Comm. Kitchen

Celebrating Valentine's Day with

Healthy Sweets & Treats

Ever wonder why so many of us have a sweet tooth? Biologist Jason Cryan explains that humans’ dislike of bitter foods may have an evolutionary basis. Our ancestors spent much of their time hunting and foraging for their next meal, so we evolved to physiologically associate a sweet taste with high-energy foods.

Fast forward to modern times, when sweets are readily available and most of us exercise less than we should. To prevent Type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends exercising, eating right, replacing sugary drinks with water and eating more fresh fruit. But if a sweet tooth should strike, here are some healthy treats for you and your sweetie to enjoy in moderation.

From our Readers:

 






Wholesome Oat Cookies

Chris Bowden, Chesapeake, Virginia

 

Ingredients:

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½ cup coconut oil

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1 egg

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1 small, ripe banana, mashed

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1 t vanilla

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½ cup agave nectar

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2 t orange zest

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1 cup flour

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¼ cup wheat germ

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1½ cups rolled oats

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½ cup each coconut, raisins & chocolate mini chips

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½ cup each chopped walnuts & halved cranberries

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1 t cinnamon

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½ t salt

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¼ cup water (approximately)

Directions: Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then combine and add enough water so that dough has a good consistency. Drop heaping spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet and press lightly to flatten. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. 

From our Readers:

Gail’s No-Bake Ricotta Cheesecake

Marcy Alvo, Locust Grove, Virginia

Ingredients:

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1⁄3 cup lemon juice or water, heated to boiling

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1 envelope unflavored gelatin

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½ cup honey or equivalent low-calorie sweetener

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16-oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese

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1 egg

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1 t vanilla

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8-oz. can of peaches, pineapple OR ½ cup sugar-free jam

Directions: In a blender, dissolve the gelatin in the hot juice/water. Add sweetener, ricotta cheese, egg and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly combined and pour into a pie plate or one-quart casserole. Refrigerate several hours, until firm, and top with your choice of fruit or melted jam.

From our Readers:

Valentine Tarts

Diane Hollomon, Prince George, Virginia

Ingredients:

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2 8-oz. packages low-fat cream cheese, softened

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¾ cup sugar, honey or equivalent sweetener

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2 eggs

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1 t vanilla

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½ t. salt

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21-oz. can cherry pie filling OR 16 oz. fresh cherries

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24 vanilla wafers

Directions: Line 2 muffins pans with cupcake liners and place 1 vanilla wafer in each. In a large bowl, use a mixer to blend cream cheese, sweetener, eggs, vanilla and salt. Fill liners ¾ full and top with cherries. Bake 10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven; chill before serving. 

Send us your recipes!

We need recipes for these upcoming issues:main dish salad recipes; sweet, bell and hot pepper recipes; and cantaloupe and melon recipes.

Please email submissions to commonwealthkitchen@co-opliving.com or mail them to Commonwealth Kitchen, c/o Cooperative Living, P.O. Box 2340, Glen Allen, VA 23058-2340. All published submissions will receive a $20 Walmart gift card.

 

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