Like Halloween and Easter, Valentine’s Day is a mecca of treats and chocolates. While a box of candy or truffles might make a nice gift for a sweetheart, they’re not necessarily the best choice for your heart – or your waistline. Valentine’s Day is typically a day where you show your love through traditional gifts of candy and sweets, but why not share the gift of a healthy heart with your loved one instead?
There’s nothing that says “romance” like taking the time out to cook your significant others’ favorite meal at home. Valentine’s Day is typically one of the busiest days for restaurants, so skip the reservations and spend time alone without all the chaos of a crowded restaurant. Because you’re not paying for an expensive dinner date, splurge on finer ingredients to make fresh, healthy dishes like Pomegranate Duck, Mussels, Roasted Rack of Lamb, or Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Wine Sauce.
Who says you have to go to dinner and a movie? Think outside the box and plan a Valentine’s Day date that’s both romantic, and active. What not try skating? Many community centers across Winnipeg have outdoor skating rinks, and The Forks offers both a skating rink and skating trails, as well as rentals. There’s also the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail on the Assiniboine River.
Dance lessons at one of Winnipeg’s dance studios, bowling, or even a romantic walk with hot chocolate along the Assiniboine River in St. Boniface are all great active date ideas.
Make Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats
Eating some sweets on Valentine’s Day is almost inevitable. It would be cruel to deny yourself a treat or two, but at least you can have some control over what you’re consuming if you make them yourself. Whether it’s for the office, around the house, or for your child’s elementary school Valentine’s Day party, try these simple tricks and recipes to make this year’s Valentine’s Day treats a little bit more health-conscious.
- Dark Chocolate – Substitute milk or white chocolate for dark chocolate (choose 70% coco or higher) in your recipes to maximize your health benefits, while still retaining that chocolate-y flavor. Dark chocolate has been proven to help lower blood pressure, curb cravings for sweet and healthy foods, and even help lower cholesterol.
- Fruits – Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries are all romantic fruits, so why not try and build a tasty dessert around them? Dip berries in (dark) chocolate for a fondue, use them to make a fruit sorbet instead of ice cream, or top vanilla frozen yoghurt with berries and chocolate sauce for a sundae.
- Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies – Cut out the fat and pump up the protein with this healthier version of the usually rich and buttery triple chocolate brownie. http://joythebaker.com/2012/01/triple-chocolate-black-bean-brownies/
- Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies – Decorate these high-fiber cookies with low-fat cream cheese icing, and colour and flavor them with pomegranate juice for extra calcium and antioxidants. http://www.food.com/recipe/whole-wheat-sugar-cookies-63179
Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications Student