For the past 2 years, I’ve been dealt the short end of the stick and I only have myself to blame. My decision to go Vegan has left me sandbagged when it comes to one very important holiday – – Valentine’s Day.
There was a time when February 14th meant two things – flowers and a multitude of chocolates with a surprise (preferably of the caramel nature) in the middle. There is a problem with Valentine’s Day these days however.
There aren’t too many Valentine’s candy boxes (none at all actually in my research) that cater to dairy-free individuals. Because milk chocolate is of course not dairy-free and many dark chocolates have a hint of milk in them as well, I am left with an empty heart-shaped box of unfulfillment.
Don’t get me wrong, flowers are still very much appreciated and adored but hell, they only last a week if you’re lucky and everything (except maybe diamonds) fails in comparison to chocolate – especially if there is an added bonus of a surprise in the middle.
Question: So, what’s a Vegan girl to do?
Answer: Whether you’re a health-nut, a dairy-free or dairy-sensitive advocate, or just simply plant-powered, I have a solution to your Heart-Shaped Box Dilemma.
Step 1: Buy the box (or plan ahead for next year and infiltrate someone else’s empty box).
Step 2: Give the chocolates to someone else (as hard as it might be).
Step 3: Refill the box with plant-powered, Vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and just plain healthier treats.
Box #1 is called the Follow Your Heart Box for the health-nut in your life. With this mix of goodies, your Bae, Boo, or Sweetheart can graze and feel loved all day long after they open this heart-healthy gem.
Fill each compartment with goodies like:
- Goji Berries
- Unshelled, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Banana chips
- Dried Cherries
- Spiced Cashews
- Shelled, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Dried Pineapple
- Salted, Unshelled Pistachios
- Candied or Spicy Walnuts
- Candied Pecans
Box #2 is the Sexy Eat Your Heart Out Box because, well chocolate covered strawberries scream sexy, right?
Dip strawberries in melted, dairy-free, dark chocolate (like Trader Joes’ accidentally Vegan chocolate morsels) and sprinkle with some of the suggestions below.
Next, place them on parchment paper-lined pan, baking sheet or plate and refrigerate for a few hours so the chocolate can harden.
Try these as additions to your chocolate or leave them plain:
- Sea Salt
- Crumbled Oreo Cookies (minus the cream filling)
- Salted Pretzel Bits (chopped by yours truly)
- Roasted Pistachios Bits (chopped by yours truly)
- Crushed Gingersnaps (Vegan, of course)
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Dry-Roasted Sliced Almonds
- Crushed Peppermint Candy (leftover from Christmas)
- Chopped Macadamia Nuts
- Drizzled Melted Peanut Butter (applied after chocolate has hardened)
Be creative! The sky is the limit!