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Not Your Same Old Chocolates: Healthy Alternatives to Gift Your Loved One for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s very easy to settle on buying last minute chocolates for your special someone. While chocolate boxes remain a classic staple of the holiday, they are not exactly the healthiest option. To cut some of the sugar and add additional nutritional benefit, try these six sweet and savory alternatives:

Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are nothing new, but if you can’t get through Valentine’s Day without chocolate, dark chocolate is your best bet. Using large strawberries and a semi-sweet chocolate will optimize the health benefits due to both being high in antioxidants. You also don’t have to limit yourself to strawberries, try using other fruits for this special treat.

Choco-Nut Popcorn

Chocolate Peanut Butter, also known as “choco-nut”, Popcorn is a great Valentine’s Day alternative. Natural peanut butter offers benefits like immunity-boosting B-6 vitamins, potassium, and protein. Try mixing a spoon of peanut butter and cocoa dust into your freshly popped bag of popcorn to add a sweet, savory and healthy delight.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pretzels

Another great way to integrate chocolate and peanut butter into your Valentine’s Day treats is to make peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels. To create an even healthie version, drizzle a bit of melted semisweet chocolate and peanut butter, as opposed to dipping the entire pretzel. This provides the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Fruit Box  

Still want to stick with a sweet assortment box? Try swapping chocolates with fruit dipped in toasted coconut, nuts, greek-yogurt or peanut butter. Choose any fruit alternative tailored to your significant other’s likings. It is easy to find an assortment of non-traditional dips for this sweet dessert.

Vegetable Platter with Red Beet Hummus

Vegetables may not be on the top of your list for a Valentine’s Day treat, but pairing it with red beet hummus can help curb sugar cravings. You can choose any type of vegetable to go with this snack

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread is a great alternative to add to your Valentine’s Day menu because it’s simple to make and easy to swap the usual ingredients for healthier alternatives. It’s a perfect dessert that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards.

How do you plan on staying healthy on Valentine’s Day? Our tip: start your day with a Juice Plus+ French Vanilla or Dutch Chocolate Complete Shake  to help you satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning!


References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/166456-heath-benefits-of-semi-sweet-chocolate-chips/

http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/ask-diet-doctor-fat-fight-sugar-cravings

http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/healthy-eating-why-peanut-butter-good-you

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