Hearts are everywhere in February. They are especially prevalent in the first half leading up to Valentine’s Day. You see them everywhere. Cards, gifts, clothes, food, and even text messages are filled with them. However the most important ones are on the inside. Those precious heartbeats need to keep going. To have a strong and healthy heart is a goal one should not put aside. It is with that thought in mind that I made Pear Bran Muffins.
February is American Heart Month. It is a time of awareness and action. Even taking small steps and making a few changes can be very beneficial. I know this because I have high blood pressure. It is in my best interest to keep the pressure within normal range and not put a strain on my heart. How to do that? Well, first read on for my story.
Several years ago I knew something was off. They say high blood pressure is a silent killer because it doesn’t have obvious signs. I could feel it. I took a reading and my BP was high. So I researched on what to do. It starts with heart healthy eating and exercise. I went all out. My salt intake was reduced to a bare minimum. I checked sodium levels on labels, cooked according to the suggested guidelines, and bumped up my exercise routine. What was the result after several months? My blood pressure went up. Yep, exactly the opposite of what should happen.
The next step was a visit to the doctor. Something had to be done. My pressure was so high they almost didn’t let me leave the office. After a lengthy conversation with my doctor, he said my condition was hereditary. The only thing left was to start taking medication. It worked beautifully. My pressure is in normal range now. I do have to admit though that I’d rather eat healthy food like Pear Bran Muffins instead of taking a daily pill. Oh and please do not let my story discourage you from eating heart healthy meals. I’m in a small minority.
How are the Pear Bran Muffins? Healthy and tasty too. They are made with cholesterol lowering wheat bran, whole wheat flour, and olive oil. Applesauce and pear brings sweetness and fruitiness to the mix. Healthy spices of cinnamon and ginger gives them warm and comforting flavors. Fiber will keep you satisfied for hours. There’s even a touch of citrus with orange zest sprinkled on top. Enjoy the muffins with a glass of juice and you have a lasting vitamin packed breakfast.
Are you on a heart healthy plan or wanting to start? Scroll down to find lots of recipes by Sunday Supper contributors. We have you covered from morning to night. Eating healthy no longer means food that tastes like cardboard. Keep your heart strong and enjoy your meals one healthy and delicious bite at a time. Special thanks to Lori at Foxes Love Lemons and Ethel of eating in instead for hosting this week’s event. For another heart healthy recipe I’ve shared before, take a look at Farro and Fruit Salad.
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup lowfat buttermilk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ medium pear, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
- Stir together turbinado sugar and orange zest in a small bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with 10 paper liners (leaving 2 muffin cups empty).
- Whisk together wheat bran, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, oil, and egg in a medium bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined and dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in pear pieces.
- Divide batter among the 10 lined muffin cups. Sprinkle orange-sugar topping on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool muffins in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day magazine February 2014 edition.
Are you looking for heart healthy recipes? Take a look at these by Sunday Supper contributors:
Better for you breakfasts:
- Apple Pie Oatmeal by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Create-Your-Own Overnight Oatmeal by Rhubarb and Honey
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones by Brunch with Joy
- Orange-Mango Smoothie with Lime & Ginger by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pear Bran Muffins by Magnolia Days
- Stovetop Fruit & Honey Granola by What Smells So Good?
Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:
- Almond Crusted Chicken Nuggets by Momma’s Meals
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Lemon Aioli with Spring Vegetables by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Mala Baked Tofu Bites by Palatable Pastime
- Parmesan Pistachio Kale Chips by The Texan New Yorker
Soups that’ll win your heart:
- Asian Soba Noodle Broth Bowl by Hip Foodie Mom
- Kale, Spinach, and Bean Soup by Ruffles & Truffles
- Mushroom Quinoa Soup by Pies and Plots
- Quinoa Chickpea Soup with Roasted Garlic & Veggies by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Turkey and Black-Eyed Peas Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:
- Collard Greens with Cumin and Paprika by Nik Snacks
- Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad by Casa de Crews
- Kale Roasted Beet Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing by Noshing with the Nolands
- Lightened-Up Creamed Spinach au Gratin by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Roasted Teriyaki Green Beans and Mushrooms by NeighborFood
- Salmon Salad Niçoise by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Seasoned Spinach & Bok Choy by Nosh My Way
- Spinach Berry Salad by Country Girl in the Village
- Sweet & Smokey Cauliflower Salad by Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Winter Citrus Salad with Avocado-Basil Dressing by Foxes Love Lemons
Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Celeriac Noodles with Mushroom Ragu by The Joyful Foodie
- Gluten Free Roasted Chicken and Kale by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Heart Healthy Salmon Bento by The Ninja Baker
- Lemony Grilled Chicken by Peaceful Cooking
- Moroccan Salmon Tagine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Pickled Cherry Salsa by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- One Pot Mexican Quinoa by Having Fun Saving
- Oven Baked Tilapia Tacos by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Piperies Yemistes me Pligouri – Bulgur Stuffed Peppers by Food Lust People Love
- Salmon with Mango Salsa by Cooking Chat
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake by Food Done Light
- Vegetable and Ginger Congee by eating in instead
- Vegetarian Cuban-Style Black Beans & Rice by MealDiva
- White Bean, Corn, Tomato and Rice Skillet by Family Foodie
Staying healthy doesn’t mean giving up desserts!
- Baked Figs with Vanilla and Honey by Happy Baking Days
- Caramelized Pear Tart by PancakeWarriors
- Cherry-Blueberry Trifles by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
We heart wine.
- Wine Pairing Recommendations for Heart Healthy #SundaySupper by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
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