Heart-Healthy Treats for Valentine’s Day Jess Novak February 9, 2015 1540 Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it’s time to get your romantic plans up and running. But what’s the best option for the day? Restaurants are always horribly crowded, and you know that prix fixe meal always feels rushed and overpriced. A more romantic solution: cook up a delicious, heart-healthy dinner at home, finished off with tasty desserts that taste delicious, and will make you feel great to boot. We caught up with Ruth Wardein of Epiphany Gluten Free, a bakery in Naples, Florida, that specializes in the intersection of deliciousness and health consciousness, to talk about making your Valentine’s Day special without loading up on foods that make you feel sluggish. If you’re looking to place an order, Epiphany will be offering up plenty of V-Day specials, including Paleo raspberry swirl brownies, red velvet cake and cupcakes, and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. So what makes these delicious-sounding treats good for you and your Valentine? “Our Paleo baked goods are particularly heart-healthy due to the fact that the main ingredient is almond flour, which is believed to help lower cholesterol,” Ruth told us. “We also use other beneficial ingredients like flax seeds, which are incredibly rich in omega 3s, coconut oil instead of harmful canola oil, and dates or coconut palm sugar, which is lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar, making it a better choice for diabetics.” If you’re not lucky enough to live close to Epiphany, Ruth recommends concocting your own particularly low-stress, heart-healthy dessert. “You can serve just fresh fruit combined with creamy, full-fat coconut milk—which makes a fantastic alternative to regulardairy whipped cream,” Ruth tells us. “If you’re feeling up to the challenge, make a mixture of chopped dates and nuts for a crust to turn this dessert into a pie!” And since Valentine’s Day is taking place on a Saturday this year, start the day off with the Epiphany Paleo pancake mix, which you can easily pour into a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make a festive Valentine’s breakfast. You can join Ruth Wardein of Epiphany Gluten Free at Ironside Gym on February 14th, where she’ll teaching community members how to make healthy, gluten-free desserts that are perfect for the holiday.