The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day
Happy Valentine’s Day! The honorary day of love is here. As commercialized as this holiday has become, I still do love the concept of a holiday dedicated to the celebration of love.
The origins of the holiday remain unclear – back in 1853 the New York Times ran an article declaring the issue of its mysterious origins one ‘doomed never to be solved,’ and even today the multiple theories of its birth remain inconclusive. Whatever the origin, it’s staying power is indisputable.
While it likely originated as a celebration of romantic love and passion – a tradition that continues today – Valentine’s Day has also morphed into a celebration of love and appreciation for all the people in our lives – family, pets, friends, co-workers, and classmates. Putting all cynicism about the astronomical amount of money spent on flowers, cards, and chocolate aside, we can take a step back and consider how beautiful this tradition really is. In a world full of fear and uncertainty, we should all take this day as a reminder of the love that is all around us.
It’s like Hugh Grant says in Love Actually, which although technically a holiday movie, is my favorite romantic movie ever: “Love actually is all around.” So true, if only we pause to put on our rose-colored glasses, which I do highly recommend.
Valentine’s Day also happened to be my grandfather’s birthday, so for me there was always a familial element to do the day of love. And when I was a little girl, I spent hours making my own valentine’s day cards for all my classmates – red, pink, and white construction paper, paper doilies, glitter, stickers, markers, scissors, and glue littered my all-pink bedroom. It’s was a little arts and crafts project I looked forward to each year, surrounding myself with love and giving it to everyone I knew. Now, I channel my love into making chocolate treats and baking.
Love and Psychology
Love isn’t just deep romance and passion – love is created in the simple momentary connections we make when sharing positive emotions with another human being, whether it be a family member or a stranger in a cafe. Smiles and laughter and warm moments of connection all give us momentary feelings of love. And the more of these little moments we have in our lives, the better we feel.
The drive for love and connection is deep within us. We all come from love, are full of love, and are love. So I encourage you to step into that and just be love today.
And on this day dedicated to outward displays and expressions of love for others, I’d like to take it just one step further – practice a little self-love. Look at your reflection in the mirror and smile, embracing all the imperfect parts of you, and appreciate the fact that you are the only you that exists. Give yourself a hug, and tell yourself I love you.
And then, go make some chocolate decadence so further enhance those feelings of love!
Chocolate is Love
The recipes I’ve posted so far in this series of love and chocolate are simple yet decadent; they are sweet and indulgent without any sugar. First is a love potion in a mug: vegan, sugar-free Luscious Hot Cocoa with maca. Yesterday I posted easy vegan Salted Chocolate Fudge Bites – pure indulgence.
And today I’m posting one of my favorite no-bake chocolate recipes that is sure to send your taste buds and brain chemicals into the land of love: vegan Mocha Avocado Mousse. If the idea of avocado in your dessert is weird, I promise the chocolate takes over the creaminess which makes it taste like pure extravagance but without the sugar crash, heaviness, or guilt!
I’ve been making avocado chocolate mousse for years, but this is my favorite version yet!
Vegan Mocha Avocado Mousse: Sugar-Free Recipe
- One large avocado
- 1/2 cup full fat organic coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (sugar-free)
- 3 tsp coffee extract*
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- stevia to taste
- optional: 1/4 tsp salt
- optional: top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut whipped cream, or anything that strikes your fancy
* In place of coffee extract, you can use instant coffee, espresso powder or even regular ground coffee. If using any of these, warm the coconut milk and mix in your coffee. Let cool before blending the mixture. You’ll have to play around with the quantity depending on what you use and your taste preferences. Start small (e.g. 1 tsp espresso powder or 1 tbsp coffee grounds) and adjust.
How to make it:
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
- Serve in your favorite bowl and sprinkle with desired toppings.