• Noelle DeSantis, MS, RDN

A Valentine treat your heart (and brain) will thank you for!

Updated: Sep 8, 2018

This Valentine's Day show your body some love by giving it the nutrients it needs to thrive (and skipping the one's that may cause damage).

This recipe, if you call it that, is one of the simplest ways to satisfy that sweet tooth after dinner without the saturated fat and sugar that we tend to crave. Honestly you can use any berries, but for Valentine's Day I am sharing this recipe with strawberries because they are red, and they are easy to cut into heart shapes.

What you will need:

1 cup of fresh strawberries (cut into hearts if you are celebrating V-Day!)

1/4 cup walnuts, broken into pieces

1/2 cup of low-fat or skim milk or any milk alternative (I like unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

That is it!

Heart Shaped Berries!

When you are cutting the greens from the top of your berry just cut a V shape into the top.

Next, laying the berry length wise, put the berry so the V shape is on the side.

Slide your knife from the top (where the green were) to the bottom for perfect Valentine's Day Berries :)

Once you have your perfect berries, put everything in a bowl, mix and enjoy! This has to be the easiest dessert you have ever made. For a slightly sweeter flavor add a drop of vanilla extract to you bowl.

This dessert is full of protective antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, without the sugar and saturated fat that accompany most sweet treats.

Walnuts: Excellent source of anti-inflammatory, cholesterol improving Omega-3 fatty acid. Also a good source of minerals such as copper and boron; vitamins such as biotin and molybdenum and many others. Walnuts are also rich in other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Walnuts have shown improved lipid profiles, so if your lab work comes back and you need to get your LDL cholesterol reduced and HDL increased, snack on walnuts instead of chips! They have also been shown to reduce oxidant and inflammatory load on the brain, AND increase neurogenesis and interneuronal signaling. Long story short...they are good for your heart and your brain.

Strawberries: Are a great source of vitamin C. 113% in one cup! They also provide Manganese, which plays a role in antioxidant activity; and are rich in polyphenols providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are a low glycemic index food, which means you will not have a spike in blood sugar after eating these delicious little fruits. (Making them a perfect after dinner treat). High glycemic foods can lead to a spike in blood sugar, followed by reactive low blood sugar (from the insulin that took care of all that sugar in circulation) this causes that ”crash” feeling some people experience.

Cinnamon: Has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps regulate blood sugar and even has anti-microbial properties! (Add cinnamon to your next homemade jam)

Studies have shown cinnamon can enhance cognition and improve memory!

I use fresh cinnamon for some recipes, but sometimes it is best to keep things simple and easy... and just use ground cinnamon. Especially after dinner when you are making a simple dessert.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone.

I hope you try this heart and brain healthy dessert alternative.

Buffalo Nutrition and Dietetics PLLC

at DENT Neurologic Institute

3980  Sheridan Dr. Suite 401

Amherst, NY

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© 2018 by Noelle DeSantis.