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Healthy Choices News & Views, A Healthy Dessert For Your Valentine's Day.
February 11, 2015
Healthy Choices News and Views
A Valentine's Healthy DessertGreetings,
It's February, the month of Love. Loving and being loved is one of life's greatest blessings.
Love is best enjoyed when you are feeling healthy, alive and vibrant. Why not “love” yourself and make it a healthy Valentine's Day celebration?
"Healthy" can be delicious. Below are some suggestions on how to have a healthier Valentine's Day, including the perfect healthy dessert.
Instead of going out to dinner, celebrate with a healthy, delicious meal cooked at home. Make it special by serving something you don't normally prepare at home.
Some ideas include:
Toss a salad together, steam or roast your favorite veggies and you're making it happen.
Don't worry about not knowing how to prepare these foods, just do an internet search, you'll find many recipes and tutorials to help you make a scrumptious dinner.
If possible, find a market that sells meat from pastured or grass fed animals or seafood that is wild caught, not farm raised.
Adding Some Special Effects
Create some ambiance....
Even though you're still at home, it will feel different and special.
Healthy For You and Your Wallet
While these foods may cost a little more, they will still cost less than eating these foods in a restaurant.
Typically, we have found that restaurants have a “special menu” on Valentine's Day and it's usually higher priced.
Also, chances are the restaurant will be much busier than normal so the service staff is going to be a bit more stressed that particular evening.
Preparing food at home will be healthier because there will be less chemicals and preservatives going into your body.
The Grand Finale!
Now for the best part..... dessert! My favorite dessert is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, it's decadent and delicious.
There are many versions of this type of recipe on the internet and I don't even know who to credit for it. I've been making it for years, probably with my own tweaks, but everyone loves it. I think it's the perfect ending for your special dinner.
Directions for the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Preparing the Pan:
Get out an 8 inch round metal pan and place it on a sheet of parchment paper.
Take a pencil and trace the pan on the parchment paper. Cut out the circle just inside the pencil line (we don't want pencil lead in our dessert).
Spread some butter inside the pan on the sides and the bottom. Then place the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.
Preparing the Cake:
Next melt the chocolate chips and the butter in a double boiler or the microwave. (I'm not a fan of the microwave for cooking, but we aren't exactly preparing health food, so if that's easier cook for 1 minute at 50% power).
Stir the chocolate chips and the butter mixture until the chips are all melted. Be careful not to over cook or the chocolate will harden in places.
If you use the microwave, the chips will not be melted after a minute but they will all melt when you start stirring them into the warm butter.
Transfer the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl. Add in the sugar, salt and vanilla and mix well.
Next add in the eggs, one at a time beating well after each one.
I always break my eggs into a smaller bowl prior to adding to the larger mixing bowl. This will spare your dessert if you happen to have a bad egg or any eggs shell pieces.
After all the eggs have been completely mixed in add in the cocoa powder and blend well.
Now it's time to pour this wonderful concoction into your prepared pan with the parchment bottom.
My pan is a darker metal pan, if you use glass or a lighter aluminum pan you may need to adjust the time. But I find 15 minutes cooking time at 350 degrees is perfect.
It will be slightly raised on the edges and look almost uncooked in the middle, but I have found this is the perfect time to take it out.
Every time I let it go longer or wait for it to pull from the edges or be fully cooked looking, it was overdone. Still good but not perfection.
After you take it out of the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes or so and then put your serving plate over the top and flip it over. Because you buttered the pan and placed parchment paper in the bottom it should come right out for you.
Then carefully peel the parchment paper off the top of your cake. It's time to let it cool, if you have time leave it out or you can put it in the refrigerator to cool.
Melt ½ cup chocolate chips and ¼ cup heavy cream in a double boiler or the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power.
After melting, stir until the mixture starts to get thick and glossy. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
You can add nuts, whipping cream or berries or just enjoy it “au naturale” like I do. Store in the refrigerator, but take out about an hour before you are serving it.
If you find you would like more glaze simply increase the chocolate chips to 1 cup and the cream to ½ cup the next time you make it. I found I had too much glaze left over when I used that much, so I cut it down.
Healthy, Are You Sure?
While this may not be the healthiest dessert (it does have some sugar) but it could be much worse. It's not highly processed, it's chemical and preservative free, it's lower in sugar than most other desserts, it's gluten and grain free and it's still delicious.
It is very rich so you will only eat a small piece. It freezes well so you can cut it into smaller pieces and pull one out for the next time you feel like the need for a healthy, delicious dessert.
Then continue your journey the rest of the month and “love” yourself by making healthier choices in all you do. It's a simple formula … small steps, sensible choices, superior health!
To Your Good Health!
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