In celebration of that special someone, get creative, skip the token treat, and create some heat in the kitchen with some tempting, bite-size indulgences. These recipes are not only sinful and delicious but are also appropriately “heart healthy” as we celebrate National Heart Month.
Cupid, eat your heart out…
Ti Amo Truffles
2 cups organic desiccated unsweetened coconut
¼ cup organic maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
1 teaspoons organic vanilla
4 ounces organic fair trade 70 or 85% dark chocolate*
*Darker chocolate has less sugar and is more bitter.
Place the coconut into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of course flour.
Place the oil and sweetener in a small pot and melt gently over warm heat.
Add the melted mixture and the vanilla to the processed coconut and stir well until combined.
Using your hands, roll the coconut mixture into about 18 small balls and store in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
While the coconut balls are chilling, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.
Remove the coconut balls from the fridge.
Dip each ball into the melted chocolate with a fork.
Place the chocolate-covered coconut balls on a sheet of wax paper and chill until the chocolate forms a hard coating.
Store in the refrigerator.
Nuts Over You
Safflower oil, to grease pan
¾ cup organic almonds, coarsely chopped
¾ cup organic Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
¾ cup organic macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
50 grams Kerrygold butter
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.
Lightly grease a pan with the safflower oil.
Spread the nuts separately on the pan and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until toasted.
Remove from the oven, set aside and cool.
Heat the sugar in a non-stick ceramic pan over medium heat until it all turns to a caramel color. Stir continuously.
Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the toasted nuts and butter to coat.
Pour the nut mixture into the greased pan and allow to set for 20 minutes.
Break into pieces.
For a flavor variation, you can grind in a little Himalayan salt to create a salted caramel flavor.
You Spice Up My Life
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) organic chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 teaspoon organic cumin
1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
½ teaspoon organic chili powder
Himalayan salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except chickpeas in a bowl.
Add chickpeas and toss to coat.
Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven, stirring occasionally until chickpeas have browned and are crisp, about 45-60 minutes.
With a little heat and spice in the kitchen, you can make this a memorable and happy Valentine’s Day that engages all the senses!
Our nutrition expert, Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., has been a clinical nutritionist and metabolic specialist since 1996. Peta specializes in examining the root causes of complex and chronic health issues, and helping clients prevent the diseases caused by lifestyle choices, environmental influences, epigenetics, and aging. With her extensive clinical and research experience, she's been invited to share her knowledge at seminars and conferences worldwide. In Peta's articles for the BoomSpot, the blog of the online store theBoomShop.com, she gives practical tips on how adults 50+ can improve their health right now. Learn more about Peta at PetaCohen.com.