Who says you need to sacrifice your healthy diet or your fitness goals for one day of sinful indulgence? Healthier alternatives abound if you know where to look, and this article will show you how to make your own delicious Valentine’s Day treats perfect for sharing or gifting.
Skip the store-bought sugar cookies and saccharinely-sweet tubs of ice cream. Consider making these easy recipes as a fun bonding activity, and you’ll rest easy knowing you haven’t wrecked your diet. Read on for easy takes on sugar-free Valentine’s cookies, red velvet cheesecake, and other classic dessert favorites perfectly on-theme for the Day of Hearts.
Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies
Sugar-free sugar cookies? It is possible. And it’s delicious! You can make great-tasting sugar-free sugar cookies by using your choice of granular sugar substitutes. These classic cookies can be cut out into heart shapes and iced with a similarly sugar-free icing. Make a bunch, tint a few bowls of the glaze in different colors, and get creative decorating Valentine’s cookies with your sweetheart.
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ⅓ cup granular sugar substitute, like Swerve
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg (large)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Swerve powdered sweetener
- Water (as needed)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Beat all cookie ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until a dough forms.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle on some more flour.
- Cut out into fun shapes as desired. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Once the edges are lightly browned, gently move the cookies to a cooling rack until they’re cool enough to handle.
- To make the icing, add water to the powdered sweetener in a small bowl until a thin glaze forms. Add a few drops of your chosen food coloring or dye, if using. Brush on cooled cookies.1
No-Bake Red Velvet “Cheesecake”
This vegan-friendly, refined sugar-free version of cheesecake gets its characteristic red hue from beets. There isn’t a single ounce of cream cheese in this dessert, but you won’t miss it thanks to the ingenious use of rich and creamy cashews. Another plus: This recipe doesn’t require any baking.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 Tbsps. cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
- 2 Tbsps. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsps. coconut oil, melted
- Dash of pink or kosher salt
- 2 ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water at least 2 hours
- 1 ⅔ cup beets, roasted
- ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- ¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 oz. good-quality dark chocolate, melted
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 ¼ Tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ⅛ tsp pink or kosher salt
“Cream Cheese” Frosting
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water at least two hours
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 ½ tsp lemon juice
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Pinch of pink or kosher salt
- To make the chocolate crust, combine all crust ingredients in a small bowl. Add a bit of water if the mixture is slightly too dry.
- Press mixture into the bottom of a springform pan lined with parchment paper. Chill.
- To make the cheesecake, first drain, rinse, and dry the soaked cashews. Then, transfer to the bowl of a food processor and blend for up to five minutes. Add roasted beets and blend until smooth and well-combined. Scrape down the sides to make sure you get an evenly blended mixture.
- Mix in the rest of the batter ingredients. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
- Pour batter into the springform pan over the crust. Cover with paper towel and seal with foil before placing in the freezer for about three hours, or until set. Transfer to the refrigerator while you make frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To make “cream cheese frosting,” simply drain, rinse, and dry cashews before blitzing in the food processor until smooth.
- Add the rest of the frosting ingredients, process again, then taste. Adjust flavor as needed.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag (or to a plastic Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off) and frost your cheesecake before serving.2
Strawberry Chocolate Truffles
There’s just something so romantic about truffles, and this version rolled in freeze-dried fresh strawberries is just so charmingly perfect for V-Day.
- 1 cup almond butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 ½ Tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
- Freeze-dried strawberries
- Mix together almond butter and maple syrup. Once well-combined, add cocoa powder and coconut flour.
- Stir well until dough forms. Roll tablespoonfuls of truffle dough into small balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Throw some freeze-dried strawberries into a blender and process until it forms a crystal-like powder.
- Spread strawberry powder into a plate. Roll each truffle in it, making a uniform strawberry coating. Refrigerate coated truffles until ready to serve.3
Valentine’s Snack Mix With Homemade Marshmallow
Marshmallows are a fun snack. When they’re tinted pink or red, they make the perfect Heart’s Day treat. Follow this homemade marshmallow recipe and make them as gifts, building blocks for some banging V-Day s’mores, or as an essential component to a fun snack mix to have on hand as you snuggle up to watch a Valentine’s rom-com.
- 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar substitute (like Swerve)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pour half a cup of the warm water into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in gelatin.
- Mix remaining water, powdered sugar, sea salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn off heat as soon as bubbles begin to form.
- Slowly pour into the gelatin mixture. Whisk with a hand mixer until marshmallow mixture lightens in color and forms stiff peaks.
- Meanwhile, line a baking dish with parchment paper and dust with powdered sweetener. Transfer marshmallow mix into the lined dish and refrigerate overnight. When set, use a knife to cut into small squares.4
- Add small chunks of marshmallow into a bowl full of cereal or Chex Mix, pretzels, and dark chocolate chips or chunks to make a snack mix.
- Use unrefrigerated marshmallow mix as marshmallow fluff and as a replacement for white chocolate frosting for cupcakes and other sweet desserts.
- Sandwich large squares between two pieces of graham crackers and a piece of quality dark chocolate to make s’mores.
Have A Sweet Valentine’s Day (Sans The Sugar)
You don’t need sugary desserts to make the most of Valentine’s Day, or any special occasion for that matter. You and your sweetie are sure to fall in love with these easy, delicious, but sugar-free dessert recipes. What are you waiting for? It’s time to make some magic in the kitchen.
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