Make dessert heart healthy this summer!

Make dessert heart healthy this summer!

Many of us have a love-hate relationship when it comes to dessert. We love the sweet taste, but hate how it makes us feel afterwards. This doesn’t always have to be the case! There are plenty of desserts that are not only tasty but also healthy. Here are a few heart healthy desserts:

Chocolate almond popsicles
These popsicles are sure to be a hit at any summer barbecue. Almonds not only lower your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), but they can also aid in reducing the risk of diabetes. Almonds are full of magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Not to mention just 1 cup contains 20 grams of protein. These popsicles are delicious and will help keep you full for longer.

1 cup of almond milk
2 bananas
3 tablespoons of almond butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
½ cup of dark chocolate
½ cup of crushed almonds

In a blender, combine the almond milk, bananas, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 minutes before inserting the popsicle sticks. Freeze for about 4 hours. When the popsicles are ready to be taken out of their molds, microwave the dark chocolate until melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly. Dip the popsicles into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Freeze for 20 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!

Easy blueberry frozen yogurt
Blueberries are at the top of the list for heart healthy foods. Since blueberries are rich in antioxidants, they aid in reducing the buildup of plaque in your artery walls. This reduces your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. This blueberry frozen yogurt is easy to make and great for your heart!

4 cups of frozen blueberries
½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours. Try topping the froyo with fresh berries or dark chocolate chips!

Chocolate raspberry chia pudding
Raspberries are sweet and full of health benefits. These bright fruits are full of polyphenols, which aid in reducing your risk of heart disease. They are also a good source of fiber. Just half a cup contains 4 grams of fiber. Consuming raspberries can also help lower weight and increase energy.  

1 ¼ cup of almond milk
¼ cup of chia seeds
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of honey
½ cup of raspberries

Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar with a lid (mason jars work well). Stir the ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight. Serve the pudding chilled with any toppings you like.

Vegan oatmeal cookies
Oatmeal is rich in fibers that help lower cholesterol. Just 1 cup of dry oats contains over 8 grams of fiber. This fiber will help you stay full for longer. Not to mention, 1 cup of oatmeal contains only 150 calories. These vegan oatmeal cookies are great to add to your kid’s lunch boxes for a healthy sweet snack!

4 ripe bananas
2 cup of quick oats
¼ cup of almond milk
1/3 cup of dried cranberries

Mash the bananas in a bowl. Mix in the oats and almond milk. Stir in the dried cranberries. On a greased cookie sheet, spoon out the dough. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies look done.

Baked pears with walnuts
Did you know walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts for your heart? Because walnuts contain antioxidants, and they help protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. This protection can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease. Just one ounce of walnuts contains more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. So next time you’re cooking up a dessert, add a few walnuts to the dish!

2 ripe pears
3 teaspoons of honey
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ cup of walnuts

Cut the pears in half and place them on a baking sheet. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds, leaving a little indent inside each pear. Place the walnuts inside the pears. Drizzle with honey and top with cinnamon. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove and enjoy!

Read about Qardio’s family of products here, and learn more about how you can stay heart healthy!

Post contributed by Natalie Cassidy: An avid health and fitness enthusiast. Natalie enjoys creating new healthy recipes and hitting the gym as often as possible. She believes that a healthy lifestyle leads to a happy lifestyle. 

Last updated: October 4, 2018