The seasonal aisles have been stuffed to the brim since New Year’s Day with the trappings of sugar-shock wrapped in pink, red, and white ribbons. The candy overload since Halloween takes no breaks, it seems.
But what can you do for your Valentine that says not only “I really care about you,” but also “I get it.” By that I mean, “I get that your diet is challenging and that is important to me.”
There is something inherently nice about receiving a gift on a special occasion, but what gets lost sometimes is the passion and emotion that comes from something made by hand with love.
Diamonds might have been a girl’s best friend in the 50’s but with the pendulum swinging back toward simple abundance, your sweetheart might be happier and touched more deeply if you just took a couple hours and wrote a love letter or made some homemade treats.
Getting candy doesn’t have to be reserved for non-diabetics. There are a lot of candies out there that are diabetes-friendly if you know where to look. But a few clicks online or breezing through a candy store as an afterthought kind of takes the thrill out of the gift when compared with the homemade kind.
I have had a LOT of feedback from readers regarding what they would like to see more of with the blogs that I write and one of the most frequently mentioned is the request for healthy recipes using super-foods that are recommended in my health guides.
So in the spirit of Valentine affection, I would like to pass along a recipe submitted by a reader who got these little chocolate beauties last year at Valentine’s Day. You can call them whatever you like, but she calls them Nee-Nee’s Nifty Fifty’s because they have less than 50 calories per piece, are packed with protein and anti-oxidants, taste great and are diabetes friendly in moderation.
5.6 ounces of sugar-free chocolate (usually will have Diabetes on the label)
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup dried cranberries (optional)
1 ¼ tsp stevia plant sweetener
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with olive-oil spray. Break up the chocolate into bits in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate on the defrost setting, stirring frequently to prevent scorch.
Keep heating gently and stirring until the chocolate becomes smooth and creamy. Add the sweetener, almonds, extract and cranberries.
Drop the chocolate using ½ TB at a time onto the baking sheet. This recipe should yield about 18-24 drops as prepared.
Once the chocolate has cooled and gotten solid again, pack it with parchment paper or a little wax paper in a clean, small, pretty box you decorated yourself (that is safe for food).
Sugar-free chocolate is usually dark so these pack a lot of flavor in a little space. The combination of the bitter chocolate, the sweet almonds and the zingy cranberries is really fun.
Other nutritional benefits of this treat:
- Almonds are rich in protein, reservatrol, unsaturated fats, and Vitamin E. They have been shown to be a proven cholesterol-lowering food as well.
-Dark Chocolate contains nitric oxide, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure, and is rich as well in anti-oxidants
-Dried Cranberries are great for kidney, urinary tract and bladder health and are a good source of Vitamins A, E and K.
While we don’t recommend this treat for migraine sufferers (the tyramine in the chocolate, nuts and berries can be a problem), it is great for folks who are trying to limit the carbs and glycemic load of the treats they eat.