Valentine’s Day – do you love it or dread it? The National Retail Federation tells us that Americans expect to spend nearly $200 apiece n this holiday. Forbes estimates that either a luxurious meal out with your sweetie or an indulgent bout of emotional eating to celebrate your singlehood could add up to 2,000 calories for one meal. What if you could go with something healthy and inexpensive — but still festive — instead?
Here are five great options!
Go for the heart
Anything in a heart shape is perfect for Valentine’s Day. You can go with heart-shaped candy, which is all about sugar, but think of all the other ways you can get that heart shape into your meals and snacks:
- Cut watermelon into heart shapes.
- Pour pancakes into a heart shape — go with whole grains for the healthiest treats.
- Cut cheese slices with a heart-shaped cookie cutter for your kids’ lunch boxes or your celebratory cheese board.
- Bake healthy muffins in paper muffin cups. Put a marble in between the paper and the wall of your ordinary muffin tin. Your muffins will be heart-shaped.
- Cut a heart shape from the top slice of bread when you make a grilled cheese sandwich.
Red is the official color of Valentine’s Day, right? Whether you choose spaghetti with tomato sauce, strawberries, or red peppers, any red touches count as Valentine’s Day treats.
Hit the produce aisle at your favorite grocery store. Gather up all the red fruits and veggies, from radishes to apples. You’ll end up with a delicious, heartfelt salad.
Pink grapefruit is delicious in a green salad. Pink lady apples, pink radishes, dragonfruit — there are quite a few pink options in the produce aisle, too.
Melt some dark chocolate in your microwave or double boiler and dip something yummy into it. Strawberries, pretzel sticks, or banana slices are great starting points.
You can also dip out a spoonful of chocolate onto parchment paper and add nuts or dried fruit. Let the chocolate harden and you have handmade chocolate treats.
Finally, drizzle the last of the chocolate over things like popcorn or trail mix. Once it cools, break it apart for a special Valentine’s treat.
Flowers and perfume are classic Valentine’s treats that won’t interfere with anyone’s healthy eating habits. Save by choosing or making lotion, candles, or potpourri.
Let the kids help you make lotion bars for someone special.
3/4 c. beeswax pellets from the craft store
1 c. coconut oil
1 T essential oil
Melt all the ingredients together, stir till smooth, and pour into molds. Molds could be a muffin tin or recyclables like empty yogurt cups or ice cube trays. When the mixture cools, pop the lotion bars out.