Ok, so yes...those buttercream cupcakes, hot pink peeps and little pastel candy hearts are just adorable and sure to melt your heart on February 14. But why not nibble on something that will make you feel special and romantic this Valentine's Day?
It's a well-known fact that certain foods have been valued throughout the centuries for their aphrodisiac qualities, and luckily, they still have the same effect today. ;)
Spice up your Valentine's Day naturally with these 3 mouth-watering aphrodisiac recipes:
Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Crostini
This is a fabulous starter recipe and a great way to set the mood, as avocados contain high levels of vitamin E and heart-healthy omegas, both of which help to maintain your youthfulness and vigor.
Yield: 12 crostinis
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 slices high-quality thick cut bacon
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 yellow cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
12 shavings of parmesan cheese
3) Place the bacon slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle freshly ground pepper all over the bacon and place into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked and crispy. Once done, remove from the oven and cut each slice into thirds, set aside.
Basil Butter Broiled Oysters
This recipe provides a double dose of romance-boosting benefits: oysters and basil. Oysters are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs, as they are incredibly rich in zinc and amino acids that are said to increase fertility and production of certain beneficial hormones. Basil was offered as a love token in ancient Rome and its alluring aroma made it the perfume of choice for women, who would use it to powder their decollette. Not to mention, it is said to be marvelous for circulation.
Yield: 24 oysters
1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 dash smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, for serving
1) Set your oven to broil with the top track 6-8 inches away from the flame.
2) Shuck the oysters and place them in a large casserole dish.
3) Mush the butter with the garlic, basil, parsley, paprika, salt and black pepper. Divide the butter evenly among the raw oysters by dropping 1 teaspoon on top of each oyster.
4) Place the dish in the oven and broil for 5 minutes, or until the butter mixture melts and bubbles and browns a bit.
5) Set the hot dish (with a warning!) between your guests immediately, along with lemon wedges.
Pasta with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Seared Shrimp
Chili peppers are valued as quite the love drug, as consuming them actually speeds up your heart rate, makes you sweat and stimulates your brain's feel-good endorphins.
Ingredients1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 ounces goat cheese
¼ cup chicken broth (if needed)
6 ounces prepared pasta – I used spaghetti noodles
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon, sliced
Shredded Parmesan cheese to serve
Chopped parsley to serve
1) Set oven to broil.
2) Slice the bell pepper in half lengthwise and remove the stem and innards. Set it onto a baking sheet skin sides up along with the unpeeled garlic. Splash the garlic with a bit of olive oil and a bit of salt.
3) Set into the center of the oven and broil about 20 minutes, or until the skins char and blacken.
4) Remove from heat and wrap the peppers in paper towels to allow the skins to loosen. Peel and set the peppers into a food processor.
5) Squeeze garlic from their skins and add to the food processor.
6) Add goat cheese and process to form your creamy roasted red pepper sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like to thin the sauce, add a bit of chicken broth and process.
7) For the shrimp, heat a small pan to medium-high heat. Drizzle the shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear the shrimp a couple minutes each side, until cooked through.
8) Toss your prepared pasta with the roasted red pepper sauce. Top with seared shrimp, shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
9) Squeeze over a bit of lemon juice and serve!
Dark Chocolate Fondue
Rumor has it that the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate were so highly prized, the ancient Aztec ruler Montezuma drank 50 goblet-fulls of it daily and the Mayan civilations worshipped the cacao tree as "food of the gods." Now, we wouldn't suggest escalating your love of chocolate to quite this level, but considering its beneficial romance-enhancing properties, a healthy appreciation of it is a must! Chocolate has been found to contain a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which basically has the same feel-good effect on the brain as marijuana.
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 oz dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla, kahlua or liqueur of your choice
1) In a sauce pan over low heat, warm up the whipping cream. Be careful not to let it boil.
2) Let the chocolate melt slowly while stirring constantly.
3) Add the vanilla or liqueur of your choice.
5) Dip fruit pieces and/or nuts and dessert pieces into the mixture.Source
Do you make other recipes with foods that are known aphrodisiacs?
Tell us about them here!