 2015
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