Valentine’s Treats You Too Can Enjoy
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching which means we are soon to be surrounded by promotions and offers on flowers, wine and chocolate.
While the first two luxuries are pretty manageable for some of our busy bodies, the latter can wreak havoc for the diets of most of us if we don’t plan carefully.
It is worth noting that unadulterated cocoa offers some pretty impressive health benefits. Dark chocolate specifically contains a significant amount of magnesium – which is necessary for your nerves and muscles to function correctly. It also contains flavanoids (antioxidants) which support a healthy heart. Unfortunately most of the chocolate that we find on the shelves has been through so much manufacturing and processing that the benefits are dwarfed by the added sugar and fat. Add to that the complexities of specialist diets and choosing chocolate can feel like more hassle than it’s worth.
Thankfully, the choice of Valentine’s chocolate for specialist diets is a lot wider than it used to be and you should be able to find a treat that fits into your lifestyle should you wish to indulge. We did some digging just in case you or your Valentine wants to indulge a little without compromising on your lifestyle needs.
If you’re prepared to try a Valentine’s treat that is off the beaten path, a small, chocolate frozen yogurt from Pinkberry may be just the treat for you. It may be a little unconventional for Valentine’s Day but will only set you back 150 calories. In addition to being low in calories, Pinkberry yogurt contains live and active cultures, so it’s a treat worth enjoying.
Carb Conscious busy bodies have the most challenging dilemma as the ingredient that really makes chocolate scrumptious is sugar which leaves you with three options – schedule your cheat meal for Valentine’s Day, try some raw cacao or go for sugar free chocolates.
A word of caution: if the packaging states that excessive consumption may have laxative effects, heed the warning and eat a sensible amount of the chocolate or you may regret it in a few hours.
One good option is a Cavalier Belgian Dark Chocolate bar which is sweetened with Stevia.
A gluten free chocolate cake from Gluten Free Delices is enough to knock the socks off of most chocolate lovers. It’s so rich and chocolatey that you only need a small slice to satisfy your sweet tooth!
A rich, gooey gluten-free brownie from Just Brownies made with Dove’s gluten free flour and dark chocolate will also do the trick.
If a good old fashioned chocolates are what you or your Valentine desires, try something from gluten free chocolatiers Cirillo. Their dark chocolate lollipops (left) are dairy free also.
‘Surely all chocolate is suitable for vegetarians’, we hear you say. Alas, this is not necessarily the case. Whilst MOST chocolate is suitable for vegetarians it is fair to say that the higher the quality of chocolate you go for, the more likely it is to be suitable for vegetarians. We actually stumbled upon a pot of chocolate mousse from a popular manufacturer that contains pork gelatine. Whilst we won’t call them out, we will point out that chocolate from places like Green & Blacks and Montezuma are suitable for vegetarians.
Hotel Chocolat have developed a range of chocolates that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike however, their website states the following: ‘our chocolate is made in the same environment as milk chocolate, we cannot guarantee that it is free from milk traces’.
If you want chocolate that’s free from caveats, try Moo Free Luxury Dairy Free Chocolate Pralines. These treats are dairy free, lactose free, gluten free and wheat free.