Hello, Beard and Bonnet readers! Meg is graciously hosting me today to kick off a fun event we came up with to honor one of the most important organs in your body, the heart. What better time to celebrate than during this month of love!
Being preggers has turned me into somewhat of a cookie monster. After all, celebrations call for cookies and every day you feel that little miracle kicking within is a reason to celebrate, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. But this week I made cookies for another kind of celebration. Today, I’m kicking off a week of Gluten-Free and Heart Healthy recipes in honor of American Heart Month. Unfortunately, 715,000 Americans have a heart attack each year and 600,000 die from heart disease*. To raise awareness and encourage good choices, we are offering up delicious gluten-free recipes packed with heart-healthy ingredients. So, read on and take to heart that you can have your cookies and eat them too!
* Source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
Starring in these cookies is one of my favorite heart-healthy foods, the chia seed. Chia seeds are actually an ancient food making a comeback, and while some might deem them “trendy”, my not-so-humble opinion is that when even more folks start eating them, chia seeds will again become a staple in our diets. Hey, I hope so anyway. Chia seeds are jam-packed with essential omega-3 fatty acid, even more so than other plant-based sources. We’ve probably all heard the buzz that omega-3’s contribute to reducing cholesterol and preventing heart disease, which is why I chose to feature the mighty chia seed in this recipe.
What else is there to love? These chewy little cookies have plenty of heart-protective, fiber-rich oats and they are held together with peanut butter. Natural peanut butter (read: the kind that only contains peanuts) contains high amounts of oleic acid, a type of fat known to increase your good cholesterol and lower the bad kind, and it’s another great source of fiber as well.
Now I’m not going to try to convince you that the only reason to eat a cookie is for your health, so I’ll also throw in that these ones are so easy that you won’t even need an oven, they’re the perfect sweetness for either breakfast or dessert, and studded with mini chocolate chips so you’re sure to get some of the good stuff in every bite. I hope that convinces you to come on over and check out the recipe!