Friday, February 13, 2009

Healthy Valentine's Snacks

One of my favorite things about eating more naturally is making special treats on holidays. I had so many exciting plans for Valentine's Day this year, only to have my entire family get hit with the flu this past week. (Yes, even though we eat healthy, we still get sick sometimes!) Yesterday I managed to put a couple of my plans into action, and the rest will have to wait until next year.

Tomorrow, my kids will be eating Heart-Shaped Chocolate Covered Marshmallows and Frozen Strawberry Cream Hearts.

To make the marshmallows, I used the Agave Marshmallow recipe from Volcanic Nectar, but also added a bit of natural pink food coloring, then spread the marshmallow creme onto a large, rimmed cookie sheet rather than a 9x11 pan. After they were set, I used heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out the hearts. (Make sure to wet the cookie cutter in warm water before cutting for a nice, clean cut.)

Then, I made the chocolate coating. Inspired by Lauren of Healthy Indulgences and her ice cream bar chocolate coating, I melted 8 Tbsp. grain-sweetened chocolate chips with 2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil and a shake of stevia powder. (This coating is amazing!) Once it was all melted and cooled, I dipped the marshmallows in and then laid them on foil and refrigerated them until the chocolate hardened. I used a knife to gently pry them off the foil and placed them in a sealed container until tomorrow.

To make the frozen strawberry hearts, I used the recipe for "Frozen Strawberry Cream" from Jeffrey Goettemoeller's Stevia Sweet Recipes cookbook. This is one of my favorite uses for stevia. This is a quick and simple ice cream recipe (you don't need an ice cream maker to make it), but this time I poured the mixture into this cute heart-shaped gelatin mold that my mother-in-law recently gave me.

It took about 4-6 hours for the mixture to freeze, then I unmolded them and put them in a container. They'll stay in the freezer until tomorrow night's dessert! (They need to be removed from the freezer one hour before serving so that they're soft enough to eat.)

Happy Valentine's Day!