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.
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).
- 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)
- Place clean, dry raspberries hole-side up in a mini cupcake pan  (this will make them easier to fill with chocolate).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 1 qt vanilla Greek yogurt (or flavor of your preference)
- Strawberries, clean and dried
- Dip strawberries (or any fruit you’d like, really) into the Greek yogurt. Coat well.
- Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Freeze for 15 minutes, or until yogurt coating sets. Slice in half or leave whole.
- Place in sealed containers or bags and store in the freezer.
Insalata Caprese (“salad in the style of Capri”)
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- 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).
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ circles.
- Layer the tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella hearts on a plate.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Heart-y Trail Mix
- Dried cranberries
- Dried cherries
- Dried Goji berries
- Sliced almonds
- Dark chocolate bits or chips
- Pumpkin seeds
- Coconut flakes
- 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: