8 Foods to Set the Valentine’s Day Mood

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For Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up a list of energy-boosting foods… and they happen to be aphrodisiacs. These recipes will benefit your health and your libido. You didn’t think we’d let you cook anything unhealthy or unsexy, did you?

Asparagus: This spring vegetable contains vitamin E. Not only is that good for your skin, but it promotes the production of testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, which stimulate sexual response. Try: the Shaved Asparagus Pizza from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman for some hands-on dining.

Beets: Beets boast a high boron content, a mineral believed to influence the production of sexual hormones, as well as improve the immune system. Try: Bring on the borscht! The Soup Sisters Cookbook has a very tasty borscht recipe.

Cardamom: This aromatic spice is high in cineole, a compound that increases blood flow. Try: the Cardamom Ice Cream recipe from Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Figs: Long associated with sensuality and fertility because of their appearance and texture, figs are also are a source of potassium, magnesium, B and K vitamins and iron. Try: the Roasted Mission Figs with Honey recipe from Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison — sure to impress your date.

Ginger: In addition to being a digestive aid, it stimulates the circulatory system. Try: A Spoonful of Ginger‘s Poached Pears in Cinnamon-Ginger Syrup recipe is a warming way to end dinner. (You can find the recipe on page 271 of this excerpt.)

Mustard: Did you expect this one to make the list? Mustard’s selenium, magnesium and omega 3 content make it a good way to maintain sexual health. Research shows that it increases adrenalin levels and circulation, due to its pungency and warming properties. Try: the Mustard-Spanked Chicken recipe from Fifty Shades of Chicken — simple and delicious. (Does Anthropologie sell (expensive) miniature, girlie aprons for inner goddesses?)

Pomegranate: Not only has pomegranate historically been a symbol of sensuality in mythology, art and literature, it’s high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Try: the “Pomiranian” cocktail from Artisanal Cocktails by Scott Beattie, which includes pomegranate juice and Iranian spices. Ooo, exotic… (See the ingredients here.)

Scallops: Yes, raw oysters are the aphrodisiac superstar. (They are rich in zinc, a main nutrient for testosterone production, which stimulates libido in both men and women.) But, scallops can be a good alternative if you don’t own a shucking knife. Scallops not only contain phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, but are also good sources of tryptophan, which elevates mood. Try: the Minted Diver Scallops with Pummelo and Bacon from The Great Ceviche Book for a delicate and uniquely textured dish.

What are your favorite romantic dinner ideas? Share below in the comments!

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