• janaejean

Treat Yourself – Healthful Desserts

Updated: Sep 30

A tempting dessert does not have to full of saturated and trans fats!


Celebrate World Heart Day on September 29th with this yummy cake! (You may wish to make it part of a brunch with Heart Healthy Biscuits and Gravy.


Along with regular activity and an overall mindful eating plan, you can live a heart-friendly lifestyle with dessert on your plate every now and then. There are a variety of healthy eating plans, research and find one that works for you. Popular and effective options include the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), the Mediterranean diet, and the Whole Foods Plant-based Diet. When choosing a diet, avoid the fads. The American Health Association recommends increasing plant-based foods and limit red meat consumption and sodium intake for people with cardiovascular concerns.


The cake below was loosely inspired by a recipe by the AHA. I encourage you to let your creativity go when baking and cooking and improvise. A good recipe is like an approachable piece of music or dynamic piece of visual art, it's balanced with a blend of the unique and the familiar. And, if you are looking to cook for heart health, keep the AHA guidelines in mind while you experiment:


Healthy dietary patterns are associated with a substantially reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD risk factors, and non-cardiovascular diseases. An emphasis on the whole diet is appropriate to ensure nutrient adequacy and energy balance. The AHA recommends that individuals consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grain products, especially whole grains; choose fat-free and low-fat dairy products, legumes, poultry, and lean meats; and eat fish, preferably oily fish, at least twice a week.



Almond Coconut Chocolate Cake

Makes 16 slices



1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda


¼ teaspoon salt

2 egg whites

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup low-fat buttermilk

1 teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup granulated cane sugar

1/4 cup shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease eight-inch square baking pan with baker’s spray.

In stand mixer, whisk egg whites. Then whisk in applesauce, buttermilk, and almond extract. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, soda, and salt. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg white mixture. Pour into baking pan and sprinkle with silvered almonds. Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in center. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 16 square slices and serve.





Hibiscus-Berry Sorbet

Makes 8 servings


The addition of xanthan gum to this recipe is to prevent the sorbet from becoming icy. Hibiscus "tea" is a heart-healthy drink and can be used in recipes. Some of the health benefits of hibiscus include:

  • Full of Antioxidants

  • May Help Lower Blood Pressure

  • May Boost Liver Health

  • Decreases water-weight bloating

  • May Help Prevent Cancer.


½ cup brewed hibiscus tisane

1 ¼ cups low-fat buttermilk

4 cups frozen berries

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend a little at a time until smooth. If not serving immediately, freeze until ready to serve. You may wish to serve it with fresh berries or mint leaves.






Enjoy!








©2020

Janae Jean Almen

SpindriftGreen Music Publishing

630-945-7356

janaejean@me.com

Geneva, IL

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