On Valentine’s Day, besides love there’s only one ‘sugar’ you really need…your Valentine, and maybe chocolate too. Leave the refined sweeteners, sugar, carbs, grains, preservatives, additives, colorings, and other toxic ingredients out of your loved ones’ treats. If you absolutely want sweets for this special day, then try creating your own maximized, sugar-free Valentine treats. Nothing says “I love you” better than homemade creations. You can also make healthier shopping choices to avoid the pitfalls of boxed chocolates, processed candies, and sugary desserts with a few of my tips:
- Read labels to avoid hidden sources of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, and use flours from sources of fat (i.e. nuts, beans, seeds such as almond, coconut or chickpeas).
- When shopping for chocolate, look for the percent (%) of Cacao in the ingredients list. Pure raw 100% Cacao chocolate is best as it is good for your heart, health, and libido because of its natural antioxidants.
- Use Stevia as a sweetener, or natural sweeteners less likely to elevate blood glucose, insulin, or inflammation. Stevia may taste bitter to some people, so always taste test your recipe and adjust the amount accordingly. Generally, the aftertaste is not as noticeable when mixed with other flavours such as cinnamon, vanilla, cacao or coffee.
- If you are shying away from dairy, there are other choices for milk, butter, cheese and yogurt to take the place of animal proteins and healthy fats, and move your health in a better direction without drastic change. For example, coconut milk is a great substitute as it’s full of healthy fats and antioxidants.
Once you are ready to start baking, start with my list of eight decadent, sugar-free recipes below. A box of these sweets will certainly win over the ones you love, and help you maintain your maximized living goals. My mouth is watering just thinking about these chocolatey desserts!
Ingredients: fresh organic strawberries, unsweetened chocolate, cinnamon, and stevia.
Get easily digestible minerals and vitamins from dates in these salty-sweet treats, and savour the flavour of caramel!
Ingredients: pitted dates, coconut milk (full fat or light), coconut oil, vanilla extract (optional), unrefined salt, and coconut flour.
Satisfy your desire for a sweet and crunchy treat with this colourful, delectable dessert that has strawberries mixed into every aspect from the batter to toppings, so you get little chunks in every bite.
Ingredients: Almond Flour, Arrowroot Starch, Freeze-dried Strawberries, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Egg Yolk (optional), Vanilla Extract, Honey, Pistachios (shelled), Unrefined Cacao Butter (not coconut butter), Honey, Vanilla Bean Powder, Dark Chocolate (85% dark)
Mix up pomegranates and other berries such as raspberries and strawberries into a smoothie with romantic symbolism. Can it get much sweeter for Valentine’s Day?! Ingredients: almond milk or coconut milk, ripe banana, pomegranate seeds, your choice of frozen berries
For someone who loves peanut butter and chocolate (like me), these Maximized Living “Peanut Butter Cups” are a nutty option added to heart-shaped cups.
Ingredients: organic butter or coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate squares, stevia and cinnamon.
Click here for Almond Butter Cups recipe, and click below to view video.
Skip post-dessert guilt with these rich, no-bake bites that are perfectly enjoyable after dinner!
Ingredients: organic dates, cacao powder, macadamia nut butter, whole macadamia, and sea salt.
Imagine a strawberry-flavoured cloud that’s light, airy, delicate, and sweetened without sugar. Now it’s a dessert that you deserve to (and will) enjoy. As with other animal products, quality is important for gelatin so use one that is 100% grass-fed.
Ingredients: fresh organic strawberries, grass-fed gelatin, organic pastured egg whites, Vanilla Extract, Stevia Powder, organic heavy whipping cream
Meet the solution to your family’s next chocolate craving – simple, kid-approved and decadent! Walnuts are a nutritional power house, high in healthy omega-3 fats to not pass up.
Ingredients: walnuts/peanuts, pitted dates, stevia, unsweetened cocoa powder, ghee or coconut oil, and unsweetened shredded coconut.
A chocolate bark recipe is always a great gift! Use a different combination of your favourite raw nuts, coffee beans, seeds, or dried fruit or berries.
Ingredients: unsweetened baking chocolate, stevia or Xylitol, raw almonds/pecans/hazelnuts or a combination of any raw nuts, coffee beans (optional), seeds (optional), dried fruit or berries (optional), butter (optional), and cinnamon (optional).
You won’t believe how rich, decadent and healthy this pudding is as a dessert or late night snack… or even your next breakfast. It’s a delicious and guilt-free food that combines the divine flavours of cherries and chocolate. To reduce your total sugars in this recipe, you could try making this with stevia in place of maple syrup or honey.
Ingredients: non-dairy milk (e.g. almond, coconut, hemp), chia seeds (powdered if you want a smooth texture), raw cacao powder, pure maple syrup or honey, cherries, raw cacao nibs, dark chocolate shavings (use 70% dark chocolate or higher)
Make this rich, chocolatey, mouth-watering dessert for any excuse you can find! Top it with fresh organic heavy whipping cream, or strawberry sauce (bag of organic frozen strawberries in a small pot with a few drops of water and stevia to taste until it is hot). Or use your own favourite topping to make it more delicious.
Ingredients: pecans, cocoa, baking powder, salt, organic eggs, butter, pure vanilla extract (no sugar – check the label), stevia, water/almond milk or coffee.
Wrapping up with Love
You can satisfy your sweet tooth for Valentine’s Day without any added sugars, and start kicking your sugar habit with the recipes above. Not a Chocolate lover? Looking for dinner ideas? Check out more of my recipes for a variety of dishes and desserts (high fiber, low-carb, vegan, vegetarian, raw, no-bake, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, etc.).
Have a Happy, Healthy Valentine’s Day!