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!


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.

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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