These Valentine treats are plenty sweet without lots of sugary calories:
Instead of milk chocolate, opt for a bar of premium dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa. Dark chocolate has a deeper and richer flavor, plus it’s rich in antioxidants and contains far less fat and sugar than milk chocolate.
Given their red color, heart shape and supposed aphrodisiac effect, no wonder strawberries were the symbol of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Strawberries are a great choice for Valentine’s Day because a full cup has only 46 calories, and they’re easy to dress up. One idea: Whip up some strawberry bonbons by dipping your berries in Greek yogurt, then roll each in chopped pistachios and pop into the freezer. Try this recipe using dark chocolate.
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Almonds are elegant, nutrition-packed and good for your heart. Sex them up a bit with a coating of sweetened cinnamon and toast them in the oven. Try my recipe.
Instead of a sugary mixed cocktail packing 500 calories or more, toast your love with a glass of red wine that has just 90 calories, zero fat and provides a healthy boost of antioxidants.
Take slices of apple, pear, pineapple, and kiwi and cut them into hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Stack them on wooden skewers for a colorful, refreshing treat that’s sweet and super light. Tip: To keep the apples and pears from browning soak them for a minute in a mixture of lemon juice and water.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.