A Healthy Valentine’s Day?

Emmy Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Quick! Think of all the food you associate with Valentine’s Day. I know for me images of chocolate, candy, cookies, or pretty much anything with high levels of refined sugar are conjured up in my head. From a young age we’re taught that besides Halloween, Valentine’s Day is the day revolved around sweets. As elementary school students we gave our classmates valentines with candy attached, as high school students we give our friends homemade baked goods, and as adults we’re sure to either give or receive a box of chocolates at least once. But what if you want to avoid the unnecessarily high levels of calories that are associated with V-day? Well fear not! I’ve come up with a few ideas to stay sweet yet healthy during this treat filled holiday (and boys, I’d take note just in case Valentine’s Day happens to be the day your girlfriend decides she must go on that diet she keeps talking about).

 

To start off simple, you can never go wrong with berries and freshly made whipped cream.

–     First start off by cutting and mixing together a cup of fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

–     Then make your whipped cream. Measure out a cup of heavy cream, a teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of powered sugar in a metal bowl.

–     Mix all three of these ingredients together with an electric mixer on “High” until it looks like whipped cream (around 4 or 5 minutes).

–     Put all your berries in a bowl and top with whipped cream.

One serving of a cup of berries and ¼ cup of whipped cream is about 150 calories.

 

If chocolate covered fruit is your thing, break away from the Valentine cliché of chocolate covered strawberry and try a dark chocolate covered clementine.

–       Start by peeling 7-8 clementines and separate each section from each other and set aside

–       Next melt down 4-ounces of dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl (no metal!)

–       Dip each clementine segment into the chocolate so that only half of the fruit is covered and place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet

–       Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes so the chocolate hardens

One serving of 3 pieces of chocolate dipped clementine is 44 calories.

 

Lastly if you want to go down the baked goods route why don’t you try chocolate covered brownie bites?

–     Start off by using a boxed brownie mix and follow the instructions on the     back of the box for how to make the batter and for baking times. You want to use an 8-inch square pan when you bake these

–     Once your brownies are completely cooled off, cut into inch size squares

–     Melt in a microwave safe bowl 1 cup of semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips

–     Dip half of each brownie square into the chocolate and place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. If you want to get festive, sprinkle the wet chocolate with pink and red sprinkles

–     Put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the chocolate hardens

One serving of 1 chocolate covered brownie bite is about 40 calories

 

While it’s really great to try and stay healthy during a holiday that has so many sweets associated with it, its also OK to indulge yourself with that one piece of your favorite chocolate or that one pink frosted cookie, just don’t forget everything in moderation is the key to a healthy life style.