Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy 2013: Dark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites from The Spicy RD

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Gluten-Free and Heart HealthyNext up in our Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy series in honor of American Heart Health Month, we have E.A. from The Spicy RD.

Chocolate Pecan Love BitesDark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites

 

Be still my beating heart!

 

I’m thrilled to be partnering with my fabulous 2012 Gluten-Free All Star Hosts as we celebrate American Heart Month in February with another healthy and delicious recipe round-up: Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy 2013.

Thank you so much, Beth for hosting me at Tasty Yummies today!

 

Before I divulge my heart healthy recipe, I thought I would share some of my favorite foods for keeping your ticker in tip-top shape!

 

Heart Healthy Foods

 

  • Fruit and veggies, the more the merrier~especially citrus and apples which are high in soluble fiber to help decrease LDL cholesterol, and polyphenol packed berries, which may lower blood pressure and raise level of good {HDL} cholesterol.
  • Beans, beans, the musical fruit!  Like certain fruits and veggies, beans are a great source of soluble fiber, and also contain a variety of flavonoids which help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and preventing abnormal clotting of blood platelets.
  • Seedy stuff!  Flax, chia, and hemp, all provide plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which, although not as powerful as seafood omega-3’s, may also help with heart health.  In addition, flaxseed contains phytoestrogens called lignans, which may also help prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Something seems a little fishy to me…Fatty fish such as salmon, mackeral, sardines, tuna, anchovies and trout all provide 1 gram of more of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3’s provide cardiovascular protection by lowering triglycerides, decreasing inflammation, reducing blood clotting, and lowering blood pressure.  To choose fish that are not only heart healthy, but are also environmentally friendly and low in contaminants such as mercury and PCB’s, bes ure and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website.
  • Chocolate~the darker the better! Rich in flavonol, the main type of flavonoid in cocoa and chocolate, research has shown that {a little} dark chocolate {choose chocolate with at least 70 % or more cacao} can be a heart healthy choice.
  • Cheers to a glass of vino!  What’s even better than a square or two of dark chocolate?  A glass of red wine {if you choose to drink alcohol} to go along with it.  Another heart healthy polyphenol, resveratrol, makes red wine {in moderation~up to 2 drinks/day for a man or up to 1 drink/day for a woman} another heart healthy choice by helping prevent damage to blood vessels, reducing LDL cholesterol, and helping to prevent blood clots.  In addition alcohol, in general, {again, in moderation}, has been shown to raise good, HDL cholesterol, thereby helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.  Salud!

 

And now on to the recipe…

 

After looking through my posts from the last two months, aside from my Gluten-Free All-Star buddies’ spectacular sweets, I realized I haven’t shared a proper dessert with you in over 2 months.

 

Heck, I didn’t even make any holiday cookies for you this past December 🙁

So, clearly you are long overdue for something sweet and decadent.

 

Oh, and super heart healthy to boot.

 

How’s that sound?!

 

My inspiration for these dark chocolate chunk pecan love bites comes from these fabulous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies over at Texanerin.

 

If you like peanut butter, you MUST make them.

 

My version is equally delicious, yet features a different sort of heart healthy nut~pecans.

 

Oh, and there are beans and dark chocolate too

 

Plus a little maple syrup, and some ground flaxseed…

 

Yes, they are very healthy indeed, but healthy without delicious doesn’t exist in my kitchen, so I promise you they will make your heart pound with joy 🙂

Chocolate Pecan Love Bites

Thump thump thump…

Thank so much for reading~Please head on over to my blog, The Spicy RD, for my Dark Chocolate Chunk Pecan Love Bite recipe!

 

Oh, and I’d love to continue sharing more of my heart healthy and delicious recipes with you!  Follow my posts here, and let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.  Cheers to a healthy heart!

 

 

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives? I get crazy excited when you guys make my recipes & I always love to see how they turn out!

Share your photos on Instagram, tag @bethmanosbrickey and include the hashtag #tastyyummies

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