Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Low-Sugar or Sugar-Free Chocolate Treats for Your Valentine (many are gluten-free)

Valentine's Day is almost here, and I've got you covered with some low-sugar or sugar-free chocolate treats.

I don't think there's any doubt that holidays are more challenging for dieters or people who need to limit sugar than day-to-day eating, and holidays like Valentine's Day that are strongly associated with sugary treats can make even the most steadfast person lose their resolve.  Through the years I've tested a lot of low-sugar or sugar-free chocolate treats, but not many of them have been good enough to make it on to the blog.  Here's a collection of the chocolate treats that made the cut and many of them are also gluten-free as well.  I hope one of these can help you celebrate Valentine's Day without completely abandoning your diet; just click the link under the photo to see each recipe.

Before I send you off to see the treats, let me talk about sweeteners for a minute.  It's true that when I'm using sweetener in baked goods, I like to use just a tablespoon or two of real brown sugar for best flavor.  But if that's not an option for you, these treats will still taste good with all sweetener.  I've experimented with a lot of sweeteners through the years, but now I prefer a blend of Swerve Sweetener and Stevia in the Raw Granulated Sweetener for low-sugar baking.  But there are many good sweeteners on the market and your favorite brand will probably work just fine in these recipes, as long as it's a sweetener that's used 1:1 to replace sugar.   I've also had good luck in the past baking with Splenda, so if you're not against using that it's definitely an option.  (Please no "foodie police" comments; use any sweetener you prefer and let others do the same!)

Let's start with the Flourless and (almost) Sugar-Free Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate that I made last Valentine's Day.  These are gluten-free.


Another chocolate cookie idea is these Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies. That post has two variations for this cookie, so pick the one that sounds best to you.  These are gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats.


 These Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Brownies with Walnuts would be a hit any day of the year!


These Flourless and Low-Sugar (or sugar-free) Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are another Valentine's Day chocolate option that won't leave you feeling deprived, and these cookies are gluten-free as well!


If you want an easy dessert option, this Greek Yogurt Dessert with Hazelnut Agave and Shaved Dark Chocolate is delicious and comes together in minutes.  This is also gluten-free.)


I made these Low-Sugar and Flourless Chocolate Coconut Drops with Almonds as a Christmas cookies, but these would be lovely for Valentines Day.  These are gluten-free.


If you don't mind buying zucchini during the winter, this Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread is delicious, maybe even for breakfast on Valentine's Day?


Last, but certainly not least, these Whole Grain Low-Sugar (or sugar-free) Chocolate Cookies with Pecans just might be my favorite cookie recipe on the blog.


I know there are other good cooks coming up with diet friendly recipe ideas for Valentine's Day, so if you have a good suggestion for a Valentine's Day dessert, we'd love to hear about it in the comments. (Bloggers are welcome to leave recipe links for other low-sugar cookies or desserts, but other types of links won't be published.)

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34 comments:

  1. No one wants to feel deprived on holidays, so this is a great list to enable everyone to indulge their sweet tooth.

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  2. All the above cookies look fabulous! We are out of cookies. It's a good time to try out new recipes. :) Thanks

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  3. Look at all of your baking! I love it! The cookies look delicious.

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  4. Who gets the pleasure of eating all of those cookies?!! I've baked Christmas cookies with the low-sugar and whole wheat flours and the whole family gets them. I will be trying yours later this week. Thank you for you recipes. Judy

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  5. These recipes are scratching my cookie itch today. Must I wait until Valentines Day? I think not!

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  6. Oh, thank you for this!!! As soon as I saw it, I started singing "You're Just What I Needed" by The Cars. ;)

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  7. So fun hearing that people are excited about making low-sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. I promise you, these cookies won't make you feel deprived.

    Lizriz, now that song is stuck in my head!

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  8. I'm so glad you brought these treats back to the forefront, Kalyn. I've made the chocolate shortbread before and they are delicious. I won't be home for Valentine's Day, but will be making these again when I return.

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  9. Hi Kalyn, I'm visiting first time here. You've nice place here with tons of variety recipes. OMG! What a lovely cookies here. Perfect for valentine day! :)

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  10. Great post, Kalyn. Thank you much!

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  11. I love your recipes - wonderful ideas and inspiration! I recently made turkey meatballs with herbs and cheese from your blog. So, so good.

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  12. Not on the South Beach Diet, but I don't know how anyone can pass these cookies up. Great to have some idea of what to make for V-day! :)

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  13. I love homemade cookies and these look so fabulous. I wanted to make cookies while snowed in these 2 days but I was afraid I would eat most of them myself and I probably would have. I am glad I waited because I am going to try one of your recipes.

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  14. Hei Kalyn-I bought an ice cream machine a few months ago and wondered if you had any suggestions for SB friendly (phase 2 and 3) ice cream recipies?

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  15. Whitney, I've never made ice cream, but if I was you, I'd check Food Blog Search. Just enter "Sugar-free ice cream" or "low-sugar ice cream."

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  16. Many chocolate cookies in a single post! Great! Thanks for this selection. The Chocolate, oats and Pecan cookies interest me a lot. I'm realizing I've never tasted the combination of Pecan nuts and chocolate (pecan nuts are not so common in France).

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  17. your cookies look fabulous and delicious!!

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  18. Wow, I am not on the South Beach diet, but those look absolutely delicious.

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  19. Oh yay.. I am going to try out atleast one of these (the oatmeal cluster)

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  20. too many choices - which one to make!! Recommendation Kalyn, if I am only to make one batch??

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  21. Donna, they're all good but I'd have to choose the last one )Whole Grain Low-Sugar Chocolate Cookies with Pecans) if I could only make one!

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  22. Ahh, these look GREAT! This is my first time on your blog and I am just so thrilled! Your recipes looks amazing!

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  23. Kayla, welcome and glad you like the blog!

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  24. Like the collection, all of them look really beautiful. Low processed sugar content but definitely sweet.

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  25. These look amazing; I can't wait to try them tomorrow for Valentine's Day! Thanks!!

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  26. I just made (and posted about) my favorite lower-sugar whole grain oatmeal raisin cookie (which I suppose could be made with at least part splenda, athough I haven't tried that yet).

    But, if I wanted a romatic yet diet friendly dessert, I think I would experiment with a low-fat, splenda sweetened panna cotta. Has anyone out there tried this? There is a comment to a recipe for panna cotta on allrecipes that indicates that the recipe works great as non-fat and sugar free. I plan on experimenting a bit with this this week or next. (Or maybe even tonight . . .)

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  27. Laura, I love the idea of a lower-fat and lower-sugar panna cotta! Do share if you come up with one.

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  28. These look awesome! I'll save these for when I go back to allowing myself treats. For now, it's none! Thanks!

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  29. Kalyn, I did experiment with low-fat low-sugar panna cotta. I've never had the real high-fat version, so I can't compare, but what I made was delicious. I used nonfat Greek yogurt (honey flavor), splenda, ginger, vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, nonfat milk, and agar flakes. I think that the agar didn't give it the right texture (maybe I used too much), and gelatin would have been better. The too firm texture aside (which had to do with the agar), the panna cotta was perfect. I served it with honey roasted pears, but any fruit would be nice, or maybe a drizzle of sugar-free chocolate sauce (little bit of sugar-free chocolate melted with some coffee)
    I haven't posted yet, but I will.

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  30. I like the look and ease of the Oatmeal Cluster cookies. My grandkids will love them too. The bonus is gluten-free.
    Thanks and Happy Valentines Day!

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  31. Hi my name is There'sa and I've been saving alot of these recipes but I'm not sure about the calories, sugar or sodium count. I along with all the ladies at work that I made copies for wont make them until I can tell them all this. Is there any way you can add this information in your recipes? If it's not to much trouble, I know I could have everyone here making a lot of your dishes!!!!! Thank you.

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  32. Hi Theresa,
    I have no plans to add that kind of information (I spend far too much time working on the blog already; can't add one more thing!) But if you want that kind of info I recommend a site called Calorie Count (It's listed under FAQ, or check it out here. Hope that helps.

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

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