Did you know that February is National Heart Month sponsored by the American Heart Association. February is devoted to bringing awareness through community outreach, educational programs, and marketing initiatives.

Did you also know that heart disease is the leading killer of Americans every year and is HIGHLY preventable? By knowing your family history, current health status, and making healthy decisions about your exercise and nutrition is key to ensuring you’re keeping your ticker in tip-top shape.

I’m committed this month to bringing a variety of foods to the forefront that I hope, you begin to integrate into your diet on a daily basis. As usual I’ll include a recipe to give you a delicious example of how you can use that particular food. I want you to get healthy and get educated!

Today we are focusing on Chia Seeds and all the wonderful heart benefits! So we’ll be focusing on #9…

I use chia seeds every single day. I sprinkle them in my oatmeal and salads, on top of as well as in my smoothies, mix them into my yogurt and even add them to my cauliflower rice. These amazing seeds are great for heart health because they contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The essential fatty acids in chia assist in lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol, and raise good HDL cholesterol. All great news for that heart of yours! Additionally, Chia seeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which soluble fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol.

So let’s get to the good part….we all know you have a sweet tooth. Well if you’re anything like me you do. One of my all time favorite ways to eat this seed is to make a tasty Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Strawberries, just in time for Valentine’s Day **wink, wink**. This recipe yields 2 servings.

What you’ll need:

3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on your sweet preference)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
fresh organic strawberries

In a blender, add the almond milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, blend until combined. Once blended add the cacao powder and continue blending. Gently fold in the chia seeds into the mixture and begin stirring until incorporated. Stop and continue stirring the chia seeds every 30 seconds or so for the next 5 minutes to assist with the thickening of the chia. Once that’s completed, you can divide your servings into separate containers, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. When ready to serve add fresh organic strawberries for garnish and voila! A healthy chocolate pudding recipe you won’t feel guilty about eating.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189.3
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 96.3 mg
Potassium 101.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.3 g
Sugars 13.6 g
Protein 6.3 g

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