Heart Healthy Desserts

Heart Healthy Desserts
February is National Heart Health Month and our Nutrition for Longevity dietitians love their desserts!  Read below for three heart healthy desserts you can try out this month.
A note from the dietitians: it's important to know that there's many differences in what "healthy" means to people.  When selecting a dessert, remember that you should weigh it against your own health goals, dietary preferences and cravings.
 
 
Berry Sorbet
Prep Time: 3 Hours
Makes 5, 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1.5 cups low fat or fat free coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinch of natural sweetener of choice, or 1/2 cup tropical fruit (like pineapple)
  • Optional: toasted coconut shreds, dark chocolate chips, or fresh berries

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth for 2-3 minutes. Tip: taste test your sorbet before freezing. If it's on the tart side, now is the time to add in a pinch of a natural sweetener or tropical fruit to sweeten.
  2. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and smooth top with a spoon. Cover securely and freeze for 4-6 hours, or until firm.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop and serve. Top with a little something sweet like toasted coconut shreds, dark chocolate chips, or fresh berries!

Heart Healthy Benefits:

Berries provide tons of health benefits. Berries, especially strawberries and blueberries, contain anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress. By eating berries, your risk of developing heart disease is lowered.

 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Prep Time: 2 hours

Makes 1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • Optional: cocoa nibs

Instructions:

  1. Measure the plant-based milk and add chia seeds to small bowl or mason jar.
  2. Add in maple syrup and cocoa powder.
  3. Make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated and mixed.
  4. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Once chia seeds are gelled together, top with raspberries, optional cocoa nibs and enjoy!

Heart Healthy Benefits:

Chia seed pudding is a great heart healthy addition to a diet. Chia sees contain omega 3 fatty acids. This type of fat is known to reduce inflammation and raise good cholesterol, all which aid in promoting heart health.

 

 

Homemade Sun/Nut Butter Cups

Prep Time: 2 hours

Makes 12 mini cups 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips 
  • ½ cup nut/seed butter of choice 

Instructions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips using the double boil method
  2. Measure all of ingredients and combine them all in a bowl except for the nut/seed butter
  3. Mix all ingredients thoroughly so they are well mixed and smooth
  4. Line a mini cupcake tin with liners
  5. Dollop the chocolate mixture in each liner halfway, leaving room for nut/seeds butter (see photo above)
  6. Add about 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon nut/seeds butter to each liner
  7. Cover the cups with the remaining chocolate mixture
  8. Place in the freezer for at least two hours 

Heart Healthy Benefits:

These chocolate Sun/Nut butter cups contain chocolate. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants.  Antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body. Research has shown that consuming dark chocolate can improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.