Happy Valentine’s Day!
I hope you and your sweetie have fun plans in place to celebrate. If you don’t have a sweetie (and even if you do), I hope you will still take the time to show yourself some love!
One way to do that, is to indulge in foods that taste great AND are also good for you. Here are two of my favorite, easy to prepare recipes that contain foods that love your heart, and make you feel terrific.
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 just-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped (Even a little under ripe is better than overly ripe. We want the texture more than the flavor.)
Put everything except avocado in the blender and blend until well combined. Scrape down the sides and add chopped avocado. Pulse for a bit, then scrape down sides and blend until super smooth, continuing to scrape down sides as needed. Divide between 4 dishes and chill at least one hour.
This keeps well in the refrigerator for several days, making it a perfect make-ahead dessert for Valentine’s Day. If you want to beef up the fancy factor, add a small sprinkling of cacao nibs or fleur de sel on top!
Avocados are a monounsaturated fat (aka “the good fat”) that provide anti-inflammatory benefits to your cardiovascular system, lower your LDL cholesterol and reduce the levels of oxidative stress in your blood stream. (The World’s Healthiest Foods, 2017)
Cacao powder and cocoa powder are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that reduce cholesterol in the blood, stimulate your brain, and have beneficial effects on your cardiovascular system, brain health and cognitive abilities. (Nehlig, A., 2013).
Raspberry Mojito Mocktail
(Adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef blog by Lacey Baier)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 drink
- 5-6 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ¼ c organic raspberry juice (see directions below)
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ c sparkling mineral water
- 3-4 fresh organic raspberries for garnish
- 1 lime slice for garnish
- Puree frozen raspberries in the blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. (Keep solids for another use.) Set aside.
- In a tall glass, add the mint leaves and honey.
- Muddle (Gently press using a glass muddler or the back of a spoon to break down fibers and release oils) until the mint is well bruised, but not mashed.
- Fill glass with ice.
- Add the raspberry juice, lime juice and sparkling mineral water.
- Garnish with lime slice and fresh raspberries.
Raspberries are high in fiber, rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that support cardiovascular health. (Smith, 2016)
Another way to take care of yourself is to sign up for my Winter 5-Day Detox. It’s 5 days of recipes and strategies to help you jump start achieving your optimal weight, feeling more energy, and getting glowing skin, all with step-by-step support from me. It’s happening March 5 – 9, 2018, and you can find out more about it by going here.
I hope you’ll give these recipes a try, and that you enjoy them as much as I do!
Leave a comment below, and tell me what recipes or topics would you like to hear more about.
Nehlig, A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 716–727. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
Smith, Dana Leigh. “30 Foods That Can Cause Heart Disease.” Eat This Not That, 2 Feb. 2016, www.eatthis.com/foods-that-cause-heart-disease/.
Ward, Elizabeth M. “Osteoporosis Diet Dangers: Foods to Avoid.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/diet-dangers#1.