Save Valentine’s Day with these easy, waste-free dessert recipes


From vegan no-bake cheesecake to chocolate mousse, these Valentine’s Day desserts are both delicious and zero waste.

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Is Valentine’s Day Dead? According to the National Retail Federation, only 53% of people celebrate this holiday. In fact, about one in five men (22%) and one woman (18%) completely forget about Valentine’s Day. But the celebrating lovebirds are also spending more than ever: $23.9 billion is expected to be spent this year on flowers, jewelry, chocolates, champagne and other luxury items, with an average spend of $175 per consumer.

These grand gestures are why this holiday leads to excessive waste, with hundreds of millions of roses grown for Valentine’s Day and thrown away by the end of the week. Waste Expo estimates that every year consumers buy 36 million heart-shaped boxes, 180 million greeting cards, 198 million roses, 881,000 bottles of sparkling wine and 58 million pounds of chocolate for a single day, generating more carbon emissions than driving around the world 3,993 times. Unfortunately, much of it will go to landfill.

But wait! This does not mean that we, or your main partner, leave you alone! You can honor Valentine’s Day more ethically by sourcing local flowers and Fair Trade chocolates, making DIY gifts and cards, and whipping up sweet treats. The ancient party has been called Valentine’s Day, after all.

So step into that kitchen and make something happen – and when choosing chocolate to cook with or gift, look for vegan and fair trade chocolate that knows its source. The best part about these desserts is that they’re so delicious, they’re guaranteed zero waste – you’ll devour them all in one go.

Easy last minute desserts for Valentine’s Day

This galette is filled with seasonal fruits and features a flaky crust. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Strawberry galette

By LIVEKINDLY

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp vegan block butter, chilled (can be substituted with solid coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • (optional “egg wash” – 2 tbsp soy milk + 1 tbsp maple syrup)
  • (optional 2 tablespoons demerara sugar)

Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups of seasonal fruit (I chose strawberries)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preperation

    Crust:

  • 1

    Add the flour and butter to a mixing bowl and mash with a cold metal whisk until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs (you can use your hands, but your body heat may start to melt butter).

  • 2

    Add the sugar, salt and 2 tbsp ice water and continue mixing/kneading until you have a smooth ball of dough (do not overwork). Cover this dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • 1

    Meanwhile, slice your strawberries (or other seasonal fruit), and mix with the other filling ingredients.

  • 2

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

  • 3

    Cover a clean surface with a dusting of flour and unwrap the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circular disk about 4mm thick. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • 4

    Place the chopped strawberries in the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch space all around the fruit.

  • 5

    Once laid, fold the edges of the dough inward, slightly overlapping the sliced ​​fruit. Combine the soy milk and maple syrup and brush the edges of the pancake with the mixture. Sprinkle Demerara sugar around these edges for an extra rustic effect.

  • 6

    Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

  • seven

    Decorate with fresh greens and serve warm or cold!

Top this no-bake vegan cheesecake with cranberry jam or cookie butter. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Easy Vegan Cheesecake

By LIVEKINDLY

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups (200 g) vegan graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp (80g) vegan butter (or coconut oil), melted

Filling:

  • 2 ½ cups (360 g) raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut cream (from 1 or 2 refrigerated cans of coconut milk)
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon) and zest
  • 8 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Garnish ideas:

  • ½ cup cranberry jam, passion fruit curd, or biscuit butter (or Biscoff spread)

Preperation

    Crust

  • 1

    Place the cookies in a food processor and process until they are crumbled. Add the melted butter and continue the process until well blended.

  • 2

    Press crust into bottom of springform pan until completely flat. To facilitate later unmolding, do not hesitate to line the cake pan with parchment paper before this step. Place the cake tin in the freezer to set the crust while working on the filling.

Filling

  • 1

    Place two cups of water in a saucepan on the hob and bring to a boil. Add the cashews to the water and boil them for 20 minutes until completely soft.

  • 2

    Remove the cashews from the water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  • 3

    Add the cashews to a food processor along with all the other topping ingredients and blend until completely smooth.

  • 4

    Take the cooled crust out of the freezer and pour the cheese filling over it. Spread the filling carefully so as not to disturb the bottom.

  • 5

    Refrigerate for at least three hours, or ideally overnight, then serve with your favorite toppings.

Equipment needed

Food processor and 8″ springform cake pan

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
Dip these tasty cookies in your favorite vegetable milk. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

By LIVEKINDLY

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup White sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or use chopped chocolate)

Preperation

  1. 1

    Preheat your oven to 360°F and line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

  2. 2

    In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, vegan butter and white sugar using a fork or whisk.

  3. 3

    Stir in the vanilla extract and soy milk before sifting in the plain flour and baking powder.

  4. 4

    Spread the salt and vegan chocolate chips evenly over the batter before mixing.

  5. 5

    Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  6. 6

    Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, measure each cookie and roll into a ball before placing them at least three inches apart on each tray.

  7. seven

    With a clean drinking glass, gently press down on each ball of dough to flatten it, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

  8. 8

    Cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring to cooling racks to cool completely, then serve.

recipe notes

Optional equipment: a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to make perfect cookies.

vegan chocolate mousse
You only need four ingredients to make this chocolate mousse. | Brittney Chung for LIVEKINDLY

Chocolate mousse

By Britney Chung

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, pits removed
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preperation

  1. 1

    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk if needed to help mix.

  2. 2

    Taste it to see if you prefer more chocolate flavor or need more sweetness. Blend until smooth.

  3. 3

    Transfer to an airtight container for storage. Can refrigerate for up to 4 days. Serve chilled with coconut whipped cream or your favorite toppings!

lemon cake
This moist cake is covered in a zesty lemon glaze. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Lemon cake

By Thomas Adams

Ingredients

For the lemon cake:

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 lemons (zest and 2 tbsp juice)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy (or coconut) yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Sicilian lemon extract
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (extra for greasing)
  • Pinch of salt

For the lemon glaze:

  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • ¾ cup icing sugar

Preperation

    For the lemon cake:

  • 1

    Line a 2 pound loaf pan with parchment paper and use the extra oil to grease it.

  • 2

    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355F).

  • 3

    Sift together the flour, ground almonds, baking soda and salt.

  • 4

    Mix the soy yogurt, lemon juice, extract and oil in a separate bowl with the sugar.

  • 5

    Add the lemon zest to the dry ingredients, then slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.

  • 6

    Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Use a toothpick at the 40 minute mark to see if it’s done. If it takes even longer, turn the cake over and bake for another 10 minutes. You can cover it with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly.

  • seven

    Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for at least an hour.

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1

    Combine frosting ingredients, adding more or less lemon juice for preferred consistency and pour over final cake.

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