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3 Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes for Valentine’s Day


Single or attached, chocolate on Valentine's is a must for all. Whether you're making special treats for your sweetie or planning a special day for yourself, here are three vegan and gluten-free Valentine's Day treats to indulge in that you don't have to feel guilty about.

Courtesy Jenn Cassetta

No high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals or preservatives here. So drop the tacky candy hearts and the boxes full of low-quality chocolates and make yourself and/or your sweetie a treat (or three) to remember.  

Start the day with a mint-chip maca protein smoothie for breakfast to boost your energy. Maca powder has many health properties, including helping your body resist stress and balance out hormone levels as well as reversing sexual dysfunction. Cacao is chock-full of antioxidants and tryptophan, which are the building blocks for serotonin, the "happy" chemical released in your body when eating chocolate.

Mint-Chip Maca Smoothie

(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

* 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
* 1 cup water (less if you like it thick, more if you don't)
* 2 scoops Vanilla VegaOne or other vegan protein powder
* 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
* 1 handful of fresh mint leaves
* 2 teaspoons maca powder
* 6 to 8 ice cubes

1. Place all ingredients in a blender (except the cacao nibs) and blend until smooth.
2. Add cacao nibs and blend for about 10 more seconds so the nibs are blended in, but still chunky.
3. Garnish with fresh mint leaves

After lunch, indulge in a warm cup of spicy hot chocolate to stimulate the senses with both cayenne pepper and cinnamon, which act as anti-inflammatory agents.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Serves: 2

(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

1 cup light canned coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (less if you don't like spicy)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Optional: Top with vegan marshmallows, like Dandie's

1. In a small saucepan, bring milk blend to a simmer.
2. Add cacao, cayenne, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut sugar and salt and stir until well blended.
3. Serve in mugs and top with marshmallows.

After dinner you can whip up this dessert in less than 10 minutes for your last dose of chocolaty goodness for the day, with healthy fats from avocado and nut butter to help reduce the glycemic load of the dessert.

Vegan Chocolate "Mousse"

(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

1 banana
2 dates
1/2 avocado
2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup light canned coconut milk
3 to 4 ice cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, sliced for garnish

1. Add all ingredients (except pomegranate seeds) into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Serve in a small fancy glass and top with pomegranate seeds.


Readers -- Do you have special Valentine's Day recipes? Do you like to indulge on Valentine's Day, or do you try to stick to your regular diet? Will you try any of the recipes above? If you do, leave a comment below and let us know how it turned out!

 Jennifer Cassetta, M.S., CN, is an author, speaker, third-degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She works with global business leaders traveling the world as their personal health coach. She just co-wrote her first book, Hear Me Roar: How to Defend Your Mind, Body and Heart Against People Who Suckwhich empowers women to be strong, safe and sexy through self-confidence, self-defense and nutrition advice.

Connect with Jennifer on her website, jennifercassetta.com, FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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