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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Make this special treat for the love of your life:

  • Wash and dry 1 pound (454 grams) whole strawberries, leaving stems intact.
  • Melt 1/2 pound (250 grams) bittersweet chocolate over hot water.
  • Hold each strawberry by its stem and dip it halfway into melted chocolate.
  • Set strawberries on waxed paper.
  • Refrigerate until hardened and ready to serve, about 20 minutes; then serve immediately.

Offer these delicious treats to your loved ones with a smile, a hug, and a kiss.

A Look at Hearty Eating

With February designated as heart health month, this is a fine time to be reminded that good nutrition is vital for a strong heart and cardiovascular system. To eat well, focus on the foods you should eat rather than on those you should avoid. Follow this yummy advice for February heart throbs of all ages:

  • Enjoy cold-water fish such as wild salmon, herring, sardines, or trout once or twice a week. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which provide protection for your heart.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are juicy, crunchy, flavourful, and excellent for warding off heart disease.
  • Use more monounsaturated fats, such as olive, grapeseed, and peanut oils.
  • Energize yourself with complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole-grain breads and pastas, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.
  • Eat less more often. Eating five or six small meals a day regulates your body's cholesterol levels, controls blood sugars, and burns calories more efficiently.
  • Use less salt to help control your blood pressure.
  • Drink more water to hydrate your body and flush out toxins.
  • Share your meals with loved ones and keep the conversation positive and happy.
  • Enjoy your food consciously savour every bite.

Heart-Shaped Chocolate

Dark chocolate is good for you because it is rich in flavonols, which help protect against coronary heart disease. The 1999 Zutphen study in the Netherlands found cocoa to be a significant source of dietary flavonols. Other results from controlled clinical trials suggest that relatively high intake of flavonol-rich foods, including black tea, purple grape juice, and dark chocolate, may improve the function of the endothelial lining of our blood vessels. In other words, plaque will have a more difficult time settling on the walls of our arteries when we indulge in dark chocolate from time to time. So, go ahead: open that heart-shaped box of chocolates from your Valentine!

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