Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your loved ones how much you care about them. The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions may mean finding safe and creative ways to show you care for loved ones near and far.
One way is to make delicious, allergy-friendly Valentine's treats at home. Make them together with the people in your home. Or drop them off at the door of family and friends so you can show love from a safe distance.
Remember to check all labels to ensure ingredients are safe for your child or the person you are delivering them to. It is best to not try new foods or ingredients on a special day.
Color part of the batter red, and put it in a squeeze bottle. Create thin heart shapes on your griddle or pan. Let that set up a little, and then pour uncolored pancake batter on top. Continue to cook as you normally would.
Use your favorite pizza dough to make a heart-shaped pizza. Or try this vegan and gluten-free pizza crust. Top it with safe pizza sauce, cheese (or dairy-free alternative), and your favorite toppings. Get creative and arrange the toppings to create a message!
Quesadillas and Tortilla Cut-Outs
Make heart-shaped quesadillas for lunch or dinner. Cut shapes from corn or flour tortillas using a cookie cutter or knife. You'll need two of each shape. Spread refried beans onto one shape. Top with your favorite taco or quesadilla fillings, such as cooked chorizo, green chilies, and regular or dairy-free cheese shreds. Top with a matching shape.
Preheat a wide pan over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil. Gently place the quesadillas in the hot oil, and press down on them gently with a wide spatula. Don't put too many in the pan at one time or it will be hard to flip them. When the bottom is browned, carefully flip each quesadilla and cook to brown the other side. Decorate with olives or jalapenos if desired. Serve with your favorite taco toppings, such as salsa or sour cream.
You can also cut tortillas, split pita bread, or other flatbreads into hearts for crispy chips. Cut shapes using cookie cutters. You can use corn tortillas, flour tortillas, or split pita bread. Coat lightly with oil and season with salt. For more flavor and color, you can sprinkle them with chili lime seasoning or chili powder. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Serve with burrito bowls or dips, such as Mexican layered dip or Buffalo chicken dip. For Mexican layered dip, layer your choice of refried beans, guacamole, dairy-free sour cream, dairy-free cheese shreds, and chopped black olives.
Melt allergy-friendly chocolate in the microwave. Cut up pieces of safe fruit to dip. You can also use safe cookies, pretzels, marshmallows, or other treats for dipping.
Heart-Shaped Cake or Brownies
Using an allergy-friendly cake recipe, make enough batter for two small cakes. Pour half of the batter into a square pan and half into a round pan. When cooled, turn the square cake so it makes a diamond. Cut the round cake in half and add these to the top of the diamond to make the shape of a heart. Add a safe frosting and decorate.
Bake your favorite cake or brownie recipe in a heart-shaped pan.
Bake up some fun thumbprint cookies filled with your favorite jam. Make a heart shape with your thumbprints and roll in red or pink sugar.
You can make your own molded chocolates using safe chocolate chips. Find heart-shaped chocolate molds at your local craft store or order them online.
You can add safe crispy cereal to make Crunch chocolates.
Peanut-free and milk-free chocolate buckeyes are also a fun treat you can make using a seed or nut butter that's safe for your loved one.