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Creativity in a Fruit Salad

love salad

My Valentine’s Day included a home made card for my sweetheart, a love themed fruit salad, and the short and humorous South Park Documentary “6 Days to Air“.  I took about 15 minutes after work to pick up seedless black grapes (my ongoing addiction!), cherries, strawberries, and red delicious apples.  It took me less than 10 minutes to cut up these few items into a medium sized bowl and make this sweet simple gift for my Valentine.  It took maybe 10-15 minutes to make a card that I was proud to give away to someone I care about.  It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t complicated, it was just cute and from me!  All in all, it took me a little over 30 minutes to prepare for my Valentine celebration and i feel satisfied about the results.  I’m notorious in my family for just stopping in at the Grocery Store to pick up an item for a party, but lately I feel the need to create in order to fill this ingenious void I’ve felt for a while.  I’ve felt that need as of late and have started oil painting and crafting to facilitate this soulful want in addition to getting involved with local arts programs.  Last night I was reminded it doesn’t have to take hours to create a lovely food or non-food artistic presentation.   All it takes is a little inspiration, quick planning, and thoughtful execution 30-45 minutes a day or more if time permits.  I can do that.

Alternative Sweets for your ‘Sweet’

Holidays and sweets go hand in hand.  Valentine’s day is one of the many holidays pushing sweet treats and candies and chocolates in excess.  The biggest chocolate heart is supposed to show your loved one how much you love them.  That irks me.  It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality!  While at the grocery store last night I was surrounded by sweet temptations because of today’s holiday.  Do I love all of those things?  Heck yes!  But, in order to support this healthy lifestyle of mine, I came up with two options to battle the Valentine expectation of sweets for your ‘sweet’.  One is obviously healthier than the other, while the other one deals with making the right choice as far as portion size while at the grocery store.

1. Heart Shaped Fruits


If you happen to have just 15-20 minutes to prepare something sweet and healthy this Valentines day evening, then I’d recommend the simple act of cutting up fruit like honeydew,  melon, apple, etc. into heart shapes (using a heart shaped cookie cutter is recommended if you aren’t confident in your carving skills) and piercing them with a BBQ skewers as pictured above.  It’s not only delicious and healthy, it’s simple and adorable!  Or get creative with it, make it your own Valentine presentation!  There are so many healthy alternative ideas  for holiday treats thanks to the wonderful internet that houses blogs like Sincerely, Paula where I first saw this recipe and where she lists a plethora of other healthy Valentine food options including both sweet and savory.  Obviously, the best choice health wise would be if you chose fruit instead of chocolates as your Valentine sweet.  I’d rather take a little extra time to create something unique on a holiday where store bought chocolates and cards are the norm, but I know that is not always possible when life gets in the way.  If you do not have the time to make something simple and unique for your loved one, it’s understandable for those who have very busy lifestyles.  This brings me to option #2.

2. Freshly Baked Mini Cupcakes


I squeal with delight whenever I see mini cupcakes.  Most mini cupcakes are around 100 calories each.  Most larger cupcakes are around 300 calories, give or take depending on ingredients and freshly baked or packaged.  This means you can have just one mini cupcake for 100 calories if that’s all you can afford in your calorie count, or 3 mini cupcakes for the same calories as one larger one.  Besides the fact that you can easily pick up the better choice of mini cupcakes in most any grocery store on your way home tonight, mini cupcakes are just cute!  If you are someone who cannot have the box of 9 or 12 mini cupcakes in your house tempting you, opting for one larger cupcake from a bakery instead of a prepackaged 6 may be better.  Purchasing one large cupcake instead of an entire ice cream cake or a box of chocolates can mean so much more on a holiday like today.  To me, sharing something small and sweet with someone you love is extremely special and meaningful and intimate.  It shows you care about their health but you don’t want to miss out on the small joys in life, and you want to enjoy these things together.   Who wouldn’t love receiving just one adorable mini cupcake along with a lovely personal written note or spoken word of affection from your sweetheart?  Someone without a soul, that’s who! 🙂

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