By Anna Peraino, VegNews.com
The following originally appeared over on VegNews.com as part of their Valentine’s Day coverage. Naturally, it’s applicable for every other day too.
Looking to crank up the heat this Valentine’s Day? You and your love can get in the mood vegan-style with this aphrodisiac-laced menu of delicious meat- and dairy-free decadence. Add some ethical flowers or jewelry, and you’ll be all set for one romantic February 14.
This nut is one of the earliest-cultivated foods and has been regarded as a symbol of fertility throughout history. In fact, the tradition of having almonds at a wedding began during Roman times—guests would throw the nuts at newlyweds. It is also thought that the smell of almonds incites passion in women.
Touted as an aphrodisiac as early as the 17th century, asparagus boosts potassium and folic acid, the latter of which is said to boost histamine production—a necessary component in reaching orgasm for both sexes. Bridegrooms in 19th century France were served three courses of asparagus at their prenuptial dinner.
Avocados boast the famous feminine shape and are high in omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, as well as vitamin B6, which is known to increase male hormone production. They are so effective, in fact, that Spanish priests used to forbid their parishioners from eating them.
Regarded as a symbol of fertility by Hindus, the banana has a sensual shape and is chock full of potassium and B vitamins, both needed to produce sex hormones. Additionally, bananas contain the male libido-enhancing bromelain enzyme.
This member of the mint family helps promote circulation and is believed to stimulate sex drive. In Moldavian folklore, a man is destined to fall in love with a woman if he accepts a sprig of basil from her.
Chocolate is a staple Valentine’s Day gift for a reason—the food is full of compounds including anandaminde, a psychoactive feel-good chemical, and phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and produces feelings of excitement and happiness. Cacao also contains tryptophan, which is essential for the brain to release serotonin, a “happiness” chemical.
Believed to have been in the Garden of Eden, figs were also Cleopatra’s favorite fruit and the ancient Greeks associated them with love and fertility. Figs are a great source of flavonoids and antioxidants, and it has been found that figs can increase sexual stamina.
This member of the onion family contains allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow. In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is considered to increase desire, in addition to warming the body. It is well known, however, that this little blub creates some strong breath when eaten. Steer clear on a first date.
Try out all these (in the) mood-boosters in one fell swoop with these tasty dishes. Start out the evening with some Almond Stuffed Mushrooms and Bruschetta with Olives and Walnuts, before moving on to Avocado Salad topped with raspberry dressing. For the main course, treat your valentine to Carbonada with Seitan with sides of Rainbow Chard with Figs and Roasted Asparagus. Let’s not forget dessert! Chocolate Fondue with figs, bananas, and strawberries and Chocolate Turtle Truffle Torte are two sweet choices for your lucky honey.
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