5 Delicious Heart-Healthy Recipes
As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart diseaseis responsible for one in every four deaths each year. One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to control your diet. In addition to exercise, a heart-healthy diet helps prevent stroke and heart disease while keeping blood pressure in a normal, healthy range. A diet that is good for your heart can also be quite tasty when you have the right ingredients and cleverly crafted recipes. In honor of American Heart Month, here are five recipes that will boast numerous heart-health benefits as well as liven up your taste buds.
A rich, mouth-watering appetizer with a complex (but genius) spice profile, this ginger-pumpkin bisque will become a family favorite. Perfect for the fall and winter seasons, ginger-pumpkin bisque packs a lot of flavor without overdoing it with saturated fat and salt. With known anti-inflammatory properties, ginger makes this recipe unique while pumpkin’s natural fiber and potassium supports heart health. For a heartier meal, add fresh crab meat to each serving.
How to Make:
First, warm oil over medium-high heat in a large pot before adding the onion. Stir occasionally and sauté until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, pepper, and salt. Stir constantly for one minute then stir in flour. Add vegetable broth and water to the pot. Make sure to scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot for extra flavor.
Then, stir in pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer soup for 10 minutes then stir in milk and remove from heat. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with sour cream and chives, if desired, before serving.
Cajun Catfish & Collard Greens
A full meal that is great for your heart, Cajun catfish and collard greens is nourishing, filling and packed with flavor. Catfish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help decrease triglycerides and prevent stroke. Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to stabilize blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. Collard greens contain as much calcium as a glass of milk in addition to beta-carotene, potassium and vitamins A, C and K.
How to Make the Catfish:
First, combine garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, and thyme in a small bowl. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Coat the fish fillets in seasoning mixture, lay in baking dish and pour any remaining seasoning on top. Then, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.
How to Make the Collard Greens:
First, wash the greens thoroughly and pat dry lightly with a paper towel. Remove the stems by stripping the leaves off of either side. Stack eight leaves together, roll up and slice into 1-inch sections. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium heat and add the onion. Cook until onion is translucent, or about three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the sugar, red pepper flakes, Canadian bacon, and cider vinegar, cover and cook until tender, or for about 20 minutes.
Guacamole Deviled Eggs
Whether you’re new to your heart-healthy journey or have been on it for a while, you may be missing the ability to eat eggs. Crave no longer! Guacamole deviled eggs have just enough yolk to curb your cravings without all the saturated fat normally associated with whole eggs. Plus, replacing the majority of the yolk with avocado turns these eggs into a fiber, potassium and antioxidant-rich recipe with amazing flavor. Bring the entire family together with this delicious appetizer or side dish.
How to Make:
First, boil the eggs. Fill a large pot with water, add the eggs and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Allow the eggs to sit for 10 minutes. After draining the water, transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool.
Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove the shells and slice in half lengthwise. Then, remove the yolks, reserving two yolks for the guacamole mixture. The remaining yolks can be discarded. Set the egg white halves aside on a platter, and place the two reserved yolks in a medium bowl.
Next, halve and pit the avocado. Scoop the avocado off the skin with a spoon and add it to the bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks and avocado together. Add in the sour cream, lime juice, seeded tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, salt, and pepper to the mixture and stir to combine.
Finally, use a spoon, piping tool or plastic bag with the corner cut to evenly distribute the mixture among the 18 halved eggs. Sprinkle optional cilantro on each and serve.
Green Beans with Red Potatoes
This super easy, budget-friendly side dish is the perfect mixture of comfort food and healthy greens. At only 49 calories per half-cup serving and zero saturated fat, you can’t go wrong with green beans and red potatoes. The green beans in this dish pack a powerful nutrient punch with vitamins K, B6, fiber, and protein while red potatoes add vitamin C, complex carbohydrates and potassium.
How to Make:
First, steam the green beans and red potatoes in a large pot with light margarine for eight minutes or until tender. Transfer to a serving bowl. Lastly, add fresh parsley, salt, pepper, paprika and stir until combined.
Honey and Spiced Pears
Ready for a heart-healthy dessert to round out your meal? Say no to the sugar-loaded pie and brownies, because this dish is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your diet. Pears are full of natural fiber and antioxidants, which are thought to combat free radicals in the body. The additional antioxidants in honey truly make this dessert a win-win. If you can, try to use locally harvested, raw honey for a richer flavor.
How to Make:
First, stir together the cranberry juice, cinnamon and allspice in a large, nonstick skillet before adding the pears and cherries. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook covered for five minutes until the pears are tender crisp. Then, transfer the pears cut-side down to a serving plate.
Next, cook the remaining liquid on medium high until it is reduced to ¼ of a cup, about 2-3 minutes, while stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in the honey and drizzle over the pears. Allow the pears to cool for about 20 minutes, and once they are cool, toss them in the sauce to coat all sides and serve.
This February, get excited for American Heart Month by cooking up these and other exciting, mouth-watering dishes! For more information about how to take care of your heart, please call us or visit us online today.