Valentines Day is all about love, flowers, romance and candy. If your significant other is vegan, you may be wracking your brain trying to figure out how to honor the day with sweets for your sweet vegan.
Thankfully, weve come to realize that there are plenty of ways to make the holiday special and make it healthy too. Here are a few ideas to help you treat your loved one to a romantic (and vegan) day they wont forget.
1. Love in the Candlelight. A romantic evening starts with setting the right mood, and nothing says romance like candles. This year, dont just pick any candles, make sure yours are non-toxic. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly a third of the candles available have lead in their wicks.
When they burn, lead gets released into the air and you breathe it in. Instead, look for candles made from beeswax or vegetable-based wax, and check the label to make sure the wick is lead-free.
2. Sweets for Your Sweet Vegan. Plant-based doesnt have to mean missing out on chocolates especially on this sweet-focused special day. Chocolate itself is vegan. The issue comes with the addition of milk or other dairy products to make natural cocoa less bitter.
Thankfully many candy companies have answered the call for more vegan options and now offer vegan chocolates. From truffles to bon-bons, major candy manufacturers and smaller confectioners now offer dairy-free, whey-free and casein-free chocolates. You can probably even find them at your local market or gourmet grocery.
3. Food to Get You in the Mood. The most well-known aphrodisiac food may be oysters, but you dont have to eat seafood to find foods with a romantic spark. Start with berries. Theyre high in vitamin C which is important in the production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters. Chili peppers dont just add spice to your food. They get your blood flowing and produce endorphins to make you happier.
And, as odd as it may sound, the scent of licorice has been found to produce feelings of love and lust in women. Pumpkin, too, seems to stimulate both men and women. It also has zinc which is important for mens sexual health.
4. A Bottle of Bubbly. You may not think of alcoholic beverages as including animal products, but many wines, beers and champagnes use clarifying agents that are made with gelatin, casein (milk), eggs, chitosan or even something called isinglass which comes from the bladder of fish.
And, unlike most food labels, alcohol doesnt often mention its status as vegan or not. Two well-known brands to start with are Moet and Chandron and Dom Perignon. Check Barnivore.com to see if your favorite beverage is vegan.
5. Give Her/Him Your Heart. Your mother may have taught you not to play with your food, but if ever there was a time to ignore that lesson, its Valentines Day. February 14 is all about heart-shaped objects, including your food.
From cookies to tofu, use a cookie cutter or other form pan to delight your significant other with heart-shaped breakfast, dinner or dessert. Even if cooking and baking is not your thing, look for heart-shaped pasta available in many specialty food stores or online. Serving it with marinara sauce is an easy way to bring in a pop of red or pink that we all think of when we think Valentines Day.
Most importantly, Valentines Day is about love and romance. Showing you care is rule #1 for this day, and by choosing plant-based treats, youll show your loved one you care about them and their health too!