Turn your pancakes into an even more loving gesture with some gluten-free vegan Blueberry Heartcakes! A wonderful healthy breakfast recipe that will make your heart happy and healthy too!
***This post has been updated in June 2016. Original writing stands***
Did you know that February is heart health month? Isn’t that ironic that Valentine’s Day also falls in the month 😉 Even though February is more than half way over, I thought I would share some heart health tips with you all this Power Monday. Your heart is the power house of the body and it is so important to keep your ticker happy and healthy!
Here are some heart health facts and tips:
Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States and costs over $300 billion every year to the US.
Risk Factors: a poor diet, little physical activity, tobacco use, obesity , high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, genetics, and certain races and ethnicities (African Americans are at a high risk).
Prevention: see your doctor to learn your risk level and schedule check-ups regularly, monitor your blood pressure and get your cholesterol checked, maintain a healthy body weight, stop smoking, exercise regularly including strength training and cardio, learn how to effectively manage your diabetes, and most importantly, eat a heart-healthy diet.
I think diet plays one of the most important and key roles in any aspect of health and as long as you eat a minimally processed whole foods diet (that means whole grains, lean protein, veggies, and fruits) you should be good to go! Remember to watch you trans and saturated fat, processed sugar and sodium intake. But sadly a majority of Americans lack that essential knowledge and struggle to eat in a healthy way. I put together a chart of some easy and delicious foods that are widely available and perfect for a heart healthy diet!
To get you started with a delicious heart healthy recipe, here are some Blueberry Heartcakes (i.e. pancakes) to make for breakfast!
Blueberries are full of Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); anthocyanin (a flavonoid); ellagic acid (a polyphenol); vitamin C; folate; calcium, magnesium; potassium, and fiber! Crazy what can be packed in a little berry, right? Plus, these pancakes are heart-shaped, so that just speaks for itself!
There is so much “heart” in this recipe. I think the act of making pancakes just screams love and heartfelt comfort. Whether you’re making them for yourself or someone else, there’s going to be a lot of heart in this breakfast! Good for the soul and your physical heart, you’ll be berry much in love!
- In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients together, then add the water, vanilla, and blueberries.
- Mix until you have a nice smooth batter and let it sit while you heat up a non-stick pan.
- Heat a greased skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Grease your heart molds with oil as well (if you don't have one, just make regular pancakes.)
- Place the mold in the center of the pan and then pour in about ⅓ of the batter to the mold.
- Cook until bubbles form on the surface and the edges seem dry, about 2 minutes. Lift the mold off (you may need to push the edges a bit with a knife) and flip with a spatula to cook the other side, about another 2 minutes.
- Repeat for the rest of the batter. Then top with more blueberries and maple syrup if desired!
If you don’t already, I hope you start making some heart healthy choices! Simple swaps in your diet are so easy. Brown rice instead of white. Snack on almonds instead of potato chips. Bake some salmon instead of beef! Or, you know, these HEARTCAKES! Easy and delicious!
So tell me:
+ What is your favorite heart healthy food?
+ Do you have a family history of CVD? How do you make sure you stay on top of it?
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