Valentine’s Day: A Little Something Sweet for Your Sweets

Submitted by ameyer on February 3, 2015

Valentine’s Day is all about showing the ones you love just how much you care about them. This year do that by making sure the sweet treats you share are not filled with GMOs. Try one of these sweet recipes (with vegan options) that are both easy and delicious and bound to make your loved one feel extra special.

 

Raspberry Protein Brownies [Vegan] by godairyfree.org

* Use organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

Dessert and protein are not usually synonymous, but this delicious recipe proves that wrong. Plus, it is vegan, vegetarian, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and tastes great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 15-ounce cans low-sodium organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pitted organic dates
  • 1 cup all-fruit organic raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup organic whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic and/or Fair Trade cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

Combine the black beans, dates, jam, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process again.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes [Vegan] by 40 Aprons

* Use organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

Red Velvet cupcakes simply scream Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic milk alternative
  • 1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons organic and/or Fair Trade cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon organic baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon organic baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut oil (Try Nutiva coconut sugar) LINK
  • ¾ cup fresh pureed beets (to color the cupcakes instead of using unnatural food dyes, the cupcakes will not taste like beets)
  • 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoons organic almond extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Whisk together milk alternative and vinegar and set aside to curdle, about 5-10 minutes. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl and mix.

Add the oil, pureed beets, and almond extract to the curdled  milk alternative. Whisk well to combine. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear.

Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds full (these cupcakes will rise fairly high). Place in preheated oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes, but be sure not to over bake. Use a toothpick inserted in the center to tell- the toothpick will be red, but there should not be any batter or gooey crumbs sticking. When done, let cool for a few minutes then transfer cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost with vegan cream cheese frosting.

 

DIY Conversation Hearts by BraveTart 

* Use organic, non-GMO ingredients whenever possible.

Conversation candy hearts have become a staple for Valentine’s Day. But to avoid GMOs, make your own cute conversation hearts.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ ounce organic gelatin (For a vegan alternative, use Agar Agar flakes.)
  • 4 ounces organic brand lemon-lime soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 40 ounces organic powdered sugar
  • For white” 1 to 2 drops organic wintergreen extract
  • For yellow: ¼ ounce freeze dried organic bananas, ground into a powder
  • For pink: ¼ cup freeze dried organic strawberries or cherries, ground into a powder
  • For green: 3 to 4 drops key lime extract
  • For orange: ¼ teaspoon organic orange extract plus ¼ teaspoon orange flower water
  • For purple: one drop organic clove oil

Preparation:

Bloom the gelatin with the lemon-lime soda in the bottom of a mixing bowl. After 5 minutes, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to melt the gelatin, or microwave in short 5 second burst until melted.

Use a hand or stand mixer and mix in the salt along with the powdered sugar, a cup or two at a time. Keep adding the powdered sugar until you have stiff fondant-like dough (very much the texture of Play-Doh). You may not need all of the powdered sugar.

Turn the dough out onto the counter top and knead until smooth. Divide into as many portions as you would like colors/flavors and keep any dough you’re not currently using wrapped in plastic to prevent it from crusting over.

Knead in the colors and flavors until homogenous. Taste a pinch of the dough and add more extract or powdered fruit to suit your taste.

Roll the dough to about 3/8” thickness and cut out shapes. Alternately you can mold the dough into whatever shapes you like, just keep them on the small side so they can dry through and through.

Arrange the candies on a parchment lined sheet pan and air dry for 48 hours. After 24 hours, flip all the hearts over so they can dry on both sides. Compared to candies flavored with extracts, the ones made with freeze dried fruit won’t dry out quite as hard and will retain a slightly softer texture (they will still be crisp, just not as rock hard as class Conversation Hearts.

To add messages on these hearts, write with an edible ink pen. Also, to make these conversation hearts vegan-friendly, substitute Agar Agar flakes in for the gelatin.

 

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