I’ve got something serious, but fun, to share with you all. Today is not only February 1st (!?) but it marks the start of National Heart Month! When I first started this blog over 2 1/2 years ago, I talked a lot more about vitamins, minerals, and disease prevention. But this month, I’m going “back to my roots” with a month-long celebration of heart-healthy recipes!
While nearly all of my recipes contain healthy aspects or offer a healthier alternative, there will be several recipes this month that highlight and feature specific ingredients that are unique to the health of the heart and preserving our most precious organ.
Luckily, I am not alone in sharing this valuable message and scrumptious, heart-healthy recipes. I have partnered with 3 other health and food-savvy bloggers that are just as passionate about heart health and food — they will also be sharing their heart-healthy recipes with us each Wednesday this month…starting today!
Cara of Cara’s Cravings whipped up a Strawberry Date Avocado Smoothie
Lauren of Healthy Food for Living baked a Winter Blueberry Almond Baked Oatmeal
Amy (and Natalie) of Super Healthy Kids made a colorful Granola Berry Parfait
Um, one of each, please?
- Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed is not only rich in soluble and insoluble fibers, but it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids – 1.8 grams per tablespoon! Omega-3 fatty acids not only help reduce triglyceride levels, but they act as a natural anti-inflammatory and mild blood thinner. Flaxseed also contains lignands which act in a similar way to estrogen and offer antioxidant properties.
- Walnuts: Similar to flaxseed, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. According to many health professionals, myself included, walnuts are the #1 choice when it comes to nuts due to their lipid-lowering, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Plus, they are way cheaper than pecans and pistachios!
- Whole wheat pastry flour: I use whole wheat pastry flour in everything – it is finer and more palatable in baked goods while maintaining all of the health benefits of whole wheat flour. Offering 12 grams of fiber per cup, whole wheat pastry flour is an excellent source of fiber (plus, vitamins and minerals) that helps protect the heart, control blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
I let Mr. Prevention be the judge.
He not only said these waffles were really, really good (unprompted, I should add!), but he said they were some of the best waffles I’ve ever made. When I told him there was flaxseed in them, he shrugged and said, “Whatever, you can’t taste it.”
These are perfectly sweetened with the maple syrup and have a great crunch and texture from the chopped walnuts. They come together in just a few minutes and are sure to please any waffle or pancake lover. Taking care of your heart never tasted so good!
Maple, Walnut, and Flaxseed Waffles (or Pancakes) adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
Whisk flour, flaxseed meal, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Whisk buttermilk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and egg in another medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk just until incorporated.
Prepare waffles according to manufacture’s directions.
To make pancakes, add batter to skillet by scant 1/4 cupfuls to a preheated griddle. Cook until bubbles appear on surface of pancakes and undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden on bottom, about 2 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 of a Belgian-sized waffle or 3 small pancakes).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 283 calories; 8.8 g. fat; 57 mg. cholesterol; 708 mg. sodium; 42.3 g. carbohydrate; 5.5 g. fiber; 6.8 g. protein
Result: Hearty and wholesome. These waffles are packed with heart-healthy ingredients and are simple to make. Truly, they won’t disappoint. I served them with fresh fruit (as pictured) and just a single drizzle of additional maple syrup…absolutely perfect! Enjoy!
Please feel free to grab our badge and share your heart-healthy recipes in this Month-Long Celebration of Heart-Healthy Recipes! It’s gunna be great!
Even more fun – a giveaway!
Cara is hosting breakfast this week and has several goodies up for grabs including a cookbook, 201 Healthy Smoothies & Juices for Kids written by our very own Amy Roskelley, Paleonola (grain-free granola that’s packed with heart-healthy ingredients), and Chobani! Head on over to Cara’s Cravings to get in on the giveaway this week – there’s lots of ways to win!
Be sure to check in each of the next 4 Wednesdays in February for more heart-healthy recipes! Next up (Feb 8th): Lunch hosted by…moi! 😀