February reminds us that eating isn’t just about weight control, so here are my best heart-healthy recipes to help make sure your ticker keeps ticking. I love these meals for being delicious, packed with nutrients and also great for cardiovascular wellness.
Put the Ingredients for these Heart-Healthy Recipes on Your Shopping List
This month is all about the heart and delicious foods. After all, February is American Heart Month, it has Valentine’s Day right in it’s middle. The following are my top heart-healthy recipes with great nutrition and that will help you show your body – and the people special in your life – a little love.
Heart-Healthy Bean, Barley and Avocado Recipe
This recipe is rich, bright, and will make every taste bud on your tongue dance, while it will pack your body with heart-healthy nutrients. From fiber to folate (vitamin B) and from vitamins A to E, this dish is a yummy cardiac delight (words I never thought I’d use together).
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 can (19-ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup carrot juice
- ½ cup quick-cook barley
- ½ cup avocado, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine carrot juice, thyme and cayenne powder. Bring to a boil, add barley, stir then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until the barley is tender.
While the barley cooks, whisk lemon juice and oil in a large bowl. Once the barley is cooked, transfer it and any liquid in the saucepan into the bowl. Toss to coat. Add the tomatoes and beans and toss until ingredients are well combined. Add the avocado and gently stir. Chill for about 20 minutes in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, with the wrap pressed against the surface of the salad to keep the avocado from browning.
Earthy Spiced Root Veggie Wedges
If you usually love fries, you’ll absolutely love this favorite among my heart-healthy recipes. It may not include potatoes, but these wedges combine lots of other root veggies that each have their own unique and incredible flavors and nutrients.
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 2 parsnips, peeled
- 1 lime’s juice
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut both carrots in half. Cut the halves lengthwise in half, then lengthwise into quarters. Repeat the process with the parsnips. Place the carrots and parsnips in a saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the veggies. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 2 minutes.
While the veggies cook, combine olive oil, lime juice, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper in a large roasting pan. Cut the sweet potatoes into thick wedges of a similar size to the carrots and parsnips. Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Push the sweet potatoes to one side of the pan. Drain the carrots and parsnips and add them to the other side of the roasting pan. Stir the cooked veggies in the spice mixture until coated. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice. Bake until just tender and browned in places.
Heart-Healthy Blueberry Swirl Cake
Blueberries are filled with antioxidants, while the berries are high in vitamin C as well. Plus, it gives me the chance to eat a piece of cake while calling it a nutritious choice for being a delicious option among heart-healthy recipes.
- 2 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, both work)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 2 ½ cups self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cups 2% milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter (ideally pasture-raised, grass fed – the best quality you can get)
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, gently combine blueberries, cinnamon and brown sugar until the berries are coated. In a large mixer bowl, cream margarine and granulated sugar. Use electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy (around 4 minutes). Add the egg and egg white and mix again for 2 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest and reduce the speed to low. Slowly, alternate adding milk and flour, one third at a time. Occasionally, stop the mixer to use a spatula to scrape the bowl. Don’t overmix.
Spread half the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle half the blueberry mixture over the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter on top of the blueberry mixture, gently spreading to make it even. Use a knife to swirl straight through the batter. Sprinkle the rest of the blueberries on top.
Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist cake crumbs clinging. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut it into 16 pieces. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.