Valentine’s Day is a great holiday for vegans!
(Unless, of course, you’re a vegan whose lover just ran off with your new truck, the money in your savings account, and your best friend – then Valentine’s Day would suck.)
But for the rest of us, it’s wonderful to enjoy a vegan-friendly holiday that doesn’t center around meat. (The Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas roast, the Easter ham …)
Flowers? Why, thank you!
Wine? Please pour me a glass (plenty of vegan friendly wine these days – check out Barnivore.com if you need help).
Chocolate? Most dark chocolate is “accidentally” vegan.
Cards and jewelry? Oh, you shouldn’t have. (Wait, that’s just a figure of speech – come back here with that little box!)
Food? There are no “traditional” foods associated with the holiday except for candy. That means you don’t have to worry about replicating those traditional family casseroles that are mostly cheese and Campbell’s condensed “cream of” soups. You’re free to decide whatever seems romantic to you. Pasta? Chana Masala? Tacos? Veggie sushi? Often the perfect Valentine’s Day meal just comes down to cooking your Valentine(s) their favorite (vegan) food – or taking them to their favorite restaurant.
Romantic could also mean a healthy Valentine’s Day smoothie for breakfast that tastes just like chocolate covered strawberries. This could also be a sweet treat for the kids.
Since it’s winter, and winter strawberries tend to be flavorless and expensive, I used frozen organic strawberries. I buy when they go on sale and try to always have a few bags in the freezer for smoothies.
Ingredients for Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie (Vegan and Gluten Free):
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
1/2 – 1 Cup Chocolate Soy or Almond Milk (1/2 Cup if using fresh strawberries, 1 cup if using frozen)
Directions for Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie:
If using frozen strawberries, let the berries thaw for a few minutes before blending. This will make it a little easier to blend and you’ll need to add less “milk.”
Add strawberries, banana, and plant milk to blender. Blend until smooth.
That’s it. Wasn’t that easy? And isn’t it delicious?
I use plain, unsweetened plant milks for most of my drinking and cooking needs, but I’ve lately fallen in love with the ease of using sweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavored plant milks for smoothies. They essentially replace three ingredients (milk, vanilla extract or cocoa powder, and sweetener), with a single ingredient. This saves time and stress on hectic mornings!
Which plant milk to use? Use your favorite! I recommended soy or almond milk because that’s what I use most often, but I’m sure coconut milk (in cartons, not cans) and cashew milk would work just as well.
You can also use frozen cherries or raspberries in place of strawberries.
Not chocolate-y enough? Add a teaspoon of cocoa powder.