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Boost Heart Health with the Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie

This post was written by Epalinski

 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you are like me, I’m sure you find those boxes of chocolates and little conversation heart candies incredibly tempting. There’s no reason to avoid Valentine’s Day treats all the time, but you also don’t want to have them every day. With February being National Heart, I thought it would be the perfect time to create a sweet treat that not only curbs those Valentine treat cravings, but also one that can boost heart health. So what did I come up with? The Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie! It’s a combination of my favorite smoothie ingredients along with foods that research has shown can be protective to the heart. And it’s even pretty and red, which makes it perfect for your Valentine’s Day menu!

Let’s take a look at the research behind the heart-healthy ingredients so you can see why I added them to the recipe:

 

Walnuts

Eating walnuts affects various heart health markers such as reducing total cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improvements in arterial function. (1)

 

Strawberries

Clinical research suggests that eating just a serving of eight strawberries a day may improve heart health, help manage diabetes, support brain health, and reduce the risk of some cancers. (2)

 

What better way to celebrate a day that’s all about love than taking care of your heart.

 

 

Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Sweetheart Smoothie Recipe

Serves 2

 

Ingredients:

 

For smoothie:

  • 6 strawberries, frozen
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1- ounce walnuts
  • 1 cup almond milk (or your favorite nut milk/soymilk)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional

 

For Toppings:

  • Whipped cream, optional
  • Freeze-dried strawberries and bananas, optional

 

Directions:

 

  1. In a blender, combine strawberries, banana, walnuts, milk, orange juice and chia seeds. Blend until smooth.
  2. Smoothie will be thick so add liquid for desired texture. Top with whipped cream and freeze-dried fruit. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (without toppings)

143 calories, 22 g CHO, 6 g FAT, 3 g PRO, 82 mg sodium, 14 g sugar

 

 

 

  1. Heart Health. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from https://www.walnuts.org/health-and-walnuts/health-research-initiatives/heart-health/

 

  1. California Strawberries. (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2017, from http://californiastrawberries.com/health_and_nutrition

 

 

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