Making healthier versions of your favorite desserts can make for a fun Valentine's Day celebration.
Nothing says 'I love you' like a decadent dessert — often made even sweeter when whipped up from scratch. But at the same time, nothing says 'I care' like making something not only delicious but nutritious, too.
After all, too much sugar and saturated fats — which are common in many store-bought Valentine's Day treats — are best consumed in moderation. An excess of these can correlate with concerns like metabolic syndromes and diabetes, which can jeopardize not just your overall health but also your sex drive.
This year, challenge yourself to try something new with these lightened-up Valentine's Day dessert recipes. Shared by the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and other trusted sources, you can feel confident that they offer health-minded options and are also delicious.
1. Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse
This dessert uses nonfat Greek yogurt as the creamy vehicle for its delectable chocolate flavor, and it's the kind of dish that could be served in one big glass to share with two spoons. Featuring sugar-free chocolate, skim milk, a nonfat whipped topping and fresh berries, it's a perfectly rich-tasting treat to make as a fun surprise after dinner.
2. Chocolate Nut Cookie in a Mug
Picture this: It's a chilly evening on Feb. 14, and you're staying in with your significant other to keep warm and cozy. You've got pajamas and fuzzy socks on, a good movie teed up and takeout from your favorite restaurant down the street. But you forgot dessert! No need to worry — put this cookie-in-a-cup in the microwave for a minute, and you've got a quick and easy treat without the mess. Egg whites and alternative sweeteners give this dish a lighter twist.
3. Fudgy Fruit
Every February, it's common to see those chocolate-dipped fruits that get prepackaged and featured on grocery store end-caps. These fudgy fruits are basically the same as those — but homemade and without the high price tag. With just four ingredients (chocolate chips, bananas, strawberries and nuts), this U.S. Department of Agriculture recipe couldn't be simpler. And aside from the chocolate chips, there's no added sugar. You only have to chill them for a few minutes before the chocolate hardens enough, so throw these together before dinner to top off the night with a sweet little something.
4. Classic Honey Flan
Calling this dish a "heart-healthy twist to a classic dessert," the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute helps to lighten and brighten this Spanish favorite with a bit of honey, lemon zest, skim milk and egg substitute. It takes roughly 45 minutes to bake through, so plan accordingly. Garnish with some berries if you so desire, and dig in. This one is indeed a classic!
5. Raspberry Chocolate Mini Macarons
These sandwich bites just sing Valentine's Day with their pink filling and chocolaty cookies outside. Alternative sweeteners add a little touch of sweetness, and the almond flour delivers its warm and nutty taste. This recipe can be a little labor-intensive, as macaron recipes tend to be. That just means they're great to make with a loved one.
Share the love, and pass the plate
Between these options and the many other Valentine's Day dessert recipes you'll find online, there are plenty of opportunities to make this year's Feast of Saint Valentine a little sweeter with a healthy twist. So go out on a limb and surprise your special someone with something homemade — it might just become your new favorite tradition!