Healthy Foods for Valentine's Day

by Sandy Todd Webster on Jan 21, 2015

If you—or your clients—are planning a romantic picnic or dinner to share with that special someone this Valentine’s Day (or anytime), you may want to pick up a few of these healthy “aphrodisiac” foods!

Aphrodisiacs are generally defined as items that evoke or stimulate sexual desire. Scientific studies support the “love potion” reputations for a few of the foods below, but in the absence of hard laboratory proof, a little bit of ancient mystique and placebo effect can’t be all bad. In any case, it’s a healthy list of ingredients, so get creative and have fun with it. As insurance, remember to uncork the red wine!

Aphrodisiac foods include almonds, aniseed, arugula, asparagus, avocado, bananas, (sweet) basil, broccoli rabe (and other mustard greens), carrots, chocolate, coffee, coriander, fennel, figs, garlic (make sure you both eat it), ginger, honey, hot peppers, licorice, mustard, nutmeg, oysters, pineapple, pine nuts, raspberries, strawberries, truffles, vanilla and watermelon.

Does your honey crave chocolate? Make some special Valentine’s Day Black-Bean Fudge, created by certified natural chef Sarah Kruse.

Super easy to whip together, this dairy-free fudge recipe features a surprising ingredient: black beans. Don’t be put off by the legumes—you won’t be able to taste them! The beans replace the milk and sugar in a traditional fudge recipe, while providing a decent amount of protein. Naturally sweet carob powder means very little sweetener is needed. Protect your sweetheart’s health with a batch of these for Valentine’s Day!

Recipe:

1 15-ounce can cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (or about 1 3/4 cups cooked beans)

3/4 C carob powder

6 T melted coconut oil

4–6 T maple syrup or agave nectar

1 t vanilla extract

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1/2 t sea salt

Place all ingredients in food processor fitted with “S” blade, and blend until totally smooth. Mixture will be thick.

Line 8- by 4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, and transfer fudge mixture to pan, spreading mixture to edges. Refrigerate until totally firm. Use plastic wrap to lift fudge from pan. Cut into squares and serve. Store in refrigerator. Makes 24 pieces, or 12 servings.

Per serving: 146 calories; 6.9 g fat; 2.5 g protein; 18.4 g carbs; 4.9 g fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 101 mg sodium.

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.