Get your brain in the mood for love with this roundup of over 30 healthy treat recipes for Valentine's Day! Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and vegan...there's even some nut-free and chocolate-free recipes, so there's something for everyone, even those with food allergies.
We all want to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. But in order to feel love, our brain – and the brains of our loved ones – needs to be well-nourished. That means providing nutrients that feed your brain and avoiding things that can make you or your loved ones feel sad, irritable, or exhausted. What are those “things”?
- Sugar: copious amounts of sugar can wreak havoc in different ways. The “blood sugar rollercoaster” that you ride after eating lots of sugar makes some people feel exhausted and have an undeniable urge to sleep, while others, especially kids, may become completely wild, running around like you’ve set their pants on fire. Neither reaction is ideal on Valentine’s Day!
- Gluten: did you know that gluten has been associated with symptoms of psychiatric and behavioral disorders? It’s true! In lieu of gastrointestinal symptoms, gluten often causes symptoms associated with depression and autism.
- Artificial colors: some research shows that dyes used to color food, like FD&C colors, especially when combined with sodium benzoate, may cause hyperactivity in children. The UK has banned most artificial colors and both the UK and EU require a label that artificial colors may cause hyperactivity in children. Interestingly, some scientists believe that whether or not a child reacts to artificial colors is due to the presence of certain genes [source].
The good news is that there are plenty of treats out there that don’t have a long list of nasty ingredients. Even better, though, is to make the treats yourself! Not only can it be a fun activity to do with loved ones, making healthy Valentine’s Day treats gives you complete control over the ingredients.
The recipes below for healthy Valentine’s Day treats are free of gluten and artificial colors. Most of them are also free of dairy and many are free of eggs or nuts, making this a very allergy-friendly list of healthy treat recipes! Sugar is also minimized as much as possible, and nutritious ingredients like avocado and berries are included whenever possible to help you provide some love to your brain (or the brain of your loved ones). Don’t worry though, these healthy treat recipes are still bursting with the delicious flavors you crave on Valentine’s Day!
The Health Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate is probably the first flavor you think of when you think about Valentine’s Day. While it can be made into something as simple as chocolate chips, chocolate can also be made into an elegant dessert, like a chocolate fountain to make chocolate-covered strawberries.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! And there is no need to feel guilty because chocolate provides nutrients that are good for your brain. Zinc and magnesium in chocolate are used for the production of neurotransmitters, tiny chemical messengers that are responsible for feelings of happiness, relaxation, and memory. Chocolate is also a rich source of antioxidants called flavonols that have been shown to boost mood and memory [source].
So without further ado, here are some chocolate recipes for you to enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Looking for chocolate-free recipes for Valentine’s Day? Scroll down for an entire section dedicated to you!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Is this the most quintessential Valentine's Day flavor combo? I think so! These recipes prove that chocolate-covered strawberries are easier to make than you might think, even with clean ingredients.
Easy Paleo Chocolate Covered Strawberries by GoodFoodBaddie
Use sprinkles made with natural dyes to make these super simple Allergy-friendly Chocolate Covered Strawberries on a stick by Strength and Sunshine!
Change up this decadent flavor combination. Instead of covering them with chocolate, fill strawberries with chocolate like these Chocolate Coconut Cream Stuffed Strawberries by Maple and Mango!
Healthy, gluten-free, and vegan cookie recipes. Because who doesn't love cookies?
Vegan Chocolate Macaroons by Running on Real Food
Raw Chocolate Covered Cookies by The Healthful Ideas:
Truffles & Bliss Balls
Each of these decadent truffle recipes has its own unique flavor profile, so there is something for everyone. Truffles and bliss balls truly are the perfect one-bite treat!
Strawberry Coconut Truffles by The Fit Cookie
Strawberry Dark Chocolate Truffles by Sustainable Cooks
Vegan Chocolate Caramel Truffles by Eat with Clarity
Chocolate Raspberry Truffles by Whole Food Bellies
Chocolate Chili Truffles by Cass Clay Cooking
Chocolate Hazelnut Balls by This Farm Girl Cooks
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Balls by My Vegan Minimalist
Cheesecake & Tarts
Rich and creamy cheesecake is so easy to make gluten-free and dairy-free that it earned a section all to itself!
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake by Nourish Plate
Vegan Mocha Cheesecake Bites by Vegan Huggs
Healthy Vegan Chocolate Tarts by Fit Foodie Nutter
Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bites by Cassidy's Craveable Creations
Vegan No Bake Peanut Butter Pie by Holistic Foodie
No Bake Layered Vegan Cheesecake by Backyard Bohemian
Pudding & Mousse:
Avocado adds lots of nutrients and creaminess to all of these pudding recipes!
Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding by Wholesome Family Living
Chocolate Avocado Mousse by The Cooking Collective
Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Strawberry Mini Desserts by Food Meanderings
Easy Chocolate Raspberry Mousse by Love in my Oven
Other Chocolatey Bite-sized Treats:
Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates by Running on Real Food
Paleo Chocolate Almond Butter Cups by Tasty ThinGet your brain in the mood for love with this roundup of over 30 healthy treat recipes for Valentine's Day! Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and vegan...there's even some nut-free and chocolate-free recipes, so there's something for everyone, even those with food allergies.Click To Tweet
Chocolate-Free Recipes for Valentine's Day
These healthy treat recipes are for the rare ducks that don’t care for chocolate or for anyone that has an allergy or sensitivity to chocolate. Even though they are chocolate-free, these recipes will still make your mouth water!
Paleo Strawberry Heart Fudge by The Holy Mess
Probiotic Cheesecake Icecream with Strawberry Swirl by Raia's Recipes
Salted Caramel Dessert Pots by Love Food Nourish
Mini Strawberry Vegan Cheesecakes by Sweet Sensitive Free
Walnut Maple Gluten Free Blondies by G-Free Foodie
No Bake Coconut Macaroons by Elke Living
Paleo Strawberry Almond Galette by Running to the Kitchen
Happy Valentine's Day!
Which of these healthy treat recipes are you going to make to celebrate Valentine's Day? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!