If you're a couple who loves cozying up at home (or if you want to avoid pricey menus and packed restaurants), Valentine's Day is the perfect time to make a special meal together. If you're seeking ideas for a homemade Valentine's Day dinner, these 10 aphrodisiac Instant Pot recipes have V-Day written all over them.
We love the Instant Pot (starting at $85, available on Amazon) for its ability to make savory stews and tender roasts at the fraction of the time it would take in the oven. That includes dessert too! With countless Instant Pot recipes readily available, the meal options are virtually endless. Plus, the gadget also helps to cuts down on cleaning because you're only using one pot—which means you have a lot more time for other things you'd rather be doing...
One thing that can seriously up the ante for your Valentine's Day is to add a few ingredients to your Instant Pot that will put you both in the mood for love. Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years to help boost energy, libido, circulation, and relaxation. From oysters and pomegranates to everyone's favorite, chocolate, most of these powerful foods also happen to be delicious, so it's not a challenge to add them to your dish or even put them in a starring role. Many are superfoods as well, and are loaded with other health benefits, including antioxidants that help your body fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. And if you're a skeptic, consider that many of these ingredients will simply put you in the mood for love through their sensuous aroma or arousing textures and appearance.
Ready for a taste? Try these aphrodisiac Instant Pot recipes for your Valentine's Day dinner.
Beets, Arugula, and Walnuts
A salad from an Instant Pot? Why not? Peppery green arugula, blood-red beets, and rich walnuts were all favorites of the Greeks and Romans for their libido-boosting effects (arugula even has a Roman god of fertility associated with it). The pressure cooker function makes the root vegetables super tender and the aphrodisiac properties amp up the romance factor. Beets contain tryptophan and betaine, which aid in feelings of well-being, and arugula is rich in vitamins A and C (super important for sex hormones). And finally, walnuts are a rich source of B vitamins, which help with energy and sexual health.
With tales reaching back as far as Greek mythology, this complex and sensual vegetable has long been considered a tool to get couples in the mood for love. The Instant Pot makes them super easy and foolproof to prepare.
Sweet potatoes have been considered a natural aphrodisiac in many African and Indian traditions. They're a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which have been said to improve fertility and virility. Plus, they're rich in potassium.
Honey and Chili
In addition to being both sweet and sexy, honey promotes both the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women. The ancient Greeks encouraged the use of honey for awakening sexual desire and it continues to be a symbol of fertility in many cultures. Chili, on the other hand, stimulates nerves and circulation, releasing adrenaline and endorphins (natural feel-good chemicals in in your body).
Favored by everyone from Aztec rulers to French kings looking to up their sex game, this rich fruit (yes, it's not a vegetable!) is high in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy, glowing skin.
This fragrant herb was a symbol of love in Roman times. The evocative aroma itself is said to have an arousing effect, and it's also filled with flavonoids, vitamin A, and other minerals that help maintain a healthy body.
Figs and Apples
Figs themselves are highly erotic in nature (a plate full of fresh figs drizzled in honey is hard to beat when it comes to an aphrodisiac treat). They're also quite high in amino acids, which helps erectile function, libido, and stamina. Combine them with apples—the original "forbidden fruit" and favorite love fruit of the middle ages—and you'll be good to go.
Strawberries and Vanilla
The ruby red strawberry was a symbol of Venus in ancient Rome and Greece. They're not only seductive to eat with your lover (just try it), but they're also high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and several key minerals that help promote a healthy sex drive. Pair with the intoxicating scent of vanilla, which has long been deemed a tool for arousal (especially for men).
Rich, musky and sensuous in aroma, red wine has also been said to increase blood flow and amorous feelings. Combine with delicate, sweet pears for the ultimate sexy dessert.
It turns out that the quintessential Valentine's Day dessert has been a longtime staple for a reason. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound that is associated with the chemicals that are released when a person falls in love or becomes infatuated.