It seems we’ve only got into the swing of things following the festive season, and then Valentine’s Day is suddenly here to derail all our saintly intentions…
Not to worry though, we don’t want the health conscious to miss out completely, so here are some easy, healthy Valentine’s Day treats that won’t affect your pursuit of that spring PB.
Chocolate Bark with Benefits
This recipe couldn’t be easier, and it’s a fantastic alternative to commercial chocolates which are full of sugar. By raising the cocoa levels, we keep the sugar levels down but increase the nutritional benefit.
While not something you should be consuming daily, dark chocolate has been proven to be a rich source of antioxidants. It’s also known to be an aphrodisiac, so sharing this treat with your partner could even amp up your love life.
Both pistachios and almonds are known for their nutritional benefits, and are a great source of vitamins, minerals and protein. While candied orange peel isn’t quite so health conscious, a little really goes a long way, ensuring your bark is full of flavour.
Creates one large chocolate bark heart, or several smaller ones:
- 200g dark chocolate (70% or higher)
- 20g chopped pistachios
- 20g flaked almonds
- 10g chopped candied orange peel
- Oil to grease your heart shaped cookie cutter
- Start by lining a baking sheet with greaseproof baking paper, and melt your chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water
- Using a heart shaped cookie cutter lightly oil the inner edge to ensure your chocolate doesn’t stick
- Place your cutter over the baking paper, and pour your melted chocolate into the cookie cutter
- Sprinkle your pistachios, almonds and orange peel onto the chocolate, and leave in the fridge to cool
- Once cooked simply remove the cutter, and you’re finished!
Indulgent Truffles with a Protein Hit
Usually made with cream, butter and chocolate, truffles may taste delicious but they haven’t got much to boast in terms of nutritional benefit. Our makeover features almonds, which are well known for containing lots of healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
Studies have also shown that they can help to keep hunger at bay, making them the perfect on-the-go snack (in moderation of course.)
Makes 18 truffles:
- 125g nut butter (we like peanut!)
- 120g ground almonds
- 110g honey
- 60g chocolate flavoured protein powder
- Cocoa powder and coconut and chopped nuts to coat
- Add protein powder and ground almonds to a medium-size bowl and combine
- Next, add your chosen nut butter and honey and mix again. At this point the batter should have a dough-like consistency
- Finally, you can get stuck in; scoop out dough into your palms and roll into balls
- Coat by rolling in a thin layer of cocoa powder, and then either coconut or chopped nuts depending on your preference
Chocoholics Ice-Cream Sandwich ‘Brookies’
There’s no doubt that this is a decadent recipe, but the health benefits of our makeover mean that you’ll be ready for your next workout as well as a little romance.
The Greek yogurt featured in the ice-cream is always a good alternative to cream. Not only is it low in saturated fats, it’s also a fantastic source of protein and calcium.
- 30g of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200g of dark chocolate (at least 70%)
- 100g of unsalted butter
- 100g of natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of salt
- 100g of sweetener
- 150g of wholegrain flour
- Icing sugar to dust
For ice cream filling
- 1 banana
- 50ml of Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp of sweetener
- ½ tbsp of honey
- 1 heaped tbsp of cocoa powder
- Start by chopping your banana into even-sized chunks and place in the freezer for an hour to 90 minutes
- Take out your banana chunks and put them into a food processor with your yogurt, honey, sweetener and cocoa powder
- Keep blending the mixture until it is smooth and creamy
- Place the mixture back in the freezer for up to an hour to 90 minutes
- While your ice cream is in the freezer it’s time to make your cookies. Melt your chocolate over a pan of hot water, and in a separate bowl, blend your cocoa powder, sweetener and butter together – make sure they’re well mixed
- Then add in your vanilla extract, egg and salt and mix together. Gradually work your flour and baking powder into the mixture
- Finally, add your melted chocolate and peanut butter. Whip into a smooth dough and add a splash of water if you need to loosen things up
- Separate into equal portions on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper and place in the oven at 180C for around 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on them as you go – you want them to remain nice and squidgy but not under-baked!
- Take your cookies out once baked and leave to cool
- When you’re ready to serve simply scoop some ice-cream and squish between two cookies. Dust with a very fine layer of icing sugar and your ice-cream sandwich ‘Brookies’ are good to go
Recipes and images from DW Fitness Clubs