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Recipes for Romance

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Valentineâ??s Day is a perfect time to show your loved one how much you care. This could be as simple as a special tea for two, as gourmet as a four-course meal, or as comfy as breakfast in bed.

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show your loved one how much you care. This could be as simple as a special tea for two, as gourmet as a four-course meal, or as comfy as breakfast in bed. Our recipes this month help you cover all bases, but one theme you’ll see throughout these recipes is the use of brightly coloured red and pink foods. Not only do these foods help provide the traditional Valentine’s colours, they also provide you and your beloved with valuable carotenes (named after the humble carrot) and anthocyanins (the deep colour of berries).

The carotene family has about 600 members, of which beta-carotene is just one. These powerful plant pigments provide antioxidant activity. In fact, a half cup of carotene-rich blueberries packs as much antioxidant power as five servings of peas, carrots, apples, squash or broccoli. Antioxidants protect you from free radical damage from UV rays, radiation and the effects of stress, smoking and drinking alcohol. Because aging and disease are related to free radical damage, the more antioxidants you get, the more chance you’ll be around to share future Valentine’s Day celebrations together!

We’ve also included plenty of whole grains, which also help prevent heart disease and cancer. Whole grains consumed at breakfast have also been shown to enhance mood and improve mental functioning throughout the day. Imagine being happier and smarter for your Valentine!

You’ll also want to set the mood, maybe with candles, soft music, some large plump cushions and a comfy throw to cuddle under. Eating slowly and mindfully will help improve digestion and comfort after dinner. Any Valentine’s meal can be made special with the use of a heart-shaped cookie cutter; whether you use it on steamed beets, toast or waffles, it’s sure to bring a smile to that special person’s face. With all these ideas in place you won’t have to rely on the old standby of chocolates, and the two of you will be in much better shape to enjoy many more years together. Bon app?t!

Sally Errey, RNCP

Good Grains Pancakes or Waffles

Good Grains Mix

Berry Pure

A colourful berry pur?is a simple yet healthful way to top off your pancakes. In a blender, pur?one-and-one-quarter cups of fresh (or defrosted) summer berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. Sweeten with a little apple juice if necessary. Other great toppings include chopped walnut and bananas.

Romantic Raspberry Swirl

The flavonoids in these luscious berries are also excellent for the heart–they help repair blood vessels and reduce blood clotting. Berries also provide high levels of vitamin C to protect artery walls and lower cholesterol. Simply wash berries if organic or soak or spray them with a biodegradable fruit wash and rinse if non-organic. Serves two.

As long as we choose whole grains, we can be assured of getting plenty of minerals, fibre, protein, good fats, B and E vitamins, and complex carbohydrates. The following recipes make use of the most popular grains in the world–rice and wheat. If you are sensitive to wheat, keep in mind that you can choose healthful alternatives such as rye and spelt. Remember, too, to add a bit of fresh raw herbs and other raw ingredients after cooking to provide the live enzymes you need for good digestion.

Christel Gursche

Vegetable Risotto

Nutrient-rich brown rice is the whole rice kernel with only its hull removed. It has a nutty flavour and is high in vitamins B and E, iron and amino acids (the building blocks of protein). This dish goes well with grated parmesan cheese and a side of leafy greens. Serves two.

Valentine Soup

This heartwarming soup is an excellent source of vitamins A, B and C.Nuts are your brain food and parsley supplies you with chlorophyll and iron.If you have a juicer, this soup is an ideal way to use up your carrot pulp. Serves two.

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