As I promoted my “No Sweets” post on Instagram, an interesting comment thread ensued. In it, a discussion about how a grandchild requested a candy-free Valentine’s Day because he wants to pursue a healthier lifestyle, and a grandmother who was greatly offended and who intends to ignore/refuse his request.
It got me thinking…how would I honor this request if one of our children asked for this? In fact, how could we do a low-sweet, non-commercial candy (chemical sh**storm) Valentine’s Day?
So here is our plan:
1. We are going to purchase fruits that can be cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters. So far, we are up to kiwis, mango, pineapple, melons, bananas, and apples. HERE is a way we have prepared apples before. We may bake those, and do the rest raw…although I have heard that grilling pineapple is delicious, too.
2. For the ones that are prone to discoloration (bananas for sure, maybe the raw apples), we are going to roll them in organic cocoa powder. THIS is the one we used for Christmas that we plan on using again (no affiliate links in this post – feel free to click).
3. We are going to make our own chocolate dipped strawberries and kiwi pops – jury is still out on which organic chocolate I have the heart to melt – definitely NOT my Wei of Chocolate stash. I’ll probably go with the Enjoy Life brand if I don’t find anything else. HERE is a great how-to video on coating fruit with chocolate. We use Spectrum Palm Shortening instead of coconut oil because coconut is another food we avoid due to allergies for the Sweet Pea Kids.
4. Last on our list, we are going to make a gluten-free, more natural version of THIS brownie recipe from the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. The recipe calls for adding in carrot and spinach purees along with the chocolate and sugar…YUM. Besides replacing the flour with my favorite GF blend from Bob’s Red Mill, we do not use cooking sprays or margarine in our home. We’ll adjust as needed and bake from there!
So while it isn’t going to be a no-sweet or chocolate-free for us, I appreciate the comment thread because it got me thinking about how we can have a gluten-free, non-commercial candy celebration. It isn’t convenient, that is for sure, however, some of these things can be made ahead and frozen (kiwi pops, brownies) so that the work is spread out over a few days instead of one big day and night of preparation the day before St. Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Find us over on Instagram (SPF handle) throughout the week – Puma or I will post pictures of our progress through these ideas