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Food: Make healthy choices that still taste great

Angela Shelf Medearis and Gina Harlow
THE KITCHEN DIVA

TOFU CREME AU CHOCOLAT WITH RASPBERRIES

Coffee enhances the flavors of chocolate and makes this heart-healthy dessert taste far more decadent than it really is!

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tablespoon softened butter

1 (14-ounce) package soft, silken tofu, drained

1/2 cup stevia or agave syrup

1/4 cup cold, strong brewed coffee

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups raspberries, washed and dried

1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt chocolate in microwave on medium power, or in double boiler. Stir in butter until no lumps remain. In blender or food processor, blend tofu, stevia or agave syrup, coffee, vanilla extract and salt for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

2. Add chocolate to tofu mixture, and blend 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Transfer to bowl; cover with plastic wrap, pressing firmly on the top of the pudding. Refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.

3. Serve pudding topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkled with the raspberries. Serves 8.

It seems that everything we eat and drink these days wants a piece of our heart. There are the bad-for-us foods like addictive chips, irresistible burgers, gorgeous steaks and seductive fried chicken. They’re so easy to see coming, but we fall for them anyway.

Then there are the good guys, who have their charms and who claim to give us what’s good for us, like red wine and chocolate. It’s so easy to commit to one of them because they have what we want! But the truth is that when it comes to our heart, there are only a few true-blue choices we should stay with for the long haul. As confusing and abundant as the information is that says this or that is good for us, it all boils down to a few simple qualities that make a good match for heart health.

1. Omega-3s: These are the fatty acids that possess a good kind of fat that helps prevent clogging of the arteries. These are found in fish, such as salmon, albcore tuna, herring and trout. However, Omega-3s can be found in tofu, nuts and flaxseed, and canola oil as well. Incorporate these foods into your weekly menus every chance you get.



2. Fruits and Vegetables of All Kinds: Most people don’t come close to the recommended amounts suggested by the American Heart Association, which is four to five 1/2 cup to 1 cup servings per day. Try declaring one day a week a vegetarian day where all meals will be meatless, or look for meal ideas where the vegetable is the main player, like in stir-frys and salads, or bowls of fruit with grains and berries for breakfast.

3. Choose Healthy Fats and Cooking Methods: Fats are not all bad, but the most important thing you can do is limit your fat intake and keep your fats to those found in Omega-3 foods and vegetable-based oils. When cooking your food, avoid frying in large amounts of fat. Baking, steaming, grilling or sauteing in small amounts of vegetable oils or water will give you delicious food that is good for you too.



This recipe for Tofu Creme au Chocolat is a wonderful way to incorporate healthy ingredients into a romantic Valentine’s holiday.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is http://www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Read Gina Harlow’s blog about food and gardening at http://www.peachesandprosciutto.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.


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