Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos

Cacao Treats

Cacao Treats

Valentine’s Day is coming, and people rack their brains about how to show appreciation to their “better halves” (or “media naranjas” in Spanish) and other loved ones. Flowers are an appreciated choice, but for us foodies, especially those who could do better at keeping plants and flowers alive, chocolate and all its cousins come to mind.

Some sweet ideas for this year:

Create cacao (raw chocolate, a trendy superfood) treats from scratch. My dear friend’s recipe which allows plenty of room for creativity:

* 1/2 c. raw cacao powder

* 1 T. raw coconut butter or cocoa butter or almond butter

* 2 T. clear agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice – stevia, dates…to taste)

* 1 tsp ground vanilla or 1/2 vanilla bean

* 1/4 tsp. sea salt

* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Add some of your favorite foods, such as chopped goji and golden (inca) berries, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, chili powder, dried fruits, and/or any herbs or superfoods like maca, spirulina, chlorella…a teaspoon or two here and there.

Mix it all up- should be firm and sticky. If the consistency is too thin or thick add more “butter” or powder.

Roll some in your hands to make a ball smaller than a ping pong ball. It will be very sticky, so roll the ball in a coating that will allow you to manipulate it with your hands, like ground almonds, shredded coconut, ground goji berries, cayenne pepper, raw cacao powder, hemp seeds, or such.

Feast on them whenever you need a sustaining boost during the day or crave dessert; the cacao treats are great gifts too. They store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Media Naranja

Media Naranja

If you are in L.A., visit one of these hot spots honoring lovebirds, scoped out by

In San Diego, get your sugar fix at All Vegan, which sells delicious chocolates and unique flavors of marshmallows by Sweet and Sara – cinnamon pecan, strawberry, or toasted coconut!

Don’t feel limited by location, as you can order many goodies online nowadays. Vegan Essentials has chocolates, baked goods and more just a few clicks away, and by searching the web you’ll find vegan valentine’s dinners across the country too.

With an abundance of choices, how will you show your love on Valentine’s Day this year?