Watch me on FOX 45 this morning making heart healthy comfort foods at 9:20am. It was so hard to decide what to make with all the choices available. I chose a few recipes, which are accessible to all, and health giving for hearts old and young.

I will present sweet potato fries baked with coconut oil and sea salt. There are many variations possible for this delicious dish. I love to sprinkle nutmeg on them too and occasionally for a kick of spice, chipotle chili powder.  Sweet potatoes have an abundance of beta carotene, which is best absorbed in whole food form. The carotene family and rich fiber content has shown in studies to help prevent heart disease. Please see my previous post on coconut oil to learn more about this wonder food.

Coconut oil is heart healthy as it does not negatively affect blood cholesterol, nor does promote platelet stickiness that leads to blood clot formation and does not collect in the arteries. The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties of coconut oil all protect the arteries from atherosclerosis and heart disease. Cultures across the globe who consume the most coconut oil have the lowest rates of heart disease. This holds true even for those populations who get as much as 50 percent of their daily calories from the saturated fat of coconut oil.

Second I will present tacos in a lettuce or kale wrap topped with tomato, cilantro and avocado slices. This is an excellent choice to replace red meat and introduce the heart healthy omega–3 fatty acids AND eat more raw foods. This is delicious and if you are pressed for time, be sure to visit Zia’s Café in Towson for her collard wraps which are even better. Owner, Daniela Troia is my inspiration for this recipe.

For the grand finale, I will make an all time favorite, banana ice cream. We all know by now that saturated fat from farmed cows is not the best ever and replacing ice cream with this vegan version has been a huge crowd pleaser time and time again.

Choose to prevent heart disease today for yourself, your children and loved ones. Each choice you make as you decide what to put into your mouth is one that can prevent degenerative diseases. Heart disease does not come about from one day to the next. Research has proven that diet greatly affects the potential outcome of heart disease. Choose powerfully today.

Walnut Lettuce Tacos

Taco “Meat”

1 cup walnuts

2 tsp cumin

¼ tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

Blend in food processor fitted with an “S” blade until it a fine meal emerges. Do not over mix.

Tomato slices

Avocado slices

Fresh Cilantro

Lettuce leaves or kale leaves

Place 1-2 T of walnut taco meat in the middle of a leaf, top with tomato slices, avocado and cilantro and fold sides over and bottom up.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 sweet potato cut into even strips

1-2T coconut oil

sea salt to taste

Coat sweet potatoes with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees until tender and slightly brown.

Banana Ice Cream

1-2 bananas

Dash of vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of almond milk or other non dairy milk

Blend the bananas with vanilla, cinnamon, and 1-2 T of milk to keep the blades running. Adding too much milk will make a smoothie. Enjoy topped with your favorite toppings. I love almond butter and raw cacao.