This post is contributed by Jessica Swift, a Registered Dietician in Washington DC. Chef Jess is an experienced chef with a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences. She provides her expertise to many individuals, groups and corporate settings in the Washington DC area. Follow Chef Jess for healthy recipes and daily motivation on Facebook and Twitter!
With February being the month of National Heart Health, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with healthy love. Not only do the foods below taste great but they also do wonders for your heart. This Valentine’s Day, incorporate these elements and let the food do the talking; as you work your way to your lover’s heart.
Almonds are packed with protein and fiber. They also contain healthy oils and vitamins that help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are very versatile. They make a great snack and are excellent in everything from savory to sweet dishes. They are particularly tasty turned into almond nut butter to be used as fillings for truffles!
Blueberries are excellent and have been named as a top food when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. They are packed vitamin C, Beta-carotene, calcium and fiber among other nutrients. Add blueberries to oatmeal, salads and marinades for a twist on an old favorite.
This fiery spice will heat up more than just your Valentine’s Day! Cayenne pepper is known for its cardiovascular benefits. It helps with decreasing cholesterol, triglycerides and aiding in preventing blood clots. Add cayenne to your next dish for a healthy kick!
Red wine is not only tasty but it contains agents called polyphenols that benefit heart health. Although Valentine’s Day is a day from celebration, enjoy your wine in moderation. Studies show ½ cup to 1 cup is all it takes to be beneficial.
Contains reservatrol and cocoa phenols; these are flavonoids that posses antioxidant powers to keep your heart healthy. When choosing dark chocolate it is important to choose 70% or higher cocoa content. So will a truffle a day keep the doctor away? In this calorie-slashing collection, The Bikini Chef® Susan Irby offers recipes for switching up ingredients that keep calories to a minimum. Complete with serving-size suggestions and “Skinny Secret” shortcuts to trim calories in little ways, here you’ll get expertly crafted recipes that include offerings for every meal of the day!
Books by The Bikini Chef®:
The Bikini Chef® Diet
Substitute Yourself Skinny
Boost Your Metabolism
The Complete Idiot’s Guide Quinoa Cookbook
The Clean Separation
$7 Healthy Meals
$7 Quick and Easy Meals
$7 Pressure Cooker Meals
Cooking With Susan : Southern Family Favorites
Spiced Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Truffles
This post is contributed by Jessica Swift, a Registered Dietician in Washington DC. Chef Jess is an experienced chef with a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences. She provides her expertise to many individuals, groups and corporate settings in the Washington DC area.
- 1 cup dark chocolate, divided into two equal portions and chopped into pieces
- 1/3 cup natural almond nut butter
- 3 tablespoons skim milk
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine ½ cup. chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat about 45 seconds, stirring after each 15-second interval. Be mindful that chocolate can burn quickly.
- Stir in almond butter until well incorporated then add cayenne and stir.
- Freeze at least 40 minutes or until chocolate is hard enough to scoop out and form into truffle shapes (small balls). You could also freeze in candy/ truffle molds.
- Next, microwave the remaining ½ cup of chocolate in 15-second intervals until melted.
- Dip formed truffles in melted chocolate, place on parchment paper and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.
- *Tip: after formed truffle has been dipped in melted chocolate you may decorate them with a drizzle of white chocolate, dusting of cocoa powder or cayenne pepper for an extra kick!