DIY Valentine’s Day Desserts

By Karla Walsh

Because a homemade treat is so much more lovely than a box of chocolates, don’t you think?

Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day has evolved to celebrate far more than romantic relationships. The day is a fun way to tell your friends, family, teachers, and neighbors that you care about them. Whether you like this holiday, you have to admit it has some perks (hello, chocolate!). 

The top item most of us plan to gift our sweethearts, ranking above flowers, a gift card, clothing, or even a greeting card? Candy. No real surprise there. 

Instead of overdosing on sugar bombs, why not try a DIY Valentine’s Day dessert recipe? Whipping up your own dessert at home can help you control the quality of ingredients, sugar content, and more. 

We’ve rounded up seven day-of-love dessert ideas that will sneak in a little nutrition and maybe even spark a little romance.

RELATED: The 10 Easiest Healthy Recipes We’ve Ever Shared Our Site

7 Healthy Desserts for Valentine’s Day

A homemade treat is so much more lovely than a box of chocolates, don’t you think?

Date Brownies

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect healthy Valentine’s Day dessert recipe to share with your date (see what we did there?). We’ve replaced all the sugar with naturally-sweet medjool dates (try Joolies Organic Pitted Medjool Dates; $14.00 for two 7-ounce boxes, Amazon). With plenty of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips in the whole wheat flour-based brownie batter, neither of you will miss the sugar—or likely notice the nutrition upgrade.

Get the recipe here.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

If a chocolate lava cake is your MVP menu item when you dine out, you’ll likely fall for this gluten-free and higher-protein rendition. Instead of fussing with the oven, though, you can cook the entire seven-ingredient chocolate cake in the microwave.

Get the recipe here.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Grab two straws and share a smoothie recipe that’s an ode to those chocolate-covered cherries you might normally snag from a box of chocolate. In this surprisingly healthy shake-like smoothie, the sweet frozen cherries, vanilla extract and cocoa powder team up to make the avocado and spinach inside completely incognito.

Get the recipe here.

Choco-Avocado Pudding

Speaking of avocado, we’ve also added it to this silky chocolate pudding. The heart-healthy fruit is actually the secret ingredient that makes it possible to ace the luxurious texture, with zero butter, cream, or whole milk required. Simply combine an avocado with cocoa, unsweetened almond milk and honey in a blender and blitz until creamy. Dreamy!

Get the recipe here.

Poached Pears

Similar to something you might order at a fancy restaurant, make a half-batch (two pears) of this fruit treat and you’ll have just enough red wine left in the bottle for one generous glass each to pair with dinner. Since this healthy Valentine’s Day dessert is made in the slow cooker, it can essentially prep itself as you enjoy the rest of your holiday plans.

Get the recipe here.

Protein Cookie Dough

To save even more time, skip the baking and cooking all together. While it tastes remarkably similar to the chocolate chip cookie batter you enjoyed at grandma’s house as a kid, this spoonable cookie dough just requires a bowl and a spoon to stir up—then chow down on. A scoop of vanilla protein powder, almond flour and almond butter (such as NOW Foods Nutty Infusions Roasted Almond Butter; $9.64 for 10 ounces, iHerb) make this healthy Valentine’s dessert idea rich in texture and protein.

Get the recipe here.

Spiked Berries and Cream

No need to choose between an after-dinner drink or dessert! The ricotta cheese that acts as the base of this 15-minute treat is spiked with just enough dark rum to ensure your Valentine’s Day ends in good spirits. Top with balsamic-infused berries, and you’ll be ready to officially break up with those basic store-bought chocolate-covered strawberries.

Get the recipe here.

(photo credit: Shutterstock; Nutritious Life original photography)

About Karla Walsh
Health, Food, Wine and Relationship Writer + Cooking and Wine Event Host

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