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

 

 

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

 

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

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!

5 Healthy Holiday Snacks

Did you enjoy my 12 days of Christmas fruit and veggie platters? For days when you don’t need an entire tray of holiday food, here are 5 healthy snack ideas. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy them!

Candy-Cane-Fruit

image via The Diva Dish

xmasbens

image via Little Nummies

watermelontree

image via Shop Lasoo

snowman dinner (2)

image via Nifty, Thrifty, & Thriving

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image via Live Better America

For more Christmas food inspiration, check out my Christmas food board on Pinterest. Happy holidays!

– Kelly

Holiday Vegetable Plating: Christmas Tree

Healthy Christmas Tree

Now that it’s December, I’m ready to fully embrace the Christmas season, and my meals are no exception! This holiday vegetable plating is a delicious and healthy way to get into the Christmas spirit, and it is also a great way to create a meal based on the MyPlate guidelines.

Healthy Christmas Tree

Instructions: I arranged ½ cup brown rice (cooked in low sodium chicken broth), 1 cup of green beans (boiled), and 2 tablespoons of cranberries (also boiled) on the plate in a tree shape. I then drizzled the tree with 1 teaspoon of good balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled on a tiny bit of rosemary and thyme.

Nutrition (using ingredients as listed above): 161 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 43mg sodium, 6mg potassium, 33g carbohydrates (6.5g fiber, 4g sugars), 5g protein, 5% Vitamin A, 16% Vitamin C, 6% Calcium, 5% Iron

To make a meal, pair this with your favorite protein food! I paired mine with leftover turkey, but this vegetable plating would also look excellent with a roasted chicken. This holiday vegetable plating is also the perfect formula for following the latest nutrition guidelines. By making half of your plate fruits and vegetables (green beans and cranberries), a quarter of your plate whole grains (brown rice), and a quarter of your plate lean protein (your choice- I used Turkey), you are following the nutrition guidelines as suggested by MyPlate (see below).

MyPlate

Are you a fan of cute holiday foods made HEALTHY? Inspired by my post on the Best Thanksgiving Fruit and Veggie Platters from Around the Web, I will be posting a collection of the best Christmas themed fruit and veggie platters. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks!

-Kelly