February is Heart Health month, though ideally we want to focus on heart health everyday. After all your heart pumps about 100,000 times a day for you, moving 2,000 Gallons of blood a day throughout your body! Since nutrition is an area of wellbeing that touches all of the aspects of health, here is a fun recipe to try out for this special occasion of honoring our hearts.
Dark chocolate and cherries are heart health champions!
Cherries are anti-inflammatory and help with athletic recovery, especially the tart ones. Dark chocolate with a high percentage (over 70) of cocoa is considered a superfood and contains flavonoids which lower the risk of heart disease. These brownies are a perfect treat and using a sugar substitute greatly lowers the carb count. Enjoy with a bowl of fresh berries for a healthy desert anytime of year!
½ C frozen or fresh cherries mixed with 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ C canola oil
1/3 C water
¾ C whole wheat flour
1 C granular monkfruit or other non-sugar sweetener, or regular sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg white beaten
¾ C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1/3 C 70% or darker chocolate chips
Optional berries for serving
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, coat with cooking spray.
Combine flour, monkfruit, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk.
Combine cherries, coconut sugar, water, and oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Mash cherries to combine into preserve style mixture.
Add cherry mixture to dry ingredients and whisk, add eggs and stir until smooth.
Stir in chocolate chips
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Dust lightly with cinnamon
Cool and serve with berries!
It’s also worth mentioning that laughing helps your heart by lowering stress and relaxing the heart muscle! Here’s one to share today:
Which alphabet gang strikes fear in the hearts of the other letters? I Q U.
Written by Suzy Destarac, NBC-HWC, and FitPro Nutritionist
Read more about Suzy here
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