Celebrate Valentine’s Day With These 6 Plant-Based Indulgences
February is upon us and the saccharine swirl of Valentine's Day will soon be here. Whether you plan on celebrating with a loved one, a best friend, a pet (guilty!), or spending the night alone with a bottle of red wine, your couch, and a good movie, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to indulge.
Because you can't find many plant-based treats at your local grocery store shelves which are typically lined with boxes of milk chocolate truffles and bags of Hersey's kisses, here are six amazing, totally vegan ways to indulge on this holiday. From CBD to dark chocolate to natural wine, these treats are also the perfect gifts for a friend, partner, or yourself. If you're looking to plan a date night out, look to our city guides to find the best plant-based spots to celebrate in your area.
1. Gigantic! Vegan Candy Bars
Hands down, these are the best vegan candy bars I’ve ever had. Believe me when I say that nothing will beat a variety eight-pack of Gigantic! bars to show a little love to yourself or another this holiday. The brand has developed four incredible, inventive, totally plant-based flavors: I knew I would love the Hazelnut Café and Almond Horchata varieties, but the Salted Peanut and Banana Pecan? I definitely wasn’t expecting them to be just as good, if not even more addicting.
All four offerings are made of the richest, creamiest dark chocolate: Take a bite to reveal the unique, decadent fillings. These are far superior to what I remember regular candy bars tasting like, and in my opinion, would put a Snickers to shame. Not only are Gigantic! chocolate bars delicious, but they taste sophisticated and gourmet and won't leave you feeling worse like a typical movie theater candy bar would. Gigantic! needs to be a part of your at-home celebration, whether that be a Galentine's movie marathon or crumbled over an ice cream sundae for a homemade dinner date for two. You can purchase all four flavors here on the company's website.
2. Cherries and Rainbows Sans Soufre Natural Wine
Here's a fact that may surprise you: Not all wine is vegan. In fact, many of your favorite bottles of red and white are probably using animal-derived fining agents including fish bladder, bone char, egg whites, or casein (A good way to tell if a wine brand is vegan is to search the wine brand's name on Barnivore to find out if there are any animal-based additives) to clarify the alcohol.
If the idea of such additives leaves a bad taste in your mouth, here's a delicious, no-sugar-added alternative: Cherries & Rainbows Sans Soufre is a delicious, biodynamic natural wine that is completely vegan. Although my wine expertise is limited (I'm far more versed in the tasting part rather than the recognizing certain notes part), Los Angeles-based wine expert Nick Holman describes the blend perfectly, saying, "Cherries and Rainbows is an easily accessible natural French red with notes of black cherries, blackberries, and plum that's best when chilled. It’s currently one of the few available “sans soufre” (or without sulfur) wines at Whole Foods." Pick up a bottle or two at your local Whole Foods or liquor store to round out your at-home dinner date menu.
3. Rock Grace Non-Alcoholic Adaptogen Crystal Elixir
If you're looking for a non-alcoholic alternative drink that's loaded with calming adaptogens and beauty-boosting ingredients like rose water, lemon balm, and dandelion, Rock Grace's all-natural Adaptogen Crystal Elixir is just as sophisticated as a bottle of wine, minus all of the alcohol and sugar.
Infused with crystal energy, Rock Grace is a luxurious wellness sip that's the perfect way to say 'I love you' to your beauty or spirituality minded best friend. The beverage is reminiscent of dry rosé and isn't overly sweet so you can enjoy it much in the same way you would a glass of wine. Plus, the peachy-pink color is the perfect festive shade to celebrate Valentine's with. You can purchase Rock Grace in Sparkling, New Moon, and Ruby Reserve varieties on the company's website.
4. Hu Kitchen Chocolate Bars
In terms of plant-based indulgence, Hu Kitchen dark chocolate bars are at the top of our list. The plant-forward brand never fails to excite with incredible gourmet flavors that incorporate dark chocolate with Cashew Butter and Raspberry, Hazelnut Butter, Crunchy Mint, Almond Butter, and Puffed Quinoa, and more into dairy-free bars. Give your loved ones an unforgettable gift on Valentine's by using these chocolate bars to bake cookies, brownies, or a cake to show your appreciation. You can find Hu chocolate bars on the brand's website, in-person in Whole Foods, or at your local supermarket using this store finder.
5. TribeTokes CBD Products
If you've tried a CBD product, you already know how amazing the phytocannabinoid is for decompressing, relaxing, and having a restful night's sleep. The female-led brand TribeTokes is taking CBD to the next level by offering potent CBD vapes, vegan face masks, and tinctures. If you're spending the holiday at home, take your self-care routine to the next level with the CBD clean-smoking vape. Unlike other vapes on the market which often are cut with harmful additives, TribeTokes' lab-tested CBD vape cartridges only have two ingredients: Full spectrum CBD distillate and natural plant terpenes so you can be sure it's one of the cleanest products on the market.
If you'd rather harness the power of cannabis to boost your beauty routine, TribeTokes' CBD Superfood Face Mask is made with green and white tea, aloe, jojoba oil, spinach, lavender, and more botanicals and brightens, calms, plumps, and hydrates, for a gorgeous glow. Because let's be real: Nothing sounds better than pampering yourself while indulging in incredible treats this Valentine's Day.
6. Erin Mckenna's Bakery Shipping Nationwide for Valentine's Day
With locations in NYC, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Santa Monica, Erin Mckenna's Bakery's dairy-free, gluten-free treats are seeking nationwide domination with allergen-friendly baked goods that don't lack for flavor. Even if you're not near one of these cities, the bakery is shipping Valentine's Day treats across the US via Goldbelly for the holiday. Whether you want to indulge in cookies, muffins, cupcakes, donuts, or wow a loved one with a customized cake, Erin McKenna's has something to impress anyone's palette. Shock your friends or partner this Valentine's Day with these decadent desserts that are 100% vegan and gluten-free, but taste just as rich as recipes that include butter, cream, and eggs.