Sweeten Your Valentine’s Day Without The Guilt

Valentine’s Day is a day of indulgence, but you don’t have to ruin your budget or diet when preparing the perfect dessert. These three recipes are sweet, simple, and will satisfy your sweet tooth without overeating or overspending.

Heart-shaped pancakes

Start Valentine’s Day with a delicious surprise. Recipe on (altered for a healthier option).


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1 tablespoon for griddle


  1. Preheat griddle to 375 degrees, or heat griddle pan over medium-high heat. Whisk flour, sugar/sugar substitute, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Add egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons melted butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
  2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. With paper towel, brush 1/2 teaspoon butter onto griddle.
  3. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain round tip with batter; twist end of bag, and secure with rubber band. Pipe heart shapes, drawing V of batter in center of hearts to fill, on heated griddle. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute.

Repeat with remaining batter, using 1/2 teaspoon butter on griddle for each batch, keeping finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven until ready to serve.

*To make this breakfast healthier, serve with sugar-free maple syrup and strawberries.


Chocolate fondue

Enjoy this melted chocolate with nutrient-rich fruit. Recipe on


3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon brewed espresso

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 banana, peeled and cut into 8 pieces

8 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple

4 strawberries


  1. Place chocolate, cream, espresso, vanilla and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a serving bowl. Serve with the fruit.

Chocolate oatmeal cookies

These oatmeal cookies will make you feel full and satisfied. Plus the ingredients may already be in your pantry. Recipe on


1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat no-stick baking sheets with no-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well-blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned.
  7. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.


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