Day Seven – Vegetables The Heart Healthy Foods & Recipe

“Even in this high-tech age, the low-tech plant continues to be the key to nutrition and health,”

– Jack Weatherford

You’ve probably heard the phrase “heart healthy foods” before but what does that really mean?

Today we’re talking about vegetables and why they’re considered a heart healthy food!

The biggest reason that veggies are considered a heart healthy food is because the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they contain. These things are what keeps our body running at optimum levels which means there’s less chance of heart disease. (Heart disease, by the way, is a blanket term for a number of different cardiovascular problems – not just one specific disease.) 

So if we want our hearts to stay healthy – and we’re all here for just that reason – lets load it up with some vegetables! Here’s an easy veggie packed meal to make your heart AND stomach happy!

Blender Gazpacho

Gazpacho

  • 4 large tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cored and quartered
  • 2 slices country white bread, crust removed if desired, torn into pieces
  • 1cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Croutons

  • 3 slices country white bread
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme

Directions

Step 1

To prepare gazpacho: Working in two batches, puree tomatoes, bread, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Step 2

To prepare croutons: Rub both sides of each slice of bread with garlic, then cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes.

Step 3

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and cook, stirring often, until crispy. Sprinkle with pepper, salt and thyme. Serve the gazpacho garnished with the croutons.

– Spark Your Heart Mini-Challenge: What’s your favourite vegetable packed thing to eat?