7 Heart-Healthy Snacks to Keep You Moving

In the midst of your chaotic second semester schedule, it is important to take the time to stay up-to-date with your friends, family and health. February is recognized as National Heart Month and, believe it or not, National Snack Food Month! Whether you are a student, sister, mother, grandmother or daughter, it is vital that you take care of your heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both African American and Caucasian women in the United States. It is important that during the height of your busy day-to-day activities, you are able to take the time to make healthy changes in your life in order to secure long-term heart health, and what better way to start than with heart-healthy snacks!

Here are 7 heart-healthy snack recipes to give you a boost! Each snack is provided with a nutritional analysis through Mayo Clinic.

1. Tomato Basil Bruschetta

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/tomato-basil-bruschetta/rcp-20049992

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 whole-grain baguette, cut into six 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices

  2. 2 tablespoons chopped basil

  3. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced

  5. 3 tomatoes, diced

  6. 1/2 cup diced fennel

  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil

  8. 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  9. 1 teaspoon black pepper

Toast baguette slices in 400* F oven until lightly browned. Mix all other ingredients together. Spoon mixture evenly over toasted bread. Serve immediately.

2. Cranberry Spritzer

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/cranberry-spritzer/rcp-20049655

Ingredients

  1. 1 quart reduced-calorie cranberry juice

  2. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  3. 1 quart carbonated water

  4. 1/4 cup sugar

  5. 1 cup raspberry sherbet

  6. 10 lemon or lime wedges

Refrigerate the cranberry juice, lemon juice and carbonated water until cold.

In a large pitcher, mix together the cranberry juice, lemon juice, carbonated water, sugar and sherbet. Pour into tall chilled glasses and garnish with a lemon or lime wedge. Serve immediately.

3. Blueberry Lavender Lemonade

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/blueberry-lavender-lemonade/rcp-20197680

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups water

  2. 1 package (16 ounces) blueberries

  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  4. 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers

  5. 1 cup lemon juice

  6. 2 tablespoons Splenda sweetener

  7. Cold water

In a 1-gallon pitcher, add 4 cups of ice and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the blueberries, sugar and lavender to the pan. Boil for about 5 minutes, until the blueberries have popped and all of the sugar has dissolved.

Strain the blueberry mixture over the pitcher of ice; discard the remaining blueberry mixture. Add the lemon juice and Splenda to the pitcher. Fill to the top with cold water. Mix well.

4. Fresh Fruit Kebabs

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/fresh-fruit-kebabs-with-lemon-lime-dip/rcp-20049779

Ingredients

  1. 6 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt

  2. 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

  3. 1 teaspoon lime zest

  4. 4 pineapple chunks (about 1/2 inch each)

  5. 4 strawberries

  6. 1 kiwi, peeled and quartered

  7. 1/2 banana, cut into 4 1/2-inch chunks

  8. 4 red grapes

  9. 4 wooden skewers

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.

5. White Bean Dip

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/white-bean-dip/rcp-20049728

Ingredients

  1. 1 can (15 ounces) white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained

  2. 8 garlic cloves, roasted

  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil

  4. 2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, add the beans, roasted garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Serve on top of thin slices of toasted French bread or pita triangles. This is also excellent placed on top of red (sweet) bell peppers cut into squares.

6. Apples with Dip

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/apples-with-dip/rcp-20049632

Ingredients

  1. 8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

  2. 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  4. 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

  5. 4 medium or 8 small apples, cored and sliced

  6. 1/2 cup orange juice

Place the cream cheese on the counter to allow it to soften, about 5 minutes.

To make the dip, combine brown sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Stir in chopped peanuts.

Place sliced apples in another bowl. Drizzle orange juice over the apples to prevent browning. Serve the sliced apples with the dip.

7. Peach Floats

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/peach-floats/rcp-20049798

Ingredients

  1. 1 can (15 ounces) peaches, drained, except for 1/2 cup juice

  2. 4 cups vanilla ice milk

  3. 32 ounces club soda or seltzer water

  4. 1/2 cup reduced-fat whipped topping

  5. Ground nutmeg, to taste

In a small bowl, mash the peaches with a fork. Divide the mashed peaches into 4 glasses (12 ounces each). Add 2 tablespoons of the peach juice and 1 cup ice milk to each glass. Pour 1 cup soda or seltzer into the glasses. Top each drink with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and a dusting of nutmeg. Serve immediately.

I hope one of these tasty treats makes its’ way into your busy schedule! Enjoy!