Are you cooking for someone this Valentine's Day? If so, then you might be tempted to serve up something known for its perceived aphrodisiac properties - but do you actually know what those ingredients are? We've compiled a whole list of love-friendly foods and ways to cook them to inspire your menu on February 14th.
1. Beautiful basil
This fresh herb could liven up more than just your meal. It not only adds fresh flavour to pizzas, pastas and salads, but surprisingly, the scent of basil (supposedly) drives us wild with desire.
If you fancy enjoying an Italian feast this Valentine's Day, you could sprinkle some chopped fresh basil over a classic caprese salad (this is just mozzarella, tomato and olive oil), or make some homemade bruschetta – athough you might want to hold off on the garlic! See some of our other basil recipes here.
2. Charming chocolate
Dark chocolate has held the reputation as an aphrodisiac for centuries. You could buy your Valentine a lovely box of Green and Blacks chocolate bar collection, or whip up a delicious chocolate-based dessert to enjoy together.
You could make your own chocolate shards, dip some strawberries into melted chocolate, grate pure dark chocolate into a decadent hot chocolate, or try one of our other chocolatey recipes. But our favourite chocolate dessert is these super easy dippy strawberries (pictured below). To make, simply melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add 1 drop pink food colouring and stir in with a cocktail stick. Dip unhulled strawberries into the chocolate, put on a sheet of baking paper and decorate with sprinkles, gold glitter spray or drizzles of melted milk or dark chocolate. Allow to set. Serve on a plate with an Asda Strawberry Chocolate Pot on the side.
3. Chilli and spice
This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation and a bright red colour, which could be why it's considered an aphrodisiac and a symbol of love.
4. Amazing avocado
This soft and silky fruit has a reputation as an aphrodisiac extending back to ancient Aztec times. And nowadays it's one of the most popular fruits on the supermarket shelf. That's 700 years of avocado loving!
Serve up a spicy prawn and avocado cocktail (or our prawns & avocado with a twist), steal the show with these lobster tails and avocado salad, make a spicy guacamole dip as a tempting snack, or try one of our other avocado recipes.
5. Awesome asparagus
Asparagus is not only a perceived aphrodisiac ingredient, but makes for a great starter. You could wrap asparagus spears in some serrano ham, try a simple asparagus and pea risotto, or a creamy asparagus, kale and coconut soup. For more inspiration, see our asparagus recipes.
6. Perfect pomegranate
Known as the love apple, pomegranates add a splash of the colour of love onto a salad, couscous dish, or even over the top of a cake or pavlova. Scatter some pomegranate seeds into a zingy tabbouleh salad, or sprinkle some over a Moroccan steak salad.
7. Wonderful watermelon
We should have known that melon is considered an aphrodisiac. Watermelon doesn't just have to be for eating on a beach holiday; you could use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut some pretty hearts out of slices of watermelon for a refreshing and picture perfect breakfast in bed, or serve a fresh watermelon salad as a starter – just toss together sliced and pitted black olives, feta cheese, fresh mint leaves and cubed watermelon.
8. Ravishing red wine