It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that often means chocolate and sweets galore. And while these indulgences are treats for our taste buds, they aren't quite as sweet to our bodies.
On the labels of conventional chocolates, candies and desserts, you'll find an ingredients list with unhealthy sugars, saturated fats and processed ingredients. Not very loving, is it?
But you don't have to forgo these sweets entirely this Valentine's Day. Instead of buying the same ol’ desserts, why not rekindle the romance and surprise your sweetheart with a new healthy homemade treat?
Here are some very simple suggestions for some of my favorite quick and easy desserts – baked chocolate cake and raw chocolate truffles. BONUS: Add a little bit of almond milk to the truffles batter and use it doubles as icing on your cake!
BAKED CHOCOLATE CAKE
**You can double the recipe if you like and pour into two pans
13 ounces of boxed no- sodium black beans
1/3 cup oat flour (made from grinding raw oats)
4 egg whites or vegan equivalent of Ener-G egg replacement
1/2 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Grape seed oil spray
Fresh organic raspberries
Non-dairy whipped cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
Line a 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with oil spray. Set aside.
Blend all ingredients in a blender.
Pour the batter into the baking pan. Tap the pans lightly on the countertop to prevent air bubbles.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Ice with frosting or decorate with non-dairy whipped cream and fresh raspberries
RAW VEGAN TRUFFLES
1 cup dates
1/2 cup coconut butter (NOT oil)
3/4 cup raw agave or coconut nectar
½ vanilla bean
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cacao powder
1/8 cup cacao for rolling
For directions for truffles, watch this video or read instruction below
Place vanilla bean in blender with agave (or coconut nectar) and cacao and blend until the bean is chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until chocolate mass if formed.
If using the mixture as icing, you can use it immediately.
If you're making truffles, transfer to a bowl and freeze for 20 minutes.
When cooled, roll a small amount of the mixture into a ball and brush with cacao powder so it is not sticky outside.
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About Alina Z.
Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.