That holiday is coming up. You know, the one. The one filled with crape paper hearts, boxes of ornate chocolates, and an I-hate-this-holiday-with-every-bone-in-my-body-till-the-day-I-die attitude or the I-am-starstruck-and-this-is-and-always-will-be-the-best-day-of-my-life attitude.
It might be the most polarizing holiday of all time. And rarely do you find someone with an indifferent opinion. You either spend the day laying around the house sulking in your pajamas hating the 24 hours of love or you’re dressed to the nines arranging a brilliant 56 red rose bouquet before heading out to dinner at a fancy pants restaurant with an even fancier date. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, too.
But for those V Day haters, I have something to say to you.
*One moment as I get on my soapbox*
You are missing the point.
Valentine’s Day can be about so much more than bitterness or sappy love. There are some many people in your life to love and spend Valentine’s Day with. Ya, I am sure having a date would the ideal for most of us, but a date isn’t the indicator of Valentine’s Day success, how you spend it is. This Valentine’s Day I will be spending time with my parents. Yes, my parents, and I am stinking excited about it. After time with the rents, I will spend a good chunk with my housemates who happen to be my best friends. Next Valentine’s Day I will be in a new city (more on that soon) and missing these important people in my life like crazy.
My point is this: There is too much love in all of our lives to waste a single day sulking, much less a day dedicated to celebrating this very thing! Valentine’s Day is sold to us as a holiday to celebrate romantic love, but I think it’s about something much more important: everlasting love. And that’s exactly what I am going to have a great time celebrating. I am going to share a good meal and even better conversation with my parents and enjoy sweet treats and laughs with my housemates because that is the kind of love I want to celebrate. The I’m-always-there-for-you-and-will-love-you-till-the-end-no-matter-what kind of love.
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour*
- ¼ cup cacao powder, preferably raw and organic
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- ¾ cup alt-milk of choice (coconut, almond, hemp, etc.)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 oz good quality dark chocolate, cut into 4 pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 4 ramekins with nonstick cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray). Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the oats, oat flour, cocoa powder, chia seeds, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine, being sure to break up any lumps in the cocoa powder.
- In a smaller bowl whisk together the alt-milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add this liquid mixture into the dry and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the ramekins and press one piece of chocolate into the center of each. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
If you don't have gluten-free oat flour on hand, you can make some by processing 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats in the food processor until it turns into flour.
To melt the coconut oil, place the sealed jar in a medium bowl. Fill the bowl with very hot water. Allow to sit in the water bath until melted, about 15-20 minutes.