“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” – Julia Child
Valentine’s Day Traditional Foods
How February 14 became associated with love remains unclear. Most Historians believe that it was a physician by the name of Valentine who started the frenzy of sending love cards on this day. Namely, the poor man fell in love with one of his patients, the daughter of an emperor. Before being executed because of his religious beliefs, he sent his beloved a note signed with “Your Valentine.”
And while cards are a must when it comes to this holiday, food doesn’t fall behind either. When we think of foods associated with Valentine, most of us immediately think of the most popular love food – chocolate. Chocolates became a common gift during the Victorian era when people were greatly inspired by medieval courtly love and chivalry. So, if you are looking for a chocolate recipe, you’ll find it difficult to select just one. Our suggestion is Chocolate Pots de Crème. Looks good and tastes divine.
Still, there are a few more traditional foods used to celebrate love and for each and every one of them, there is a logical explanation.
Wine. The feeling that one gets when enjoying a glass of wine is often compared to the feeling of being in love. Don’t forget to buy a high-quality wine to serve on this day. If you and your loved one don’t fancy that euphoric feeling wine creates, use it in recipes like the one for Creamy Pistachio Chicken. This dish is made with white wine which gives it incredible depth and flavor and the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process so there is no need to worry.
Strawberries are heart-shaped and red colored so it’s no wonder they were considered a symbol of Venus by the ancient Romans. Dip them in melted chocolate, or even better, incorporate them into an amazing recipe just like the Strawberry Cream Cake.
Honey. As a symbol of love, bees were associated with Cupid during the Renaissance and are often depicted stinging Cupid, the god of love, in paintings. Honey is a symbol of procreation and contains boron, which provides an energy boost and helps regulate testosterone and estrogen levels. This natural aphrodisiac can be incorporated in savory recipes, but it definitely works best in sweet ones, like Honey Fudge Parfaits.
Herbs. There are three herbs often associated with the day of love – lavender, basil, and rosemary. With its scent and beautiful purple color, lavender relaxes the senses. Basil is a traditional symbol of fertility and boosts sexual desire by increasing the heart rate and improving circulation, whereas rosemary has been associated with wedding ceremonies since the Middle Ages and is often incorporated in wedding bouquets. Use lavender and rosemary in a single delightfully fragranced and delicate recipe – Scented Cupcake Trio.
Valentine Breakfast in Bed
Valentine’s Day is a perfect way to show your love, but also a great excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. If love and devotion do not offer a sufficient justification for such a guilty pleasure, here is a little extra: Chocolate is absolutely sensual, from its aroma to its taste, but it has also been known to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure. This fact makes chocolate a powerful aphrodisiac which is sure to get you in the mood for love.
In addition, chocolate is really good for you – it lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, boosts brain function, and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
So, why wait for dessert? Feel free to start the day in a decadent fashion.
The easiest option is to make chocolate pancakes. However, in order to capture some of the love that is in the air, cook these fluffy flapjacks in a heart-shaped mold.
The beauty of pancakes is their versatility and flexibility; for instance
- you can stack them on top of each other, adding vanilla frosting in between the pancakes and on top, to create a delicious cake;
- you can pour the batter into muffin tins to create cute chocolate muffins; or
- slice cooked pancakes and incorporate them in various trifles and parfaits that look absolutely tempting!
Another option is to add some red food coloring to the batter and prepare luscious red velvet pancakes. They make use of cocoa powder as well, but for additional chocolatey flavor, serve them with Nutella cream.
Here are some other chocolate morning options:
Valentine’s Date Night Dinner
As Jay Leno once pointed out, men call this day ‘Extortion Day’. So, if your significant half doesn’t feel like putting on their fancy outfit and leave the comfort and safety of your home on a chilly night, why not stay at home and cook? This decision has another upside – your joint bank account will remain intact, allowing you to save some money for a romantic weekend getaway once the weather decides to improve a bit.
Invest your time and energy in really fancy dishes packed with aphrodisiac food that really spark the romance. By definition, an aphrodisiac is a food or drink that increases the sexual desire. Aphrodisiac foods reduce the stress levels, increase circulation, or affect neurotransmitters.
Do aphrodisiacs work? Try these 10 recipes with your baby and see if scientists are right.
Besides the passionate red color and the fiery taste, chili peppers stimulate endorphins which are responsible for good moods. Their hotness increases circulation and stimulates the nerve endings, making you feel more aroused.
This spicy dish can be served wrapped in tortillas or turned into a main dish salad by swapping the tortillas with romaine.
Besides being very easy to make, this recipe is also paleo and gluten-free. Oysters are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs due to the fact that they are full of zinc and amino acids that support the production of sex hormones and increase the sex drive.
Avocado’ reputation as an aphrodisiac goes as far as the Aztec times. This silky and creamy fruit is filled with vitamin E, which helps the body produce sex hormones and stimulates vigor and energy levels.
Asparagus is rich in folate, which aids the production of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, and histamine, which is released in the body during orgasm. In addition, this green veggie contains B vitamins which have been known to boost the libido.
Studies have confirmed that saffron increases the sexual performance. Moreover, this tasty spice is very healthy; it is packed with Vitamins B6 and C, as well as minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
If you are not ready to give up great pizza even on days like this, that’s OK. You can simply upgrade it to a new tastier and sexier level.
Pine nuts abound in energizing zinc, which is essential for producing testosterone. They have been popular aphrodisiacs since the Middle Ages.
Arugula is yet another libido-boosting food that has been used for a long time; to be more precise, since the first century A.D. This green leafy plant is packed with antioxidants that prevent negative effects of contaminants on your libido.
This recipe contains another aphrodisiac – walnuts, which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids needed to boost the production of sex hormones.
Much like walnuts, salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that balance the hormones. Plus, it is combined with another powerful aphrodisiac in this recipe-honey.
These tiny veggies come in handy to feed each other when you don’t have strawberries. Besides this convenient feature, artichokes contain antioxidants and vitamins needed for healthy blood circulation and overall health.
Celery is a crunchy, aromatic veggie that contains androstenol and androsterone, pheromones that are secreted by women and men when they sweat and serve to create sexual attraction. Consider replacing the cashews with another powerful attractant – almonds.
All of these amazing dishes can be complemented with libido-boosting spices, herbs, and add-ins such as:
– Olive oil
Valentine Lovable Desserts
No meal is complete without a dessert! Whether you are inspired by the infamous food scene in “9 ½ Weeks” or just want to share a tasty sweet treat, ask your boo to join you in the kitchen and prepare these delicious aphrodisiac-packed recipes together.
It’s not just the phallic shape! Bananas also contain bromelain, an enzyme which boosts testosterone production, as well as vitamin B and potassium that increase the energy levels. This recipe also contains whipped cream…in case you want to recreate the above-mentioned movie scene.
In addition to caffeine, which increases the heart rate and makes the blood flow, this recipe contains two additional feel-good ingredients – cinnamon, which heats up the body and normalizes the blood sugar levels, and vanilla, which stimulates the nerves, thus enhancing your sexual drive.
Ginger is very similar to chili peppers in boosting the blood flow and body temperature. This fact was well known by French courtesans in the past, who gave ginger to their lovers to boost their pleasure and desire. The recipe also contains nutmeg, a spice that has been used as a libido-booster in Hindu cultures for centuries.
If you need a little something to boost your confidence and liven up the atmosphere, prepare these hot cocktails. Remember, consume in moderation – you don’t want to end up to stewed for love.
Valentine’s Day Cocktails
Believe it or not, watermelon is said to have a ‘Viagra’ effect on the body! This is due to the high content of lycopene which relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood flow, which causes you to feel aroused very quickly.
Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant which supports circulation. Studies have shown that these red gems also help with erectile dysfunction.
We hope that you have found a recipe that sparked your interest. All you need to do is find the perfect scented candles and create a sexy playlist.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!