- Mitzi Dulan, America's Nutrition Expert, Cooks and Dishes - https://nutritionexpert.com -

3 Ways to a Healthy Valentines Day

[1]The day of cupids and arrows is quickly approaching and love is in the air!  Stores are lined with amorous cards, cutesy stuffed animals, and of course, loads of chocolate.  Valentines Day can be a treacherous day for those watching their weight as it is filled with sweet temptations.  However, it can also be a great opportunity to show love to oneself, friends, and family.

  1. Love yourself: Start the day off right with a healthy, Valentines Day themed breakfast.  Strawberries are a great choice.  Not only are they red and heart-shaped when sliced, but also, they are loaded with healthy antioxidants and fiber.  Combine a bowl of Greek yogurt, with sliced strawberries, and a drizzle of honey for a perfectly sweet start to the day!
  2. Love your Friends and Coworkers: If you like to bring treats into the office or bake for your friends on holidays, consider swapping out the usual decadent treats for some “Chocolate Cherry Heart Smart Cookies.”  At only 94 calories per cookie, they pack an incredible amount of flavor as well as vitamins and minerals.  Waist lines will thank you so will taste buds since tart cherries and dark chocolate are an incredible combination!
  3. Love your Honey: Plan a romantic dinner with your sweet heart and cook up a healthy well-balanced meal that will leave you both energized and bloat free.  That way you can fully enjoy the rest of the evening together!  Check out my “Healthy Recipes” board on Pinterest for ideas [2].  After a healthy dinner, a sweet bite to finish out the day is in order.   Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac, making it the perfect choice.  Share a Chocolate Souffle with your loved one for a sweet finish.  The following recipe from Cooking Light is only 188 calories per serving, yet moist and sexy.

Chocolate Cherry Heart Smart Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)

1 1/2 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup dried tart cherries

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Cooking spray

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add tart cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Souffle for Two

Ingredients

Cooking spray

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk

1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg white

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat 2 (8-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.
  3. Combine water and next 5 ingredients (water through egg yolk) in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until thick (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
  4. Beat egg white and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until puffy and set. Sprinkle each soufflé with 1 teaspoon powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Assistance provided by Allison van Camp [3]

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