Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and you might be on the verge of a meltdown, trying to figure out how to celebrate. Warranted or not, there is pressure to load up on fat-filled, sugar-infused treats in the spirit of love. We’d like to turn that idea on its head and show you some simple treats you can enjoy without the guilt. Your eyes will thank you for the health problems you avoid. Now that’s true love!

Almond Truffles

The concept of “healthy truffles” seems like an oxymoron, but we’ve discovered a recipe that fits the eye-healthy bill. Almonds contain vitamin E, which helps slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Add some disease-fighting antioxidants by pairing these with a glass of red wine. Remember, less is more.

1 cup chopped almonds
½ cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut butter
6 fresh, pitted dates
Sea salt to top off
¼ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Shredded coconut (optional)

Mix ingredients together in a bowl, shape into 1-inch balls, roll in shredded coconut if desired, and place in the freezer on a baking sheet until firm (approximately 35 minutes). Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.

Berry Sorbet

Instead of cookies or cake-pops, put the sweetness of fruit to work for you. Added and refined sugars are enjoyable until the sugar-coma crash that often follows, but the natural sugar in berries offers that perfectly sweet touch without the aftermath. Blueberries fight free radicals, help prevent AMD, and reduce oxidation—a process that ages and damages your cells, including those in your eyes.

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
6 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
¼ cup lemon juice
Fresh mint
Dark chocolate shavings (optional)

Combine the sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until dissolved. Let cool. Put the sugar mixture, blueberries, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Store in the freezer for at least four hours. Serve in scoops with a fresh mint leaf and dark chocolate shavings (optional) on top.

Baked Apples with Cinnamon

Chocolate and berries are safe (and tasty!) bets for desserts this time of year, but maybe you’re looking for something a bit less conventional. May we suggest you give apples a shot? This fruit helps to lower cholesterol, which can damage the blood vessels in your eyes, and it contains other nutrients that guard against strokes and heart disease.

15533CM_BakedApple_200x200 (2)Ingredients:
3 apples (any variety)
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1½ teaspoon cinnamon

Slice apples into thin pieces. Cut a piece of foil double the length of your baking sheet. Lay apple slices on the foil and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold the extra foil over the apples and seal the apples in by folding up the foil on the three exposed sides. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Serve warm.

Now that you’ve got these eye-healthy recipes in hand, it’s time to get cookin’!

The contents in this article are for general information purposes only. Please consult your eye care doctor or physician for actual advice.