Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate our love or regard for friends, neighbors, relatives, and schoolmates with flowers and various beautiful creations all coming from an unnamed source.
A valentine from The Epoch Times Health section is a healthful-for-the-heart candy recipe. It is not difficult to make until it comes to coating the pieces with chocolate.
Here’s why the ingredients may be good for your heart:
Unrefined, virgin coconut oil and butter were used instead of butter and vegetable shortening. If the coconut oil were hydrogenated as in non-dairy creamers, it would be a trans fat—definitely a bad actor—increasing LDL and preventing the body from using HDL.
Unrefined virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, keeps the blood from clumping, increases HDL, and improves absorption of calcium and magnesium, both necessary for healthy regulation of the heartbeat.
Butter has an anti-stiffness factor that prevents hardening of the arteries. It contains lecithin, which is essential for the metabolism of cholesterol, and has Activator X, which helps the absorption of minerals, and is anti-inflammatory for the heart. Butter is better if made from raw, organic cream, but raw butter is difficult find.
Powdered sugar or sugar of any kind raises insulin, increasing fat storage and triglycerides in the blood. Both have been linked to heart disease. The sugar amount in the recipe has been cut in half. Stevia has been added instead to keep the sweetness without adding calories.
Egg white is high in protein and low in cholesterol (for those who care). It contains B vitamins and including B12, which is hard to get outside of meat, and folate required by the heart.
Last comes the chocolate with its compliment of environmental-toxin eliminators called flavons. These give chocolate its strong flavor and are refined out in steps, reducing the percentage of dark chocolate as they are taken out. Flavons help our immune system by eliminating free radicals that increase LDL, which coats arteries.
Our friends might not care what kind of chocolates we give, as it is our hearts, our kindness, and our compassion they value. However, making something from fine ingredients shows how much we value them.
Woodson Merrell, M.D., an integrative physician, found in a study published in the February 2010 Journal of Circulation that people with many friends had lower blood pressure. He said: “Many valid arguments regarding stress reduction and decreased risk for heart attack can be made to explain the relationship between friends and heart health that’s been teased out by this innovative study.
“But I like to think of it in terms of our friends being those to whom we give our hearts for safekeeping. It’s nice that the biology proves this to be true.”
Recipe for Coconut-Patty Hearts
1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1/4 stick butter + 4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg white from free-range-chicken egg
1 1/2 cups unsweetened organic shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 squares unsweetened chocolate, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Keep tasting when adding sugar and stevia. Remember stevia can be 300 times sweeter than sugar.
1. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch of water and set it over medium heat to simmer.
2. In a bowl that fits snugly on top of your saucepan, combine the powdered sugar, (stevia), butter, (coconut oil), and egg white, and whisk together. Place the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water, and continue to heat and stir until the mixture is well-combined and very runny, about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the coconut, vanilla, and coconut extract. (I made heart shapes and patties from one rounded tablespoon each of the mixture before freezing.) Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate (freeze) until it is firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours.
4. Melt chocolate and oil. Devise a way to coat hearts and patties without getting chocolate all over. (A long pair of forceps?)
Coating with melted chocolate takes knowledge, ingenuity, and skill that I have not yet attained—see photo.