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3 Kidney-Friendly Valentine's Day Treats

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love. It's also a day filled with heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates, sugary candy, and other treats. We know how important following a kidney diet is, but these special days can be incredibly tempting. After all, it only comes around once a year. Instead of giving in and indulging, bring one of these kidney-friendly desserts and delight your friends and family without derailing your diet.

1. Sweetheart tarts

This delightful dessert is the perfect blend of sweet and tart. Even the name exudes the spirit of Valentine's Day, and it's suitable for people with CKD Stages 1 or 2 and kidney transplant recipients.

What you'll need:

  • 1 package pie dough, pre-rolled

  • 3 oz cream cheese

  • 2 individual packages of Stevia

  • 1 teaspoon orange extract

  • ½ teaspoon orange zest

  • 16 oz strawberries, fresh

  • ⅓ cup strawberry preserves, sugar–free

What to do:

  1. Roll out the pie dough and use the dough to line the tart shells.

  2. Poke the dough with a fork to prevent the dough from bubbling during the baking process.

  3. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Time may vary depending on the size of your tart shells.

  4. Let cool to room temperature.

  5. Whip cream cheese, orange extract, orange zest, and Stevia together. The mixture should be easy to spread.

  6. Spread gently over the bottom of the tart shells.

  7. Wash and dry strawberries. Slice thin and place on top of the cream cheese-lined tarts.

  8. Heat strawberry preserves over low heat until melted, brush over the sliced strawberries and serve.

2. Birthday popcorn

This is a bright and whimsical treat that will sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them. The popcorn balls are appropriate for people with diabetes; CKD stages 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5; those on dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients.

What you'll need:

  • 4 cups air-popped popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons 2% fat milk

  • ¾ cup of miniature marshmallows

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 4 oz golden yellow cake mix

  • non-stick cooking spray

  • 2 teaspoon sprinkles

What to do:

  1. Pop popcorn.

  2. Remove any kernels.

  3. Melt marshmallows, vanilla, and milk in a saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously.

  4. Remove pan from heat and add cake mix and popcorn.

  5. Spray non-stick cooking spray on hands.

  6. Take 1/2 cup of mixture and form it into a ball. Continue with the rest of the mixture.

  7. Place popcorn balls on waxed paper and top with sprinkles.

  8. Cool in refrigerator.

3. Rice cereal treats

These classic rice cereal treats are sure to be a hit wherever you bring them. This recipe is appropriate for people with diabetes; CKD stages 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5; those on dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients.

What you'll need:

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

  • 1½ cups mini marshmallows

  • ¼ cup sugar substitute

  • 3 cups rice cereal

What to do:

  1. Melt butter or margarine over low heat in a large saucepan.

  2. Add marshmallows.

  3. Stir until melted.

  4. Add a sugar substitute of your choice.

  5. Add rice cereal.

  6. Stir until combined.

  7. Transfer mixture into a greased 8 x 8 pan.

  8. Press down with wax paper.

  9. Let cool.

  10. Cut into 9 squares.

Looking for more recipes?

Nutrition is key to managing kidney disease and your overall health. Find a recipe that's right for you. We offer solutions for patients with all stages of kidney disease and diabetes and offer a comprehensive selection of diet and meal types. Start cooking now

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