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5 Healthy treats to make for your loved ones this Valentine's Day

Whether you are looking for low fat or low calorie, we have got you covered!

CLEVELAND — Why does Valentine's Day have to fall just six weeks after the start of the New Year? 

If you find yourself tempted with sweets, treats, and everything in between each February, you are not alone. While everything is okay in moderation, sometimes, you just want to eat a lot of something that isn't good for you. 

Whether you are low fat, low carb, gluten-free, or just trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle, we have some delicious dessert options for you.

*LOW-FAT NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE 

If you are avoiding fat in your diet, cheesecake is not traditionally a dessert that's on the menu. With this recipe, however, you can indulge in a delicious, lower-fat take on the classic New York-style cheesecake. 

*This recipe requires letting the cheesecake harden in the freezer overnight.

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup low-fat cream cheese 
  • 2 cups light Cool Whip 
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers 
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • Fresh fruit or pie topping 

Directions:

  1. Add 1 cup of low-fat cream cheese and 2 cups of Cool Whip to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir. 
  2. Once the cream cheese and Cool Whip are completely mixed together, add in 1/2 cup of condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix together completely until there are no lumps. Set bowl aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, crush 2 cups of graham crackers and add-in a 1/2 cup of honey, and mix until sticky. 
  4. In a pie dish, pat the honey and graham cracker crust down firmly to create the cheesecake's crust. 
  5. Pour cream cheese and Cool Whip filling on top of the graham cracker crust and pat it down to evenly spread the filling. 
  6. Place the cheesecake in the freezer and let harden overnight. 
  7. Take out the cheesecake the next morning and garnish with fresh fruit or pie topping
  8. Enjoy!

GLUTEN-FREE BROWNIES

Staying gluten-free is not difficult when there are delicious recipes like this one from SweetTreats on Youtube. With only six ingredients, you will love the simplicity of this recipe, and the deliciousness of the results. 

What you'll need: 

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar 
  • 3 eggs (room temperature) 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder  

Directions: 

  1. Melt unsalted butter in a microwave-safe bowl and slowly add in chocolate chips and mix until melted. Once completely melted, add in white sugar and continue mixing. 
  2. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder, and whisk until completely mixed. 
  3. Add white sugar, butter, and chocolate chip mixture to second bowl and whisk both together until smooth, roughly three minutes. 
  4. Transfer to an 8x8 lined pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove brownies from the oven and let cool before cutting. 
  6. Enjoy!

LOW-CALORIE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

With less than 150 calories per cookie, this recipe is sure to be a hit on V-day. The best part? It only takes 10 minutes and makes 14 servings!

What you'll need:  

  • 3/4 cup spelt flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (45 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Add all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/4 cup of honey and whisk for two minutes. Slowly add in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix. 
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients bowl, and mix. Fold in chocolate chips. If mixture is still liquidy, leave for 10 minutes to let spelt flour absorb wet ingredients. 
  4. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, pull small amounts of dough from the mixture and place on top of a lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough with greased-fingers. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes for soft cookies. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating. 
  7. Enjoy!

LOW SUGAR APPLE TART 

Tasty is the perfect word to describe this low-sugar apple tart. This recipe, which serves 8, has 254 calories per serving and only 14 grams of sugar. 

What you'll need: 

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3/4 stick
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/2 lbs. Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam, optional

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, chop and blend the rolled oats into a coarse powder.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat until golden-brown in color. 
  3. In the saucepan, add the oats, salt, and water and mix. Once completely mixed together, let cool for five minutes. 
  4. Add the mixture into a 9-inch tart dish and chill for 30 minutes. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine the peeled apples and lemon juice and mix. Microwave for four minutes with a plate cover, and let sit with the plate still on top for an additional five minutes. 
  6. Once the five minutes is up, add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the apples and toss the mixture. 
  7. Remove the chilled tart crust from the fridge and spread applesauce evenly over the bottom of the crust. 
  8. Arrange the apples around the pan in a circular pattern with the curved side up. Once the tart is completely covered, brush the apples with melted butter. 
  9. Bake for one hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or until apples are golden brown. 
  10. Let the tart cool before cutting and serving.
  11. Enjoy!

LOW CARB PEANUT BUTTER BARS

Nothing says "I love you" like peanut butter, right? Treat yourself, or the low-carb person in your life, to homemade delicious peanut butter bars. This recipe makes nine servings and has contains 7.21 grams of carbohydrates. 

What you'll need:

  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups peanut flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces sugar-free dark chocolate (chopped) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted peanut butter, melted butter, sweetener, vanilla, and salt until the mixture forms a dough-like consistency. 
  2. Line a 9x9 baking pan with wax or parchment paper and grease slightly.
  3. Press dough into the baking pan evenly and set aside. 
  4. In a heatproof bowl, add the sugar-free dark chocolate and butter over a low and simmering pot of water. Stir until the mixture is fully melted and smooth. 
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter combination and pat the baking pan down to evenly spread the glaze. 
  6. Let the peanut butter bars cool in the refrigerator for one hour before removing and cutting. 
  7. Enjoy!

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