Valentine’s Day is coming up and even though it’s a typical Hallmark holiday that gets blown way out of proportion, I love the sweetness in the day. When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was about making homemade cards for friends and small tokens of affection, which were mostly sugar filled and are far out of my radar these days.
Even though I’m not into heart shaped gummies and commercial chocolates I do love dark chocolate and I think small gestures are what stand out the most. So this year why not make a batch of Creamy Peanut Butter Cups dark to share with your loved ones.
Choosing the Right Chocolate
The health benefits of chocolate are the result of the flavonoid content found in the cocoa bean. Flavonoids are natural compounds with antioxidant properties. Berries, red wine and green tea have been famed for their health benefits due to these compounds. Like with any food, the more it is processed the less nutrients it retains so in order to maximize the protective effect chocolate has to offer it’s best to reach for dark, ideally 70% or higher.
Dark chocolate has the most flavonoids, almost four times as many as milk chocolate, while white chocolate has none. Despite it’s “sweet” reputation, chocolate has a low glycemic index which makes it less likely to impact your blood sugar levels allowing for a much more balanced energy throughout the day. Cocoa naturally contains minerals such as copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron which are vital for your health, especially your heart.
Creamy Peanut Butter Cups
- 16 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1-cup cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sea salt
Makes 12-15 medium cups
What to Do
Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Place baking cups in muffin tins for easier handling and pour melted chocolate to fill ¼ of the way.
Place in freezer or refrigerator to set. Using a food processor or hand mixer blend the cream cheese, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla together until smooth. Spoon or pipe into the hardened chocolate cups and then pour a thick layer of remaining chocolate over top making sure the edges are sealed.
Sprinkle with sea salt and place back into fridge until tops have set.
What are some of your favourite Valentine’s Day Treats?
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To our health & wellbeing,