Many worry about what to get their special someone for February 14th. Chef Alina Z says try a quick stint in the kitchen.
"One of the best things about Valentine's Day - you don't have to spend a lot of money; you can put a lot of heart and make something with your hands," said Alina Z.
In this case something sweet and loving like truffles and brownies.
"You don't have to have any cooking skills - you put everything in a blender and voila, you have truffles made with good ingredients. Ingredients that are nourishing ingredients that are fun ingredients that are yummy," Alina Z said.
Chocolate is a major player! She uses dark chocolate that is low in sugar yet high in antioxidants thanks to sugarless raw cacao powder. Then she adds raw pitted dates which are packed with fiber and minerals along with maple syrup and something called coconut manna, which is coconut meat. Add a dash of vanilla and pink salt. Blend it up, put it in the fridge or freezer to harden depending on your time frame. Then roll the little bits of truffle in cacao powder and you are done.
And talk about quick! Try three minute brownies with four ingredients. Simply put it in a blender, press them down, cut them and you're ready to go.
In this recipe, pitted dates, raw cacao, and walnuts with a sprinkle of sea salt are processed for a mere minute. Give the dough a little squeeze and if it sticks to your hands, you're good to go. Put it in wrapped container and press to shape and cut into brownie squares. And added plus: they're dairy and gluten free..
And if your 'someone special' loves to spend time in the kitchen, check out Chef Alina's book 'Single and Hungry' . which might just be one sweet gift to give.
Here are the no bake recipes for the truffles and brownies:
Who doesn't love chocolate? While this recipe is not an easy one, it is absolutely delicious. I like to make the whole thing once and then eat the truffles over the next few weeks. I find them so satisfying that I can easily eat just two at a time and stop.
1 Cup raw cacao powder, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
1 Cup medjool dates, pitted. Do NOT buy already pitted dates
3/4 Cup coconut nectar
1/2 Cup coconut manna (not oil) by Nutiva
1/2 Vanilla bean or teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 Teaspoons sea salt
Place vanilla bean of vanilla in food processor or Vitamix with 1 cup cacao and blend until the bean is chopped. Add the rest of ingredients except coconut nectar and process until chocolate mass if formed. Slowly add coconut nectar and process to mix well.
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes.
When cooled, roll a small amount of the mixture into a ball in your hand, then brush with the reserved cacao powder so the truffle is not sticky outside. Makes 14-15 servings of 1-ounce truffles.
RAW VEGAN BROWNIE
This is a rich and good-for-you brownie that is high in essential fatty acids - Omega-3, protein and fiber. I like to think of this recipe as almost-a-health food!
2 Cups raw walnuts
1.5 Cups medjool dates, pitted by hand. Do NOT buy already pitted dates
1 Cup raw cacao powder
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
Process in food processor with an S-blade for 2-3 minutes until well-blended. Place the dough in a small pan and push down with your hands. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. Cut in squares and enjoy.
3-minute brownie and truffle recipes for your Valentine