It may be a made-up Hallmark holiday but Valentine’s Day can have the power to make anyone, single or coupled, feel like they aren’t enough. Aren’t loved enough, aren’t happily coupled enough, didn’t get enough of a present for their partner, etc. etc.
And so I propose that this Valentine’s Day we simply focus on being our own best Valentine. Which brings up all sorts of questions about how you love and take care of yourself.
But the bigger question is…hey, how about these beautiful brownies??
Lessons from these no-bake Valentine’s treats include:
1. Don’t wait for outside validation. Validate yourself, and often. I literally drove down the street yesterday saying out loud to myself, “Michelle you did a GREAT job today. You killed it and I’m proud of you.” Luckily no one else was in the car that I would have had to explain myself to. Or, on second thought…no explanation required.
2. You are allowed pleasure without guilt. Dear god don’t eat celery sticks on Valentine’s Day because of your “diet.” Don’t go to the grocery store and call it “me time” either. Women generally do not allow themselves enough no-strings-attached enjoyment. Bad habit? Internalized misogyny? You decide.
3. Harming yourself is self-destruction, not love. If the food you eat makes you feel tired, heavy or ill – don’t eat it. Love yourself with acts of kindness instead.
And YES I got all of that from a brownie. You’ll make them for yourself – don’t wait for someone to show up with a box of mass-produced something. You’ll enjoy every bite. And it will be an act of self love because these sweeties are all real food. Carry that spirit into your whole day and you’ll be winning Valentine’s Day.
- 2 cups dates (pitted)
- 1½ cups walnuts
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut cream or coconut oil
- ½ cup dark chocolate baking chips, unsweetened (like this brand)
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- Optional: Edible organic dried rose petals (like these)
- Blend first 4 ingredient in food processor until well combined.
- Press into an 8x6 container (or similiar) lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk together coconut cream/oil, chips and maple syrup over low heat until smooth and spread over top of brownies.
- Refrigerate overnight or freeze until set.
- Cut into squares or use a heart shaped cookie cutter.
- To serve, sprinkle rose petals on top.