Treats for Your Valentine & the Earth
Festive edible indulgences are ideal for treating your Valentine this February 14. While you’re at it, show some Valentine’s Day love to the Earth. DIY homemade Valentine’s desserts offer the opportunity to select recipes, ingredients, and products that are kind to the environment.
So, slip into your apron, pull out a pretty display dish, and whip up something exciting. For your friends and family. Definitely for yourself.
Tips for Your Valentine Epicurean Endeavors
Incorporating sustainable practices into your kitchen is a snap, and well worthwhile. You’ll likely be rewarded with less food and packaging waste and oodles of fresh ideas for your recipe repertoire.
For greening your Valentine’s Day treats:
- Emphasize plant-based, organic, and local ingredients.
- Avoid plastic packaging. If available, purchase products in aluminum, glass, or cardboard containers. When possible, shop the bulk bins, using your own containers.
- Reduce food waste. Pick winning recipes with flavors your recipients adore. Ensure they’ll savor what you’re serving, not taste it, wrinkle their nose, and discreetly toss it in the trash.
- Save water (and labor). A lovely pile of truffles, fudge, and other finger foods often yields fewer dishes and less flatware to scrub.
- Save power. Some enticing recipes don’t require baking or heating.
Date truffles. A perfect name for a Valentine nibble from I Love Date Lady that’s easy to make and ready in a few minutes. I Love Date Lady sells organic date syrup, organic date paste, and other date products, some of which comes in glass containers.
- 1 cup date paste
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon date syrup
- ¼ cup nut butter
- Pinch of sea salt
Mix ingredients in bowl. Form mixture into balls. Roll balls in cacao powder. Or roll in a different topping you prefer. Transfer to parchment paper. Optional: dip truffles into melted chocolate and set aside or freeze until set.
Additional Recipes From I Love Date Lady
Feel free to use raspberries, blueberries, or any berry you like. Lauren Tobey of Oregon State University Food Hero program recommends this versatile recipe as a healthy and delicious topping for oatmeal, waffles, and yogurt. It’s also perfect when paired with Valentine pancakes formed into heart shapes. “My kids love it and I am always making it again and again,” she says.
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 cups berries, fresh or frozen
- In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, water, and 2 cups of berries. Mash berries if desired.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining berries. Mash if desired.
- Serve over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, or yogurt.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours
Mason’s Mixer Vegan Figgee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mason’s Mixer bakery uses Figgee from FigBrew as a subtle flavor enhancer. Figgee is an organic roasted fig beverage. For extra Figgee flavor, sprinkle Figgee grounds onto cookies before baking, suggests Mason’s Mixer owner Juan Irby.
- 1 ½ teaspoons of FigBrew Figgee
- ½ cup egg substitute* or equivalent of 2 whole eggs (refer to note below for egg substitute recommendations)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 sticks of vegan butter
*Note: The recipe specifies Just Egg egg substitute. We requested other options for readers who prefer less-processed products. Mason’s Mixers suggested one of the following:
- ½ cup aquafaba, the liquid from cooked garbanzo beans. Use liquid from a low-sodium can or jar of garbanzo beans. If it’s not low-sodium, skip the salt in the recipe.
- Simple Truth Organic Plant Based Egg Replacer, equivalent of two eggs. This egg replacer lists ingredients as organic garbanzo beans and organic chia seeds and is highly rated by the EWG.
- Using a flax egg works; however, it doesn’t produce the texture Irby prefers, which is a cookie that’s crispy on the outside and chewy inside.
- In bowl, mix dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, Figgee, and salt.
- In mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat until well combined. Add Just Egg (or aquafaba or Simple Truth egg replacer) and vanilla and mix in.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix together. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Place covered dough in refrigerator — ideally for 24 hours or at least 3 hours.
- Take about 3 tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and place on lined cookie sheet.
- Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for about 5-7 minutes.