Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day...

I love holidays.  All of them.  Every single one.  I don't care if Hallmark and other companies diabolically collaborate on these days to extract as many dollars out of us as possible.  I love the spirit of the days, how people seem to smile a bit more, meet the eyes of strangers, take a reflective moment to think of their loved ones, and how just being with loved ones can be magnified.  Maybe the day is superficial to some, just another day, but only if you see it that way.  I've heard so many people complain that the holidays have become commercialized and overdone but I counter with the idea that the holidays have as much meaning and symbolism as you put into them.  Everything else is just glitter and gift wrap. 

I approach holidays with excitement and this Valentine's Day was NO different.  The two Valentine's in my life - my daughters - got some extra special treats this year!  Clean homemade candy and fruit!  I spent part of Friday and Sunday making their goodies AND their goody bags thanks to some gentle ribbing by the woman who helped me find tissue paper at Target.  When asking if they had Valentine's Day Tupperware for some homemade goodies, she couldn't resist reminding me that in the same situation Martha Stewart would make her own boxes... I was then shamed into doing so as well.  I mean, I can't let the mere thought of Martha Stewart one up me, right?

Being clean oriented, I wanted to ensure that the treats I gave my girls were not only yummy and made with love but were things that their bodies would love them for as well.  Our culture tends to celebrate with food and that's okay - so long as the food is worthy of our bodies.

I made several kinds of dark chocolate candy... with almonds, dried craisins, dried blueberries, and pomegranate seeds.  Fresh blueberry dipped clusters, organic peanut butter and dark chocolate hearts, and several kinds of fruit dipped in dark chocolate as well.   My favorite treats were the apples dipped in dark chocolate and organic peanut butter. That was our dessert last night! 

A few pieces at a time will be a delicious treat for them and rich in antioxidants and healthy fats they will get a nutrient dense snack as well!  (But shhhh don't tell them that!)  My boxes even turned out okay, Martha Stewart may not be impressed but my little Valentine's sure were...

Making the candy is so easy!  Melt down some high quality dark chocolate - I like Green and Black's organic, 70% cocoa and either use molds for the pieces or spoon the clusters onto waxed paper.  The fruit is best dipped with toothpicks and I use skewers on the apples to make a nice handle.  Stir the chocolate frequently, and you can add your favorite peanut butter too to add some extra flavor! 

Happy Valentine's Day!