Just as we’re settling into our healthier New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day sneaks up, tempting us away from our goals with sugary, decadent desserts. But a little sweetness won’t completely set you off track; it’s all about incorporating some healthier options like fruit and dates and portion control. Here are a few ideas for a sweet treat that won’t undo your healthy habits.
- Clementines, peeled & segmented
- Good-quality dark chocolate chips or chunks (at least 70% cacao)
- Unsweetened shredded coconut or sea salt flakes, optional
- Soak the berries and cherries for 10 minutes in a large bowl filled with one-part vinegar and 9 parts water. Use just enough to cover the berries.
- While the berries soak, peel the clementines and lay out a sheet of wax paper.
- Remove the berries from the vinegar mixture and dry them.
- Slowly melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave.
- Dip the fruit in the melted chocolate and lay them on the wax paper to dry.
- If desired, sprinkle shredded coconut or sea salt flakes on top of chocolate-covered fruit.
Salty Chocolate Date Caramels
- 1 cup packed, pitted Medjool dates
- 1 tbsp creamy nut butter
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp warm water
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 2½ tbsp almond flour/meal
- Coconut oil
- 120 grams dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
- Flaky sea salt for finishing
- Add dates, nut butter, vanilla, salt, and warm water to a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides to make things easier. Add almond flour/meal and process until incorporated.
- Line a small bread pan or narrow pan with greased parchment paper (you can use coconut oil). Scrape date mixture out of processor, and smooth with another greased sheet of parchment paper, using your hand or a spatula to press on top of the paper and make even.
- The “caramels” should be about a 1/2 inch thick. Place in freezer for one hour. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Remove caramels from freezer and cut into 12 small squares. Then dip and coat with chocolate using a fork, tapping on the side of the bowl to get chocolate to drip off. Set on a piece of parchment paper to dry.
- Sprinkle with sea salt as you work, waiting a few seconds so that the chocolate has started to harden a bit and the salt will adhere. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.