How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

Once Valentine’s Day rolls around, my sweet tooth starts kicking hard. But I’m sure not gonna blow it on a tasteless box of candy hearts, or stale chocolate with mystery fillings. Chocolate dipped fruit, on the other hand, is something I can rarely pass up.

Fresh berries are an obvious health pick, but even with a coating of dark chocolate, these babies aren’t as sinful as they look. After all, with less sugar and more polyphenols than milky or white varieties, dark chocolate (in moderation – such as in this recipe) can even be good for the heart.

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step).png

For this reason, chocolate covered strawberries are my go-to Valentine’s treat. (They are even the perfect ruby red color!) But at outrageous prices ($45 for one dozen?! No thank you!), I much prefer to make my own.

A pint of 24 organic strawberries (out of season) set me back $6.99 at Whole Foods, and then I spent an additional $4.29 on 67% dark chocolate baking chunks, and $3.99 on the white chocolate chips. So the grand total came to $15.27 for TWO DOZEN chocolate covered organic strawberries, with plenty of chocolate left over to make a second batch. Not only are homemade chocolate covered strawberries a bargain, they are actually quite simple to make! Here’s how it works…

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

  • Required ingredients: strawberries (I used one pint, or 24 strawberries), dark chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1.5 cups dark chocolate chunks)
  • Required equipment: paper towels, wax paper, baking sheet, small pot of water, small/medium glass bowl
  • Optional ingredients: sprinkles, crushed nuts, or white chocolate for drizzling (I used 0.5 cups white chocolate chips, a few sprinkles, and less than 0.25 cups hazelnuts, crushed)

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

Wash all strawberries, then dry well with paper towels. If they’re the least bit wet, the chocolate won’t stick as easily.

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then set a glass bowl on top (NOT touching the water) and fill with your dark chocolate chips. This will serve as a make-shift double boiler.

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

Stir your chocolate in the glass bowl over the stove until it melts, but doesn’t burn. Once your chocolate starts melting, feel free to remove the bowl from the heat (as pictured above) or turn the stove down to keep it from burning.

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Step-by-Step)

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. One by one, dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate, then lay on wax paper to dry. If you wish to roll your strawberries in sprinkles, crushed nuts, or other toppings, do this immediately after dipping, before the chocolate hardens. You may also wish to drizzle white chocolate on top. Simply use the same system that you used to melt the dark chocolate, then dip a spoon in the white chocolate and drizzle back and forth across the strawberries.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Topping Ideas

Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate. Once the chocolate hardens (less than an hour), you may store the strawberries in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

– Kelly

 

 

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Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes

For most folks, Superbowl Sunday is the first real test of whether the healthy habits started in early January are going to be embraced as lasting lifestyle changes, or cast aside as abandoned resolutions. There’s no need to panic, however. With a little advanced planning, the right recipes, and some creative presentation skills, healthy foods can be far more alluring than their deep-fried counterparts, even on one of the most gluttonous, sedentary holidays.

Here is a round-up of my favorite Superbowl Sunday themed fruit and veggie platters and healthy Superbowl Sunday recipes from around the web. Bring any of these dishes to your Superbowl viewing party — dieters and non-dieters alike will be glad you did!

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes!

Veggie Tray with Football Toast from The Forman Fam

Kelly’s tip: Make sure the toast is 100% whole grain. For the laces, feel free to use string cheese toasted on, or carefully piped ranch dips (such as this healthy ranch dip made from Greek yogurt, or this one made from tofu).

Healthy Superbowl Recipes!

Individual Veggie Cups from Constant in Chaos

Kelly’s tip: In addition to some of the healthy Ranch dips I named above, feel free to pair veggies with bean dips, such as roasted garlic kale hummus, beet hummus, kale pesto white bean dip, or black bean dip.

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes!

Football Helmet Fruit Salad from the National Watermelon Promotion Council

Kelly’s tip: This link has the step-by-step directions on how to carve the helmet!

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes

7-Layer Football Dip from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Kelly’s Tip: Take this cute presentation idea, but substitute plain, nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Also, serve with whole grain baked chips or crackers (I recommend these or these).

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes

Mini Football Meatloaves from Hungry for Football

Kelly’s tip: Keep the football shape and string cheese laces, but use a healthier meatloaf recipe, such as this Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf, this Apple, Sage, and Turkey Meatloaf, or this Cranberry Lentil Loaf with BBQ glaze.

Healthy Superbowl Sunday recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Shari’s Berries

Kelly’s Tip: To make your own, just dip washed and dried strawberries in melted dark chocolate, lay onto wax paper, then pipe on white chocolate laces when dry.

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes

Football Mason Jar Drinks from Flamingo Toes

Kelly’s Tip: Instead of soda, fill these jars with unsweetened iced tea or iced coffee. Or, fill with a healthy, naturally sweetened chocolate shake, such as this Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Shake or this Dark Chocolate Mocha Shake.

Healthy Superbowl Sunday Recipes

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings from The Food Network

Kelly’s Tip: Substitute plain, nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream in the blue cheese dip for a healthy, vegetarian version of this Superbowl Sunday classic. And don’t forget the celery sticks!

For more cute sports themed food presentation ideas, check out my Cute Sports Food Pinterest Page. Also, see here for more healthy dips and spreads. What will you be making this Superbowl Sunday?

– Kelly

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Looking for a way to entice your guests (or yourself) to eat more vegetables? Here is a round-up of the most beautiful fruit and vegetable platters from around the web. And if you’re looking for healthy dips to compliment your fruit and veggie trays, check here.

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Arrange veggies and dips in various glassware. Image via Cocoa and Fig

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Serve dip in a hollowed-out head of lettuce. Click here for step-by-step instructions. Image via Eddie Ross

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Or try bell peppers! Image via Pinterest (original source unknown)

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Portion individual servings of vibrant veggies and hummus into stemware. Image via Pinterest (original source unknown)

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

If you don’t have stemware, drinking glasses also work. Image via Add a Pinch

Not Your Average Fruit Tray

This concept also works for fruit. Image via Hostess with the Mostess

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Individual glasses of salad are a great way to offer guests tastes of produce. Image via My Baking Addiction

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

“Salad on a Stick” is a kid-friendly take on this idea. Image via Sweet Potato Chronicles

Not Your Average Vegetable Platter

Bouquets of artichokes, ornamental kale, and brussels sprouts are a great way to dress up a fruit and vegetable display. Image via Project Wedding

Not Your Average Fruit Tray

Tiered platters work great to display individual cups of mixed fruit (or vegetables). Image via Pinterest (original source unknown)

– Kelly

 

16 Healthy Halloween Snacks From Around The Web

Happy October, everyone!

Just because Halloween is one of the most diet-busting holidays on the calendar, doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for nutrition. So I scoured the web for the best healthy Halloween snacks, including fruit and veggie platters, as well as heartier fare. The snacks pictured below keep the Halloween spirit alive, without sacrificing nutrition. Enjoy!

witchbrooms

1) Witch brooms made from pretzels & string cheese, Image via Concinada con Catman

hallofruit

2) Banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins. I love this! Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

allrecipesappleteeth

3) Apple teeth with slivered almonds, via Allrecipes.com

vegskel

4) Veggie skeleton, image via feeding four little monkeys

spookyyogurt

5) Ghost inspired fruit & yogurt, image via Lisa Storms

smoothie

6) Jack-O-Lantern Smoothie, image via See Vanessa Craft. Note- for a healthy orange smoothie recipe, I recommend this carrot-apple-banana smoothie or this peach pie oatmeal smoothie.

carrothummus1

7) Hummus with carrot fingers. Image via Pinterest, original source unknown.

hummuscarrot2

8) Hummus with carrot & parsley pumpkins. Image via Parents.com

spider deviled eggs

9) Deviled eggs with olive spiders, image via Sunset

pumpkinegg

10) Pumpkin deviled eggs, image via Foodista

mummydip

11) Mummy dip with green veggies, image via hostess with the mostess

plumspider

12) Plum + grape spider, image via Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

pumpkindip

13) Adorable veggie platter presentation! Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

cck

14) Fruity Jack-O-Lanterns, image via Chocolate Covered Katie

easy

15) Easy Jack-O-Lantern Oranges, image via Under Construction blog

fruitcup

16) Fruit cup Jack-O-Lanterns, image via Pimp My Dinner

For more Halloween food inspiration (yes- there’s more!), see my Pinterest board. Wondering what dips to serve with fruit and veggie platters? See my picks for healthy dips here.

Happy Halloween!

– Kelly

Healthy Fruit and Veggie Platters inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar

veryhungrycaterpillar

Like many children, my story time picks were often supplemented with a colorful dose of Eric Carle. While Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was probably the family favorite, perhaps the most iconic Eric Carl book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In fact, if Pinterest is any indication, this classic story is now a very popular party theme. Anyone can arrange green and red cupcakes on a platter and call it a day, so I scoured the web to bring you the best HEALTHY platters inspired by Eric Carle’s classic. Whether you are throwing your own Very Hungry Caterpillar party and looking for healthy platters and snacks, or you simply want to jazz up your children’s meals with inspiration from this much beloved story, the following images should inspire you.

cute food for kids

Apple + Babybel cheese caterpillar from Cute Food For Kids

bajiroo

Fruit Caterpillar from Bajiroo

sushi

Caterpillar sushi from Anna the Red

bless this mess

Adorable healthy fruit tray from Bless this Mess Please

frostme

Another adorable fruit tray from Frost Me Blog

And while the following aren’t neccessarily Eric Carl inspired, they still keep with the caterpillar theme:

little page turners

PB + Banana Caterpillar from Little Page Turners

Hungry caterpillar sandwich

Caterpillar sandwich, original source unknown

kabobs

Caterpillar grape kabobs, from Healthy and Fun Snacks for Kids

Cute Summer Fruit and Veggie Platters from around the Web

Today I’ve rounded up some of the best sea-inspired fruit and veggie platters, snacks, and lunches from around the web. Late summer is one of the best times of the year for local produce, so don’t let the season slip away without concocting one of these ocean-inspired spreads. And if you are looking for healthy dips to serve alongside your produce, check out this round-up of healthy dips.

zucc boat

Image via Mom Foodie

fish carrot

Image via Meet the Dubiens

apple crab

Image via Make-Handmade

Shark

Image via National Watermelon Promotion Board

octopus

Image via Spoonful

whale

Image via Fancy

For more cute summer foods, see my cute summer food Pinterest board!

– Kelly

Easter Fruit and Veggie Platters from Around the Web

Easter is fast approaching, and of course I couldn’t let this holiday pass by without sharing my favorite Easter fruit and veggie platters from around the web. As with all of my holiday fruit and veggie platter posts, these images are meant to serve as ideas for produce presentation. While not all fruit and veggie platters presented are free of low nutritional value accompaniments, I think they are great sources of inspiration for ways to creatively present fruits and vegetables. How will you make fruits and vegetables look fresh this Easter season?

SONY DSC

Image via the little green bean

cheese-spread-ideas-14909

Image via Land O Lakes

Rabbit

Image via National Watermelon Promotion Board

fruitpizzapinterest

Image via Pinterest (original source unknown)

carrot-patch-fall-recipe-photo-260-FF0908SNACKA04 family fun

Image via The High Heeled Hostess

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Image via Ramblings of a Handbag Designer

Hope you enjoy! For more ideas, see my Cute Spring Food Pinterest page, or my previous post on cute Easter lunches and snacks from around the web. Wondering what to serve fruits and vegetables with? See my Pinterest page on healthy dipping sauces and spreads. Happy Easter!

– Kelly

Cute Easter lunches and snacks from around the web

Spring has sprung! While it might not look that way in Boston (I wore my snow boots today), winter is over and Easter is just around the corner. To celebrate the arrival of spring, here is a round up of the cutest (healthy) Easter snacks and lunches from around the web.

lisastormsbunnylunch1

Whole grain, please. Image via Lisa Storms

creativefunfood

Image via creative fun food

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image via papa wow

alisonDeviled-egg-chicks

Image via Alison Artisan

pinterestcup

Image via Pinterest (original source unknown)

russianladybug-sandwiches

Image via Russian Report

Hope you enjoyed this roundup! For more cute spring and Easter food ideas, see my Cute Spring Food Pinterest page. Also, stay tuned for a post on Easter fruit & veggie platters.

– Kelly

Shamrock Tostadas: A Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Meal

Shamrock Tostadas

After seeing so much green at my first Celtic’s game last night, I’m starting to get pretty excited for Saint Patrick’s Day. I have a feeling that Saint Patrick’s day is going to be a pretty big deal here in Boston, but this themed recipe takes me back to my Texas roots. Pinterest inspired me to combine these cute bell pepper shamrocks with one of my favorite vegetarian recipes: Veggie Tostadas. Side note: tostada shells are pretty difficult to locate up here, but I eventually found them at my local Whole Foods Trader Joe’s Shaw’s Star Market.

Shamrock Tostadas

Shamrock Tostadas (inspired by Pinch of Yum & Martha Stewart)

Makes 8 tostadas

Ingredients

  • 8
    tostada shells
  • 1 15-oz can
    refried beans
  • 4 large
    bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 large
    onion
  • 3 small
    green bell peppers
  • 1 cup
    nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon each
    cumin, chili powder, and paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. While the oven is warming up, chop the onion and colorful bell peppers (not the 3 green ones, though) into bite sized pieces.
  2. Put the chopped peppers and onion onto a greased baking sheet and evenly add the cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Then roast in the oven for about 25 minutes. Note- I don’t add any additional oil other than what was used to grease the pan.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, carefully slice the green bell peppers across the middle to create a shamrock shape. It probably won’t take all 3 bell peppers to make 8 slices, but this will allow you to pick the best looking ones. Use the scraps to create a small stem shape for each shamrock.
  4. When the veggies are finished cooking, quickly heat up the can of refried beans according to package instructions.
  5. Assemble your tostada by layering it with about 1/4 cup refried beans, 1/2 cup cooked veggies, 2 tablespoons of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, and 1 shamrock. Enjoy!

Shamrock Tostadas

Nutrition per Tostada: 166 calories, 2.4g fat (0.3g saturated), 3.8mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 118mg potassium, 30g carbohydrates (4g fiber, 8g sugar), 13.5g protein, 52% Vitamin A, 124% Vitamin C, 14% Calcium, 15% Iron

Nutrition facts were estimated via My Fitness Pal using the following ingredients:

Shamrock tostadas

Oops… forgot to show the refried beans!

Note: I usually eat 2 tostadas with a side, such as a piece of fruit or handful of nuts. Since this meal is very low fat, avocado would be a great addition!

As you probably suspected, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to healthy Saint Patrick’s Day recipes. Check it out and get inspired!