Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to bake and indulge in sweet treats. But that doesn’t mean you have to cheat on your diet and put a dent in the healthy accomplishments you’ve made. There are dozens of delicious recipes you can make and eat without feeling guilty about it afterward. With these desserts, you can maintain that weight you’ve worked so hard to get to and still enjoy the sweeter side of life.
Here are four decedent but diet-friendly treats for Valentine’s Day:
1. Mini Raspberry Mousse Parfaits
This tart and sweet recipe from Taste of Home will satisfy your cravings for only 143 calories per serving.
- 1 and 3/4 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries – thawed
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. orange juice
- 1 and 1/3 cups whipped topping
- An angel food cake cut into 12 1/2-inch cubes
First, strain your raspberries to remove the pulp and seeds, and save the juice. Place the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the raspberry juice, stir the mixture and bring it to a boil. Let cook until it reaches a thick consistency – this should take about 2 minutes – then remove from heat. Transfer to refrigerator to cool.
Once cooled, remove mixture from fridge and divide into two. Stir orange juice into one portion and set aside. In the other portion, fold in whipping topping.
Divide angel food cake bites evenly among four dessert glasses. Add a tablespoon of the raspberry-orange mixture to each and then top with 1/3 cup mousse mixture. Enjoy!
2. Cookie Dough Dip
Who doesn’t love to snack on raw cookie dough? Unfortunately, it’s not the most health-conscious snack out there – but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an alternative. Try this guilt-free cookie dough dip recipe by Shape magazine.
- 1 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/8 tsp. plus 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup nut butter
- Up to 1/4 cup milk of choice – start with 1 tbsp. and gradually add more if necessary
- 2/3 cup brown sugar or liquid agave
- 1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
- 2-3 tbsp. oats or flaxmeal
Place all ingredients – besides the chocolate chips – into a food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency, similar to cookie dough. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and mix in the chocolate chips. Serve with fruit, crackers or pita chips.
3. Swirled Cheesecake Brownies
A decadent treat doesn’t have to make you feel guilty – especially one that’s only 100 calories per serving. Try this recipe by Eating Well magazine for Valentine’s Day:
For the cheesecake topping:
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the brownie:
- 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 strong coffee
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
First, heat your oven to 350 degrees and coat a 7-by-11-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
To prepare your cheesecake swirl topping, place the cream cheese in a small bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Gradually add sugar, egg, flour, yogurt and vanilla, continuing to beat until blended. Set aside.
To make your brownie layer, combine the whole-wheat flour, cocoa and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, egg whites and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the oil, coffee and vanilla and continue to beat until combined. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat, on low, until the mixtures have blended completely.
Pour half of your brownie batter into your prepared pan, and then add all of your cream cheese topping. In dollops, add your remaining brownie batter, and then use a knife to swirl through both of the batters to create the marbleized effect.
Place brownies in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice brownies into 24 bars.
4. Healthy Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are a Valentine’s Day must – just try this healthier recipe by food blog Paleo Grubs:
- 1/4 cup cocoa butter
- 3 tbsp. raw cacao
- 1 1/2 tsp. raw honey
- 20 fresh strawberries
First, prepare a pan with parchment paper.
Make your chocolate by melting the cocoa butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Gradually stir to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Mix in the raw cacao and honey, stirring well until combined. Turn down heat, let cool slightly, and then dip each strawberry into the chocolate. Place on your prepared parchment sheet, and then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour before eating.
If you want to look and feel even better on Valentine’s Day, stop into an Ideal Image today or schedule your free consultation.