Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with it comes decadent cakes, boxes of indulgent chocolates and other painfully delicious sweets. Instead of chowing down on refined, processed goodies consider these equally delicious, but healthier options.

Nice Cream

Perfect for when your bananas are over-ripe and you have a craving for a frozen treat. Nice cream base is made by blending up frozen bananas and from there the possibilities are endless. Some additives could be: almond or peanut butter, chocolate chips and berries. If it’s too thick, add a splash or two of milk.

Dark Chocolate

The more percentage of cacao, the better it is for you. Once you get used to milk and white chocolate’s bitter sibling, dark chocolate, you’ll be hooked. Boosted with antioxidants and full of flavonols, which improves heart health. It also helps regulate your cholesterol levels.

Carob

Dark chocolate’s cousin, carob comes from the cacao plant. These come in chip, block and powder form and can be a healthier option to chocolate in some of your favorite dishes. Carob has been said to help regulate cardiovascular health and has less sugar and fat than chocolate.

Date Truffles

Dates, or nature’s candy, don’t have to be consumed in dried fruit form.

To make the base of the truffles, date paste, soak the dates until they become soft. Blend that in a food processor and store it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.

Glaze them with melting chocolate, preferably dark chocolate and then roll them with ground up nuts, coconut flakes or cocoa powder. Let the chocolate set and enjoy!

Chia Pudding

These seeds pack a punch, full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. Plain chia seeds are bland, but soaking them overnight in almond or coconut milk makes a nutritious pudding. Jazz it up by making a parfait, using strawberries or blueberries between layers of chia pudding. If it’s not sweet enough, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and half of a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Matcha Latte

Flavored lattes can veer closer to hot sugar water rather than coffee. However, matcha lattes will still give you your caffeine fix and leave you feeling warm and cozy. Whisk or stir matcha powder, ground up green tea leaves, with hot milk and you’ve got yourself a cozy beverage. Matcha is rich with antioxidants and is a metabolism booster. 

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