February is all about hearts and love. It's American Heart Health Month AND It's Valentine's Day. Show your valentine you really care about his/her heart with meals that make the heart stronger and healthier.... All the better for love. It's amazing what the right food will do for your heart and your love.For a Valentine celebration, start with a glass of red wine. Next try a tomato and basil treat from Italy called Bruschetta. A glass of red wine (only one, please) has compounds called polyphenols which are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease! Tomatoes and olive oil give you lycopene a natural antioxidant that reduces inflammation and healthy fat that helps lower cholesterol. Healthy is wonderful, but delicious and quick is even better!
- 2 tomatoes (Roma tomatoes are the best right now)
- ½ onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
- Loaf of Italian bread
- Dice the tomato, onion, garlic and basil. Mix together with olive oil.
- Cut the bread into ¼ inch thick slices and toast.
- Heap as much of the tomato mixture as you want on each slice of toast.
- Serve and enjoy!
For the main course serve chicken or fish with heart healthy green vegetables like spinach, kale or broccoli. Skip the red meat and broil, bake or steam the chicken or fish. Keep portions moderate. There's nothing romantic about feeling over stuffed after a meal!
Dessert? Of course. It's Valentine's Day. There has to be chocolate!
Impress your loved one with a mouthwatering combo, so delicious it's hard to believe it's loaded with healthy antioxidants that help prevent damage to blood vessels. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies. (See recipe below)
Happy Valentine's Day from Harvest Home. We wish you love and hope you enjoy our delicious ways to get healthier hearts for longer love.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
- ¾ cup of white flour
- ¾ cup of UNSWEETENED cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup of Greek yogurt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup frozen raspberries thawed
- Heat oven to 300°.
- Lightly coat an 8" square pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk together flour, coca powder, baking powder & salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together butter, eggs, & vanilla.
- Stir in Greek yogurt until smooth.
- Add maple syrup & chocolate chips.
- Mix the wet & the dry ingredients together.
- Add the raspberries.
- Spread in pan & bake for 15 - 19 mins. (15 mins for the fudgiest or 19 mins for more cake-like brownies.)
- Cool & let sit for 3 hrs before serving.
Healthy Heart Tips
- Use olive oil instead of butter. The fat in olive oil is actually good for you!
- Avoid frying when possible. Broil, steam or bake meat & veggies. It's not just better for you, they'll taste better too.
- Be adventurous & flavor your food with spices & herbs, instead of salt. You'll be amazed at the delicious flavors you can create!
- Reduce the red meat you eat. Chicken & fish have less cholesterol & less saturated fat than red meat which is bad for your heart.
- Increase the amount of leafy greens you eat like kale, spinach & broccoli. They are loaded with B vitamins that help maintain your cardiovascular system.
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