*THIS POST CONTAINS SOME AFFILIATE LINKS (SEE DISCLOSURE POLICY)
Valentine’s Day can be really hard when you are trying to stay on track with healthy eating. It is the day of chocolate after all. And if there’s one thing that’s hard to resist, it’s chocolate! So, to keep us all on track, I have created this healthy and light Valentine’s Day cake. My Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Valentine’s Day Icebox Cake is a no bake, heart-shaped cake, made with healthy avocado chocolate mousse and skinny whipped cream. It’s also Weight Watchers friendly.
I am back on track and really watching what I eat, but chocolate is not something I am willing to give up. I remember the first time I went on Weight Watchers – I was determined to find ways to eat chocolate.
Skinny Whipped Cream:
Did you know that you can use evaporated milk as a substitute for whipping cream? Whipped cream, chocolate and strawberries are one of my ultimate fave combos and since I couldn’t find a light Valentine’s Day dessert with this delectable trio, I made my own. My Skinny whipped cream is made with evaporated milk, so it is at least 1/2 the fat of whipped cream.
You can also use evaporated milk as a liquid substitute in your cooking or baking (think fettucine alfredo) to reduce the fat. Read more here: How to use evaporated milk as a substitute for whipping cream in cooking.
However, I must note that the evaporated milk does not hold the whip the same way whipping cream does, so you need to eat it very soon after preparing. Yet, this cake needs an hour to set. So following the directions and timing is pretty important here! IF you let it sit too long, you’ll end up with a runny dessert. And you CANNOT use the fat-free or partly skimmed evaporated milk. They won’t work. I know this because I tested it myself.
Also be aware that the avocado in this no bake Valentine’s Day cake does increase the fat content, as ONE avocado has 29 grams of fat. But the good news is that it’s good fat and you are getting health benefits in return.
Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
And the fat in avocado is good fat that helps you feel full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable. You can read more about the health benefits of avocado HERE
Whether or not you are following Weight Watchers (WW), this Valentine’s dessert is a light and healthy choice. IF you are on the WW freestyle program, this dessert still checks in at 16 WW points. However, if you compare it with a typical piece of chocolate cake at a restaurant or my recent birthday cake (chocolate mousse cake with whipped cream icing), for instance, which comes in at a whopping 28 points, this is substantially fewer points. Anyway, anyone who follows the WW program already knows that some budgeting of weekly points is going to be required for any type of dessert indulgence.
This is not my first Rodeo:
Following a healthy eating program really opens your eyes to how crappy you were eating before you started the program, how easy it is to fall off the wagon and how far you can fall from said wagon. And it’s not easy getting back on that wagon, like anything that requires will power. But like I said, although I can give up a lot of things, chocolate is not one of them. I have always found ways build in chocolate into my WW eating plan, with healthy desserts like my Homemade Chocolate Yogurt, for example. I would also get my chocolate fix by adding the tiniest squirt of chocolate syrup to a glass of non-fat milk. And recently I’ve discovered an herbal chocolate chai tea.
I have been on weight watchers a bunch of times and have had a lot of success with it. Between quitting smoking, pregnancy weight and my dangerous baking hobby, I have gained and lost over 100 lbs in the program over the last 20 years. The first time I went on Weight watchers I had recently quit smoking, given up alcohol and coffee (as they were too closely associated with cigarettes) so there was no way I was giving up chocolate too! And although it was easier to lose weight 20 years ago, I can still manage to lost weight and eat chocolate today That’s why it works for me – its real life and it’s sustainable.
But for the last few years, I’ve been messing around and not committing. Again, my love of baking and wine has landed me miles from the wagon once again. So, here I am, back on the program, ready to make some serious progress! I’ve already lost 9 lbs in the first few weeks and am well on my way to my goal. And that’s exactly why I need desserts like this in my life. And since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you do too.
This is technically an icebox cake. And as you may or may not know, icebox cakes aren’t really cakes. They just resemble cake once the whipped cream magically softens the layers of wafer cookies or crackers, just enough to make them tender and flaky, transforming them into an torte-like dessert. They are called icebox cakes because back in the day, before electricity and refrigerators, this easy “cake” would be put into the icebox to set.
This Skinny Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Valentine’s Day Cake actually softens faster than a typical icebox cake made with whipped cream because the evaporated milk doesn’t hold as long as whipped cream and liquefies faster. Hence, the reason your timing on this needs to be spot on with serving this dessert.
Romantic Heart Shaped Cake for 2:
Since Valentine’s Day is all about heart desserts, I serve this light Valentine’s Day cake in these cute little heart-shaped dishes. However, you can serve them in a clear glass/dish or pretty much any dish. Just build the cake right in the dish, as pictured in the recipe below. So, if you are looking for romantic desserts for two and/or romantic desserts with strawberries that won’t leave you overdrawn at the calorie bank, then give this Valentine’s Day cake a try. It is also kid approved!
Valentine’s Day Cake for one:
But if, for whatever reason, you are flying solo with dessert this year, this cake can also be made for one. All my recipes have adjustable servings. Just click on the number of servings and the recipe will adjust accordingly.
This post is NOT sponsored by weight watchers -just my story and my opinions.
Get these cute little heart shaped ceramic bowls:
Make your dinner table even more romantic:
Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Icebox Cake
This Healthy Strawberry Chocolate heart-shaped Valentine's Day Cake is chocolate AND light, so it will keep you on track even through one of the toughest days of the year! Weight Watchers friendly
Skinny "Whipped Cream"
- 3/4 cup strawberries
- 6 chocolate graham crackers
- chocolate shavings
- 2 whole strawberries
** Heads up: There is an hour of chilling time involved in this recipe, so make sure to budget for that!
Skinny "Whipped Cream":
Pour milk into a large metal or glass bowl. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes or until the milk starts to form icy crystals along the sides. (This will NOT work unless the milk is VERY cold!). *And it has to be regular NOT skim on non fat evaporated milk;
While evaporated milk is chilling, make avocado mousse.
Remove bowl from freezer and, with a hand held beater, mix for 2 to 3 minutes on high.
After reaching soft peaks, add vanilla and icing sugar/powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and put into a small blender or food processor.
Add the agave, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, milk and almond extract. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust for desired sweetness. * If you add more agave, this will increase the calorie count and WW points
Divide the Skinny Whipped Cream in half. Add the 3/4 chopped strawberries to one half and set aside the other half of the skinny whipped cream.
Break up graham crackers so they fit in bowl. Add 1 broken graham cracker, then 1/4 of the avocado mousse. Repeat for second dessert.
Add whipped cream/strawberry mixture, dividing evenly by each dessert dish.
Add another layer of graham crackers, again breaking to fit into whatever size dish you are using,
Add the remaining avocado mousse, dividing between both desserts.
Top with a little of the skinny whipped cream, just enough to cover the graham crackers. Refrigerate for 1 hour to soften graham crackers. * you will use the remainder pf the skinny whipped cream before serving
Prior to serving, add the remainder of the whipped cream. If it has not held it's whip, you can freeze again for 15-20 minutes, then whip again.
Optional - cut heart shape out of strawberries out with a small (cookie/fondant ) cutter as shown and place on top. Add a little shaved chocolate, if desired.
*Use regular evaporated milk NOT fat-free or partly skimmed