Quick! Think of one thing you eat at Valentine’s Day that is not loaded with sugar. Time’s up! If you could not immediately think of anything, you are not alone. Most of the food we associate with Valentine’s Day is sugary, including candy, cookies and cupcakes.
However, if you are watching your weight or cannot eat sugar due to diabetes, you do not have to give up all your “treats.” There are plenty of ways to enjoy delicious foods without all the sugar.
Here are some ideas for no-sugar or reduced-sugar snacks that will make your Valentine’s Day sweet and memorable.
- Think fruit vs. candy. If you have cut out sugar, you probably already know that fruit now tastes much sweeter. There is nothing wrong with giving fruit instead of candy, and mothers or those watching their weight will probably thank you! If you want to make it really special, spend some time and pick out exotic fruits like kiwis or pomegranates that do not often make it into fruit baskets.
- Eat dark chocolate. If you like the taste of dark chocolate, here is great news: this type of chocolate has the lowest sugar and highest anti-oxidant count of any type! Indulge in four delicious squares of dark chocolate for only 8 grams of sugar.
- Look to gluten-free recipes. Gluten-free recipes also tend to limit sugar, so they can be a great place to start looking for low-sugar options. Here is just one:
Low-Sugar, Gluten-Free Chocolate Drops
3 cups Stevia
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. fine sea salt
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
¾ cup shredded unsweeted coconut
4 egg whites, room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325. Toast the almonds for three to four minutes, then coarsely chop. Combine all ingredients except the egg whites and stir until well blended. Add the egg whites at room temperature and stir until moistened.
Using a melon scoop, scoop out rounded balls of dough and place two inches apart on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes, turn cookie sheet, and bake 8 to 10 more minutes until tops of drops look dry. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
It is not hard to enjoy some sweetness on Valentine’s Day without blowing your “sugar budget” when you search for the right alternatives to sugary candy!