Love your Sweet-Heart

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Valentine’s Day is almost here!  A day when we make it a point to show appreciation for our loved ones with gifts such as flowers, strawberries and chocolate! Dark chocolate is known to have health benefits through the presence of flavanoid antioxidants and ability to increase serotonin levels.


Just 8 Strawberries a day can benefit the whole body! Here’s how…

  • Fight colds with strawberries: one serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange – 110% of the recommended daily value.
  • Strawberries are packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate, and fiber.
  • Antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals in strawberries have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels. Plus, the potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and prevent strokes.
  • The American Diabetes Association® identifies berries, including strawberries, as one of the top 10 superfoods for a diabetes meal plan because they have a low glycemic index and are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
  • Stay sharp with strawberries: a study in the Annals of Neurology suggests that eating strawberries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.



Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting

Indulging in a sweet treat on a special holiday is part of a balanced lifestyle. One cupcake will satisfy your sweet tooth with a delightful surprise in the middle!

Makes: 14 -16 cupcakes



  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup baking cocoa
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh brewed coffee
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 14 – 16 strawberries hulled


Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature (optional for a thicker and creamier frosting)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Using a paring knife, core out a well down into each cupcake, for your hulled strawberry to fit into. Stick the strawberry pointy side down into your cupcakes. Take the piece of the cupcake that you cut out, and place it on top of the strawberry, after you push it down into the cupcake.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter, if using with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, until smooth. Add strawberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until well combined. Spread frosting on cupcakes with a spatula or use a piping bag.