How to Have a Vegan Valentine’s Day

Delicious treats that just happen to be organic, vegan, gluten-free, fair-trade, or all of the above. 

Sweet Maresa's Vegan Macarons
Photo: © Maresa Volante

Valentine’s Day calls for sugar, of course, but what if the object of your affection doesn’t go for the traditional stuff? When you’re looking for something sweet to offer that non-traditional person in your life—specifically if that non-traditional person likes his or her treats organic, vegan, gluten-free, fair-trade or all of the above—it can be difficult to distinguish between the amazing and the... cardboard-y. This guide is here to help.

Here, 5 delicious vegan treats for Valentine's Day:

Intense Anatomical Hearts, Lagusta’s Luscious
Nothing says “I love you” like a box full of edible vital organs. New Paltz, New York, chocolatier Lagusta Yearwood makes this cheeky bonbon with 66 percent dark chocolate and paints it with completely natural dyed cocoa butter. To amp up the intensity, the chocolates also contain coffee, cacao nibs, black sea salt and dried cherries, which add the perfect dose of sweetness. A less intense Valentine’s Day option from the shop is the non-anatomical My Heart Is a Blood Orange and It Belongs to You, which features layers of blood orange caramel and white chocolate ganache, all enrobed in dark chocolate and garnished with a slice of candied blood orange. $15 for 8

Sweet Maresa’s Macarons
Macarons were once the vegan baker’s Holy Grail. After a year of recipe testing, the confection company Sweet Maresa's finally cracked the code—and has been serving up the best vegan macarons since 2013. Baker Maresa Volante works out of the Lagusta’s Luscious shop and ships her incredible flavors—crème brûlée, pistachio cardamom, halvah, sugar plum, and more—across the country. For Valentine’s Day, go for the Baker’s Choice Box to get six macarons of a classic or new variety. $18 for 6

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Marshmallow Heart Pop, Sweet & Sara
Most marshmallows contain animal-derived gelatin, making them not so vegan. Sweet & Sara came to the rescue in 2004 with owner Sara Sohn's Queens, New York–made ‘mallows that satisfy the craving for a pillowy sweet treat, but use a propietary non-animal based gel she spent ten months developing. Her packaged s’mores can be found in Whole Foods or Duane Reade, but for Valentine’s Day, she does a special online-only, heart-shaped chocolate-covered strawberry marshmallow pop. $3.49 each

3-Bar Gift Pack, Raaka Chocolate
Raaka’s chocolate is “virgin,” meaning its chocolate is unroasted. This preserves the cacao beans’ natural flavors, so each of their bar’s specific origins shines through in the end result. With the gift pack, you can let the hardcore chocolate lover in your life experience something a little different with each bar. Go for the coconut milk bar, which is a creamy, milk-chocolate-y 60 percent cacao bar; the darker 71 percent cacao pink sea salt; and the Mint & Nibs, which is a sweet, crunchy 56 percent cacao. $20

Cake in a Crate
Cake in a Crate is a fun gift that can also be a great couple’s project. There won’t be any bickering (hopefully) because the ingredients come to you pre-measured. It’s like baking up a supermarket box cake, but way better: Everything is natural, vegan, gluten-free, and there’s no refined sugar. The recipes also come on cute cards that you can save, and they’re all created by popular food bloggers like Molly Yeh. You can go for a Caramel Apple Spice Cake, New York Cheesecake, Peppermint Cakelets or whatever suits your tastes. You just stir, bake, decorate and eat, making for a sweet date night with a dash of accomplishment. $38

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