Yes, this month is the time we celebrate Valentine’s Day; but did you know it is also the official American Heart Awareness Month? This month, I will share with you the top 10 (actually 11) heart healthy foods, thanks to the wonderful contributions of Juliette Britton, RD and her blog Wholesome Heart on Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange. For each of the top foods, we will provide recipe links that will inspire you and get you cooking some amazing healthy meals in the kitchen. Here are the top foods* — stay tuned for great recipe ideas in each category:
- Olive Oil
*Source: Health Magazine “10 Best Foods for your Heart”
**Source: Juliette (thank you Juliette for adding chocolate!)
|Healthy Heart Food #1: Oatmeal. Don’t miss this recipe, OMG! Oatmeal Morning Goodness! from Juliette. But wait, you don’t like to cook your oats? Did you know you can simply soak your oats overnight? See this post from Heather Sullivan’s Green and Plenty blog on Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange: Milk Soaked Steel Cut Oats.|
|Healthy Heart Food #2: Salmon. How are you going to choose? There is Easy Fish Dinner, but Juliette’s Sweet and Savory Salmon is sooo good. You decide, or rotate!|
|Healthy Heart Food #3: Avocado. The Corn Avocado and Tomato Salad from my mom’s friend Sue is absolutely delicious. Also, Nurture’s Southwestern Salad is one of my favorite recipes of all time (thank you, Julia).|
|Healthy Heart Food #4: Olive Oil. How about a few new ideas for home-made salad dressings, since olive oil is typically the key ingredient I reach for first when making a salad dressing.|
|Healthy Heart Food #5: Nuts. Juliette suggests a delicious Almond Pesto, which you can then turn into an amazing Pesto Coleslaw by adding hummus and mixing into a bag of pre-packaged coleslaw. Easy and healthy! Also, since it is “ski-season”, you can often find me with my Fruit and Nut Clusters in my pocket to fuel me throughout my active days. Another version of these includes Healthy Heart Food #11 (chocolate), and I call this Mountain Food.|
|Healthy Heart Food #6: Berries. Here is Juliette’s recipe for a Berry Smoothie.|
|Healthy Heart Food #7: Legumes. Juliette shares a recipe for Vegan Tacos and talks about her participation in a 7-day Oprah (Vegan) Challenge. Also, for a kid-tested recipe, see Laura’s Backyard Salsa and Chicken/Black Bean Tortillas, which won the Healthy Kids Lunchtime Challenge as the top recipe from Vermont.|
|Healthy Heart Food #8: Spinach. Juliette started everyone on a roll when she posted this recipe for a spinach smoothie she called Green Machine. I later re-created the recipe several times for my Spring Green Drink. If it is too cold for having your spinach raw this (winter) time of year, the easy and comfort-food Spinach Dip might be a good bet.|
|Healthy Heart Food #9: Flaxseed. Try this great recipe, Community School Crunch created by Chef KB Bigelow of “KB’s” restaurant in Hailey, Idaho. Thank you KB!|
|Healthy Heart Food #10: Soy. Go looking for some non-GMO edamame and have fun with the easy Not Your Mama’s Edamame recipe from Nurture.|
|Healthy Heart Food #11: Chocolate! I loved that Juliette added this to the list; and you will absolutely enjoy coming home from a wonderful day in the cold/snow to a warm slow-cooker full of delicious Hot Chocolate.|
Have fun cooking! Thanks so much for reading! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
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Delicious and Nutritious recipes are kid tested and range from breakfast to snacks. We occasionally include a dessert as well –which we know is probably more delicious than it is nutritious, but we feel that people need a sweet treat here and there. We hope you are inspired by our ideas!
Green and Plenty: presents the latest in nutrition, delicious and seasonal recipes, green design and wellness tips for the reader and her family.
Wholesome Heart: includes delicious recipes, time-saving tips, and nutrition tidbits.
This column is for information only, and no part of its contents should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, recommendation or endorsement by the author. You should always ask your physician for his or her recommendation before starting any new health-related activity.