Think outside the (heart-shaped) box this Valentine’s Day. If you know your sweetie is watching sugary carbs and calories, or has made a New Year's resolution to eat more healthfully and exercise, ask yourself: Is a big box of chocolates going to warm the heart?
Whether your sweetie loves sweet, salty, chocolate, or all of the above, we’ve got you covered with these three better-for-you indulgences.
1. Mo's Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar: These are gluten-free.
Bacon plus chocolate, what’s not to love? And while these chocolate bars by Vosges Chocolate aren’t quite the 70-plus percent cocoa that I usually recommend, they still make for a deliciously fun and unique Valentine’s gift. The smoky bacon is finely chopped into little “nibs” of bacon, paired with a little smoked salt mixed into the rich 62 percent chocolate, a decadent combination of salty and sweet.
Per square: About 50 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
2. Red Velvet Halo Top Ice Cream: This ice cream is gluten-free.
Little chunks of red velvet cake mixed through a pint of creamy Halo Top’s ice cream, this will be a hit for ice cream lovers and red velvet fans alike. Even better: Add a drizzle of our DIY “Magic Shell” chocolate (see recipe below). And here’s why we love it, nutritionally: It has about half the calories of regular ice cream, and about 75 percent fewer calories than ultra-premium ice cream, with an added boost of protein.
Per half-cup serving: 90 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 5 grams protein.
3. Magic Shell Chocolate-Covered Strawberries: This is vegan and gluten-free.
Super-simple with only four ingredients: coconut oil, pure dark chocolate, Swerve Sweetener and strawberries, these chocolate-covered strawberries are decadent, delicious, beautiful – and nutritious, too. The coating is like Magic Shell – that stuff you had when you were a kid that hardened when you poured it over ice cream. Only this is a version of Magic Shell that’s better for you.
It’s easy to make: Combine half a cup of coconut oil with one 4-ounce 100 percent dark chocolate bar, broken into small pieces. Heat in the microwave or on the stove, stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Gradually stir in a cup of Swerve, stirring until thoroughly dissolved. Then just drizzle over frozen strawberries and it'll harden within seconds. It’s also delicious over protein-rich low-calorie ice cream like Halo Top or Breyer's Delights, or any other type of frozen fruit. If you have any leftover, store it in an airtight container and heat when ready to use it.
A version of this article originally appeared on Nola.com. See the full article here.
Note: Registered dietician Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she, along with Ochsner Health System, do not solicit product samples nor are paid to recommend items.