Healthy Valentine Sweets for Your Sweet!

Valentine’s Day is here.  We are all looking for that big box of chocolates that we always get. You know the one, red, heart-shaped with ribbons and flowers, with all those gooey filled chocolates inside.  Nope.  Not this year.  This year we are going to make our own sweets, so we can stay healthy and follow our proper eating plans.  There’s no reason to cheat when we have these recipes we can use.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies – gluten free and vegan

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup vegan buttery spread softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour*
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2 Tablespoon vegan buttery spread melted
  • 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugarInstructions

Instructions for the cookies

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat vegan butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the applesauce, mix until combined.

Combine gluten-free flour, cocoa, and salt and add to the wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts; flatten each portion into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Place 1 portion of dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Make sure your rolling pin is coated with GF flour. If you haven’t tried to roll GF dough before, it can be sticky! Flouring the surface and the pin help make it easier. Cut out round shapes with a two-inch fluted biscuit cutter like this. Carefully lift the rounds up with a thin spatula and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes for 2-inch cookies. (Keep an eye on them since the dough is dark, it’s hard to tell when they are done! Don’t let them burn! Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to wire racks.

Instructions for the filling

With a hand mixer, mix the butter and non-dairy milk. Add the confectioner’s sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until smooth.

The filling should be thick but spreadable. You may not need all of the confectioner’s sugar. (The filling does indeed taste exactly like Oreo filling. Yay!)

Once the cookies are completely cool, frost one cookie and then top with another cookie and press together. These should be stored in the refrigerator due to the non-dairy milk in the filling.

Recipe Notes   

*A number of gluten-free flour blends work well here: Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Flour Blend, Living Now Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour. Make sure you choose a flour that is safe for your dietary needs.

Recipe from the Pretty Bee

The Easiest Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend regular flour works in this recipe, if you are not GF
  • 1 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup organic canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips
  • confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the dry ingredients. (This step is important, especially with gluten-free flour. Otherwise, you’ll have lumps!)

Add the organic canola oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water. Mix together by hand, and don’t overmix. Stir in the dairy free chocolate chips.

Pour into an 8-inch square Pyrex dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Dust the top with confectioner’s sugar once cool.

Recipe Notes  

I have tried this with Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, and Enjoy Life Foods All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour.

You can use this to make cupcakes – reduce the baking time to about 13-15 minutes. Makes about 12 cupcakes.

Recipe from the Pretty Bee

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter I used JIF Natural
  • 1 Tablespoon ground golden flax seed meal
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

Line a mini muffin tin with paper candy cups (or they might be called mini muffin cups).

Place the dairy-free chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave for one minute. Stir, and if they are not fully melted, microwave in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until they are smooth and melted.

With a spoon, drizzle some melted chocolate in the paper candy cups. Take the spoon and spread a little bit up on the sides of the paper liner as well. Put the mini muffin tin in the fridge so the chocolate hardens, about 10 or 15 minutes.

Put the peanut butter in a separate bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds so it softens. Remove from microwave and stir in ground flax seed and confectioner’s sugar, mixing until well combined.

Remove the muffin tin from the fridge and put a small spoonful of the peanut butter mixture in each liner. Flatten slightly with the spoon.

Put a spoonful of the remaining chocolate over each peanut butter filled cup. Make sure it totally covers the top of the peanut butter.

Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 20-30 minutes. When serving, you may want to take them out of the fridge for about ten minutes so the chocolate isn’t too hard to eat.

Recipe Notes 

  • use almond butter or another nut butter
  • use sunbutter if you’d like to make these nut free
  • use crunchy peanut butter
  • sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top

Recipe from the Pretty Bee

 

 

 

Vegan Crispy Rice Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Ingredients

  • Truffles:
  • 1 cup beet sugar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1 fifteen ounce can unsweetened coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces dark vegan chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • Toppings: melted dark vegan chocolate, dark unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, flaky salt, edible gold dust

Instructions

In a heavy medium-sized saucepan add the sugar, coconut cream, and coconut oil and place the pan over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel gets golden around the edges, this will take about 8-10 minutes.

When the caramel is all smooth and melted remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and add the chocolate. Whisk the chocolate into the hot caramel until it is melted and smooth.

Pour the hot chocolate caramel ganache into a pyrex bowl and cool to room temperature.

When the ganache has cooled, fold in the Rice Krispies and then put the bowl of truffle base into the refrigerator and chill until cold and solid.

Prepare a sheet pan with a sheet of wax paper.

Use a small scoop to make little rounds (I make mine about 1 tablespoon big with a melon baller) and roll it into a ball with your palms.

Place the truffles on the prepared sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes until chilled. Then roll in cocoa powder or coconut, or dip in melted chocolate and top with sea salt, coconut or gold edible dust.

Store in an airtight container or in the freezer.   

Recipe from Heather Christo

 

These recipes are pretty, easy and really delicious.  So, start baking and have a great Valentine’s Day!

Barb Schrader
February 7, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians
To schedule an appointment, click here.

 

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