It’s almost VALENTINE’S DAY! That means love notes and sweet treats, right? Well, we did all the heavy lifting and found the most delicious, HEALTHY sweet treats on the interwebs to make this Saturday, all loaded with cancer-fighting ingredients. Antioxidant-packed Pomegranate Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark, Red Velvet Cake Smoothie with phytochemical-filled beets, Strawberry Deviled Hearts, Chocolate Peanut Butted Quinoa Cups, and Black Bean Lava Cakes (yes, as in actual black beans are the main ingredient—wait till you see the photo below)!
Pomegranate Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark
Recipe from Diets In Review
This bark is pure bliss. Intense dark chocolate envelops pomegranate arils and crunchy, savory pistachios and each bite is better than the last.
The health benefits are impressive, too. Dark chocolate boasts cell-protecting antioxidants and has been found to help reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. Pomegranates are loaded with vitamins C and B5, as well as potassium, fiber and multiple kinds of polyphenols. And pistachios provide protein, healthy fats, vitamins A and E, and have been found to help lower cholesterol and fight inflammation. Now those are some benefits even the least health conscious Valentine on your list can appreciate.
10 ounces of quality dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao), chopped if in bar form
1/3 cup pomegranate arils
1/3 cup salted or unsalted pistachios, chopped
1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler by placing a large bowl over a small sauce pan filled with 1 inch of water. The bowl should not be touching the water. Bring the water to between a low boil and simmer and then place the chocolate in the bowl. Let set until it begins to melt and then stir every couple minutes until it’s fully melted.
2. Immediately pour the chocolate onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a rectangle with a spoon. Then top with pomegranate arils and pistachios, making sure you sprinkle them on as evenly as possible.
3. Transfer the bark to the freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes. Then remove, break into about 16 pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge until serving.
Estimated nutrition: Yields 16 pieces; per piece: 116 calories, 6 g fat, 3.8 g saturated fat, 4 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g protein
Black Bean Lava Cakes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
These cakes of goodness got us thinking about love at first sight and the idea of a soulmate. After some deep thinking and 2 lava cakes, we experienced some major epiphanies. You can sense a person’s energy within minutes of first meeting them and that chemistry is a very real thing. These Black Bean Lava Cakes have filled our hearts with immense joy and we cannot wait to spend our lives with them.
Yields: 4 cakes
- 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax mixed with 3 T warm water)
- 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne
- ½ tsp sea salt (divided)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 pieces of chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make flax egg and set aside
3. In food processor combine black beans, maple syrup, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon cayenne and half of sea salt. Pulse to combine (about 1 minute)
4. Add in almond meal, cocoa powder and flax egg. Process until combined (about 30 seconds)
5. Add in baking powder and continue processing for another 30 seconds.
6. Grease 4 5oz ramekins with coconut oil. Make sure to grease well.
7. Add a 1/4 cup of batter to each ramekin.
8. Place piece of chocolate and cover each ramekin evenly with remaining batter.
9. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 mins.
10. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 mins.
11. Use a knife to loosen edges and then flip ramekins over on a plate. They should come loose easily.
12. Serve warm. Will keep in fridge for several days.
Red Velvet Smoothie with Cashew Cream “Filling”
Recipe from Keepin It Kind
Makes two small smoothies or one large smoothie
If you like red velvet cake, you will adore this smoothie. If you don’t like red velvet cake, you will still adore this smoothie. It’s refined sugar-free, provides long-lasting energy, and the cashew cream “filling” makes the smoothie itself very filling. If you need a healthy, nourishing alternative to stuffing yourself with cake, this is for you!
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup warm water (will only use ¼ cup)
- ½ – 1 tsp powdered stevia
- ¾ cup grated or chopped red beets
- 4-6 strawberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 dried dates
- 2-3 T cocoa powder (depending on your tastes)
- 1 T flax meal
- 1 T agave syrup
- Make your cashew cream “filling” first: Soak the cashews in ½ a cup of warm water for at least and hour, if not longer. Strain the cashews and reserve the water. In the bowl of a food processor, or in a bowl using an immersion blender, process the cashews with ¼ cup of the reserved water and the stevia until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the smoothie, blend the remaining ingredients together until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour into glass(es) and pour the cashew cream into the center(s). Enjoy!
Deviled Strawberry Hearts
Recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
16 large strawberries, tops cut and split in half lengthwise
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1. Place cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer, until smooth.
2. Scrape down sides of the bowl and set aside.
3. In another mixing bowl with the electric mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
5. Slice the backs of each strawberry, every so slightly, so they sit up straight. Using a small measuring spoon or melon baller, carefully hollow the inner center of each strawberry.
6. Fill a piping bag (fitted with a star tip) with the cream cheese mixture and pipe into each cut strawberry.
7. Finish each with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs and serve.
These crispy treats are easy to make and don’t involve any baking. Just whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, cacao, and honey or maple syrup in a small saucepan for a couple of minutes to melt together. I have made these with stevia instead of honey or syrup for a no sugar added treat and they are just as delicious, though they don’t hold together quite as well. Coconut syrup is another great natural vegan sweetener. Then stir the chocolaty mixture into puffed quinoa or puffed millet.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: about 10 large or 20 mini cups
- 3 Tablespoons cacao powder
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
- 1/4 cup honey, maple, or coconut syrup
- 2 cups puffed quinoa or puffed millet (found in cereal aisle)
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together the cacao, coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey.
- Place puffed quinoa or millet into a large bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over and stir to combine.
- Spoon into muffin cups and freeze until hardened, about 10 minutes. I keep these in the freezer.