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Healthy Recipes To Try This Valentines for Your Loved Ones

Although we don’t need any specific day to tell someone we love them, the idea of having a day dedicated to love is something to celebrate. Valentine’s is that time of the year when we want to express to the people we love most that they’re important to us. We want to make our appreciation for them known because they are a big part of our life. 

When you love someone, you care about them deeply, including their health. On this day of love symbolised by hearts, we’re bringing you a few simple Valentine’s Day recipes that will help you make your way into that special someone’s heart and are also quite literally, better for the heart. 

Creamy Tomato Risotto

Nutrient Metre: Tomatoes may reduce bad cholesterol and contain antioxidant properties that help keep heart health in check. Red is for love and health both, with this Valentine’s Day recipe.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh tomato, sliced 
  • 300g cherry tomato, halves
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig, finely sliced 
  • small pack basil, shredded
  • 1 litre vegetable stock 
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 tbsp Saffola Gold oil

Preparation: 

  • In a food processor, empty the chopped tomatoes and half of the vegetable stock. Grind until smooth. 
  • Pour the mixture into a cooking pan along with the remaining vegetable stock and let it simmer on low heat. 
  • In a separate pan, drizzle Saffola Gold oil and let it simmer. 
  • Add onions and slowly cook for a few minutes until soft. 
  • Sprinkle in the garlic and rosemary and let it sit for 1 minute. 
  • Next, add the rice and stir everything together for 1 minute.
  • Gradually, add the vegetable stock and tomato mixture in small portions — one quarter at a time. 
  • Allow the risotto to cook while stirring in intervals and adding more stock as it keeps getting absorbed. 
  • Once half of the stock and tomato mixture is added, add the cherry tomatoes. 
  • Wait for 20-25 minutes until the cherry tomatoes and rice become soft and creamy and all of the stock is absorbed completely.
  • Set aside with a lid for 1 minute and stir in the basil. 
  • Garnish with Parmesan, black pepper, and salt to taste, and serve hot. A healthy, creamy treat for your tastebuds.


Vegan Cheesecake

Nutrient Metre: Nuts help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, resulting in better cardiovascular health. Oats help manage cholesterol and help with type 2 diabetes. It’s one of those healthy dessert recipes that doesn’t have to “taste” healthy, while also being a great option in vegan desserts.

Serves: 8 people

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup nuts or seeds of choice
  • 1 cup oats
  • 20 small dates 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ½ tbsp Saffola Gold oil 
  • ⅔ cup cashews 
  • 1 cup coconut milk 
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 ½ tsp agar powder 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp beetroot powder

Preparation: 

  • In a pan, soak the cashews in hot water for an hour or let them boil for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • For the cheesecake crust, take the nuts, seeds, oats, dates, vanilla extract, and Saffola Gold oil and put them in a food processor. Blend until the mixture binds together. 
  • In a separate 6-inch baking tin, flatten the dough mixture onto the bottom and roll up the dough to the circular edges of the tin. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
  • Now, take the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and beetroot powder. Churn on high speed in a blender for about 1-2 minutes until smooth. 
  • Then, in a small pan, add the agar powder and 1/4th cup of water and let it simmer for 2 minutes while stirring. 
  • Pour the agar mixture into the blender preparation and churn again for a few seconds. 
  • Bring out the baking tin from the refrigerator and empty the blender onto the dough. Refrigerate once again until set. 
  • Serve cold and savour this vegan cheesecake delight. 

Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Nutrient Metre:  

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can help in improving heart health. Strawberries decrease oxidative stress which can cause cell damage and thus, improve cardiovascular health. Healthy sweets and taste can go hand in hand with this choice of healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Oat flour 
  • 10-12 strawberries, mashed 
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips 
  • 60 ml milk 
  • 1/3rd cup Saffola honey 
  • 1/4th cup Saffola Gold oil
  • Flax egg (vegetarian):
    • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (blended flaxseeds)
    • 3 tbsp water

Preparation: 

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. This then forms a flax egg with a gelatinous consistency, similar to egg whites. 
  • Take the strawberries.  Wash and slice them. Once finely sliced, gently mash them with your fingers. 
  • In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients – oat flour, dark chocolate chips, milk, Saffola honey and Saffola Gold oil. Mix everything together. 
  • Now, add the flax egg and fold in the strawberries into this mixture containing all other ingredients. 
  • Take a baking sheet and grease with Saffola Gold oil. 
  • Pull apart the dough from the prepared mixture and roll them up into evenly sized balls. Place them on the baking sheet and press down slightly with your palm.

Note: The dough can also be shaped into little hearts using a cookie cutter. 

  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, remove and set aside to cool completely. 
  • Serve with warm milk and enjoy your chocolate oat cookies. 

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Nutrient Metre: Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help lower the risk of heart diseases.

Strawberries decrease oxidative stress which can cause cell damage and thus, improve cardiovascular health. It makes for a great, simple choice of healthy dessert.

Serves: 5 people

Ingredients: 

  • 400g strawberries
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 30g white and milk chocolate, chopped

Preparation: 

  • In a small pan, fill up some water up to 2cm and let it simmer. 
  • Take the dark chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Then place the bowl on top of the water pan, making sure that it doesn’t touch the water.
  • Gently stir the chocolate as it melts gradually. Once done, set aside in a small, deep bowl. 
  • Now, pick up the strawberries, insert into a small stick, and slowly dip into the chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip. 
  • Take a piece of baking paper and set the strawberries on it to rest. 

Note: Leftover chocolate can be poured onto another baking sheet for later use. 

  • To decorate the strawberries with hearts or other patterns, melt the white and milk chocolate and drizzle lightly over the fruit into shapes of your liking. 
  • Dive in and relish the goodness. 

Surprise the special people in your life with this delicious yet healthy Valentine’s menu to spread the love and good health!

References: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12587984/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17427261/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29800597/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25267241/ 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287403077_The_Metabolic_Effects_of_Oats_Intake_in_Patients_with_Type_2_Diabetes_A_Systematic_Review_and_Meta-Analysis 

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.116.005162 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20384847/ 

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