Valentine’s Day & A Sugar-free Treat
Known for candy, flowers, gifts, romantic letters, and all given in the name of St. Valentine.
Some may say, “It’s just another Hallmark holiday for card companies to make money.”
And some may say, “Valentine’s Day is so overrated.”
And others may say, “Bah Humbug! It’s just something that is made up.”
All in all, some of those sayings just may be true. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is very mysterious. The facts are not clear.
We do know that February has long been the month of love and romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day contains traces of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But WHO was St. Valentine, and how did he become linked to this national holiday?
The Catholic Church is associated with at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom chose death over the renounce of religious principles. One legend suggests that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for your men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Now, that is not the only mysterious myth. There are more.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Another legend suggests that an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “Valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, who was possibly his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before he was put to death, it is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still in use today.
There may be truth behind these legends, but they are very murky. Also, the legends suggest that Valentine’s appeal was sympathetic, heroic, and a down right romantic figure full of love.
Valentine’s reputation may have created our much loved Valentine’s Day.
So the flowers, gifts, candy, and letters of love just may have reasoning and bonding to the past. But for those of you that think bah humbug….you just may be right.
To cut down on some of the sweetness on Valentine’s Day, I am bringing you a sugar free sweet treat that will for sure sooth the unbeliever.
Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake
2 c. crushed fresh strawberries (I used my pastry blender to crush them)
1 sugar-free box of strawberry jell-o
2 c. miniature marshmallows (optional)
1 pkg. sugar-free yellow cake mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread crushed strawberries on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Evenly sprinkle strawberries with the dry gelatin powder, and top with mini marshmallows.
Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package, and pour on top of the marshmallows. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the sides, and turn the cake out onto a serving tray. Store cake in the refrigerator.
Note * Even if you use the marshmallows there still isn’t much sugar in this recipe.