Sneaky Valentine's Day sweets that won't leave you feeling guilty

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Rebecca Spera shares three recipes that will let you indulge this Valentine's Day without the guilt.

Marci Izard, author of Nourishing Your Whole Self: A Cookbook with Feelings, loves vegetables so much so that she's developed quite the reputation for sneaking veggies into just about everything.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Izard shared three devilishly delicious recipes that won't leave you feeling guilty.

"My husband is one person who can be really skeptical of my sneaking veggies into baked goods, and even he loves these," Izard says about her chocolate beet cupcakes.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes


  • 1-1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup pureed beets (about 3 medium sized beets, stems removed)
  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the beets in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until soft. Once cooked, rinse beets under cold water to peel. Use a blender to puree.

Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, powder, and salt in large bowl.

In a medium bowl, beat the beet puree, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla with a wire whisk. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.

Distribute batter among 12 cups in muffin pan. Bake 16-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Prepare the frosting: beat the sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled cupcakes.

Chocolate Mousse

Izard's favorite "healthy" dessert is one that requires no baking! It's a Chocolate Mousse made with white means!

  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup agave

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • Optional: 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 6 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips


Process all the ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Using a double boiler or the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Be careful to avoid burning the chips and yourself!

Pour the melted chocolate into the blender. Pulse until smooth and well-combined.

Pour into individual serving cups. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Parsnip Cookies

  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups peeled and shredded parsnips
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. In large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and syrup for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then the dry ingredients, until just combined.

Fold in oats, parsnips, and chocolate chips. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto parchment paper.

Bake 12 minutes.
Related Topics:
foodholiday recipesrecipevalentine's dayHouston
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