6 Tips for a Vegan Valentine’s Day


Love is in the air…oh, love is in the air!

Whether you’re a sucker for the annual romantic holiday or believe Valentine’s Day is over-commercialized, it is nonetheless, the one day of the year when any excuse to spread a little extra love is perfectly justifiable.

It is also the perfect chance for us compassionate plant-based beans to spread some vegan love to our curious friends or family and (low-key) lure them to the good side. No idea how to make it happen? Check out these tips:

1. Express your feelings – I had to put this at the top of the list for obvious reasons. There truly isn’t a more genuine way to spread love than to openly express it – to your loved ones, your friends, your neighbours, strangers, the environment or whatever else makes your life a happier one. Compliment a stranger. Strike up a conversation with someone at coffee. Don’t be shy, it’s Valentine’s Day!

2. Make DIY personalized cards – Take a walk down memory lane, and by memory lane I mean your 10 year old artsy days. Grab a piece of paper, fold it in half and fill it with cheesy (the Daiya kind obviously) vegan lines.

3. Bake a vegan cake – The great thing about vegan sweets (apart for the fact that they’re healthy and ethical) is that they require very few ingredients, most of which are derived from nutritious whole foods. My personal go-to, which has proven to melt hearts over and over again, is the 5 ingredient sweet potato brownie – recipe below.

5 Ingredient Vegan Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup cashew almond or peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes, cut them into large cubes and steam for 8-12 minutes, or until soft.
  3. In a food processor, blend the steamed sweet potatoes, cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder.
  4. Pour into a lined baking tray.
  5. Bake brownies for 40 minutes and voila! Let your brownies cool and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  6. You can leave your brownies as they are or make a cocoa walnut topping. For this you'll need to melt 4 squares of vegan dark chocolate, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp of maple syrup. When melted, pour over the brownie base and top with walnuts. Let cool and refrigerate.

 

If you’re looking to challenge your culinary side a little more, check out Minimalist Baker’s vegan dessert recipes.

4. Give the gift of wine-sipping – Ever since going vegan and learning that not all alcohol is free of animal products, Barnivore has become my best friend. Plug in any alcohol brand and the site will give you everything you need to know about its production process and ingredients. You can never go wrong with gifting someone some good adult grape juice.

Here are a few vegan brands:

Local: Peller-Estate, Trius, Creekside (2016 onwards), Henry of Pelham (2015 onwards)

Imported: Goose Bay, Yellow Tail (red wine), Chateau Pontet-Canet, Zardetto Prosecco

5. Dine in a vegan restaurant – While the odds of finding a last-minute vegan restaurant that isn’t fully booked may resemble those of winning the lottery, don’t panic! There are quite a few options to choose from (calling ahead may not be the worst idea though):

Vegetarian Haven

Hibiscus

Veghed

The Hogtown Vegan

Bombay Street Food

Grasshopper

Mythology Diner

Khao San Road

Sabai Sabai Kitchen and Bar

6. Practice self-love – While Valentine’s Day tends to be portrayed as the day to woo your loved ones, your self-love is just as important. Treat yourself to a sleep-in, a bath, a good book or a good workout. Write a list of all the things you’re grateful for in life.

Be easy on yourself.

Positive energies and love always.


Natalia Lasakova
[email protected]

I'm a passionate plant-based bean, adventure-enthusiast and a (wannabe) Chris McCandless protégé. When I'm not studying away finishing my undergrad degree at U of T, you can find me outside somewhere chasing nature or following my passion for writing!