Healthy Valentine’s Day sweets

By: Health Local Staff Feb 13, 2013
  Article
Healthy Valentine's Day recipes

These healthy recipes will let you share and enjoy the love without affecting your waistline.

It’s no surprise that most of us associate Valentine’s Day with chocolates and candy, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some special Valentine’s Day sweets without the extra sugar and calories! These healthy Valentine’s Day recipes will let you share and enjoy the love without affecting your waistline.

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

Make these in mini foil cups in red or printed mini cups with hearts and other Valentine’s Day designs, easily found in the baking aisle and even at dollar stores. They’re small and decadent and the red from the strawberry makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day!

You’ll need:

  • 2 x 8 ounce packages of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • Equivalent of 1/2 cup of your favourite sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of egg substitute
  • 12 vanilla wafers (reduced fat)
  • 12 ounces of strawberry cake/pastry filling

Directions

  • In a small bowl beat cream cheese until smooth and then gradually beat in the sugar substitute and sugar.
  • Next, beat in vanilla extract. Add egg and egg substitute and beat until blended.
  • Place each vanilla wafer with the flat side down in a mini foil or paper muffin cup and fill with the cream cheese mixture and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and set. Cool them on a wire rack for 1 hour.
  • Spoon the strawberry filling into the center of each mini cheesecake and store in the refrigerator.

Heart-Shaped Meringue Cookies

These heart-shaped meringue cookies look every bit the part of a sweet Valentine’s treat but are fat-free and low in calories.

You’ll need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup of superfine sugar
  • Red food colouring and sprinkles

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Beat egg whites on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating egg whites to a soft peak.
  • Slowly add sugar, beating well after each addition and continue mixing until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  • Add a few drops of red food colouring and stir to make the egg whites until they’re the desired shade of pink.
  • Place a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the parchment-lined baking try and spoon the meringue mixture into the cookie cutter and push down with the spoon as you lift the cookie cutter slowly. Repeat this step for each cookie.
  • Bake for 1 hour, then turn off oven and leave the meringues inside for 2-3 hours.

Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

It doesn’t get more romantic than chocolate covered strawberries, does it? When you use a healthy chocolate sauce recipe; chocolate covered strawberries make a very healthy Valentine’s Day treat that will be enjoyed by children and grownups alike.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave syrup
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 15 large strawberries, washed and dried, stems left on

Directions:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl add the coconut oil and lime juice and then microwave for 1 minute or until the oil is melted. Stir in the maple/agave syrup and cocoa and mix until it’s all combined.
  • Take a strawberry, and dip it into the chocolate. (Twirling it around gets it completely coated) Place it on the cookie sheet to cool and repeat until all strawberries are covered and then refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate hardens.

Heart-Shaped No-Bake Special K Bars

The healthier version of Rice Crispy treats; these use Special K cereal instead so they’re lower in fat and calories. Cutting them into heart shapes makes them a fun Valentine’s treat for everyone you love.

You’ll need

  • Equivalent of 1 cup of sugar of your favourite sugar substitue
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups of agave syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups of natural or low-fat peanut butter
  • 6 cups of Special K crisp rice cereal
  • 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup natural or low-fat peanut butter

Directions:

  • In large microwave safe bowl, combine sugar and sugar substitute and agave syrup and mix well. Microwave on high for 2 minutes and then remove bowl from microwave and stir mixture, making sure to scrape the sides of bowl.
  • Microwave on high for another 2 minutes or until mixture begins to boil. Add the 1-1/2 cups peanut butter and stir until mixture is smooth and combined.
  • Add the cereal and stir to coat it. Pour and press into greased shallow baking pan and press down evenly.
  • Combine the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup peanut butter in small microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes on medium or until chocolate chips are melted, remove and stir. Stir until smooth, and then spread over cereal mixture.
  • Let cool completely, then cut it into heart-shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Cover and store at room temperature.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.