Smith Mountain Lake is looking rather colorful these days as Valentine’s Day draws near. After the more drab shades of winter, it is always a treat to see all the reds and pinks break out for this holiday.
For many people, Valentine’s Day is also accompanied by a great deal of colorful candy and chocolate. However, there are a lot of reasons why we may regret those indulgences that compromise our health. This year why not give one of these healthy alternatives a try?
Chocolate Almond Candy Balls
4oz. finely ground raw almonds
2 T. almond butter (or any unsweetened nut butter)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 T. soft organic butter
dash of salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup unsweetened chocolate or carob chips
(You may choose to add shredded coconut, chopped nuts, etc. to this candy mix.)
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix well and form into 1-inch balls. Melt the chocolate or carob chips in a saucepan under low heat. Stir until smooth then dip/roll the candy balls in the melted chocolate. Place coated balls on wax paper and chill until firm. Makes approx. 2 dozen balls.
Banana Chocolate Shakes For Two
2 ripe bananas
2 T. raw honey
2 cups (almost frozen) organic whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients (except nutmeg) on high for approx. 30 seconds, pour into favorite glassware and sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon on top. Put in the freezer for an hour, or serve immediately.
1 pint fresh strawberries (or 1 bag frozen)
2 packages of plain cream cheese
1 and 1/8 T. vanilla
1 cup honey
1/8 tsp. lemon juice
Cut up strawberries in a bowl and add 1/4 cup honey and 1/8 tsp. vanilla. Stir well and then store in the refrigerator temporarily. Mix cream cheese, 3/4 cup honey 1 T. vanilla, and 1/8 tsp. lemon juice with a hand mixer until smooth. Scoop out into whole wheat graham cracker crust, add strawberry mix on top, chill, and serve.
Crust: If you cannot buy a whole wheat graham cracker crust, you can make your own. Melt 1/2 cup butter and mix with 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Let set. Mash one package of whole wheat graham crackers and mix with 1/2 cup of finely blended rolled oats. Pour in the liquid mixture and blend well. Press out this mix into a pie pan or cake dish and use it as the crust. No cooking is necessary.
Note: These recipes have been collected from friends and family over the years.