Valentine’s day is known for it’s chocolate, flowers, and the ability to make the unattached feel like second class citizens. All in all, not a very healthy holiday! There are, of course, ways to lessen the blow of the Valentine’s Day unhealthiness.
Chocolate actually isn’t that bad for you in its purer forms. Dark chocolate is full of healthy flavonoids and antioxidants which lower or regulate blood pressure and protect the body from free radicals, respectively. The problems, of course, come from the additives put in many of the chocolate confections sold for the holiday. High Fructose Corn Syrup is an ingredient in many of those heart shaped chocolate collections, and the additional sugars and food dyes that go with it make the standard Valentine’s heart-shaped-box a poor choice for the holiday.
Some better options for your sweetheart include Green & Black’s dark chocolate at 70%. I like the super dark stuff but if you are used to regular chocolate go for the lower percentage. If you are in the NM area and interested in buying local, Chocolove is out of Boulder, CO and they have a fabulous selection of dark chocolates in more romantic packaging, as well as several organic options. My personal favorite, and not just because it is packaged in red with big XOXO’s on it, is the dark chocolate with almonds and cherries.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to chocolate to romance your sweetheart. My favorite food gift for valentine’s day is a huge slab of grass-fed beef, cooked on the grill (or under the broiler if weather interferes). The best way to prepare it is to use some organic or grass-fed butter, a little sea salt and some cracked pepper, then cook until medium rare. Good for the heart and the soul as far as I am concerned!
Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Eating!