Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian and host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger.” According to Ellie, creating a routine with foods you like is one of the most successful strategies for a long-term, healthful diet plan. And, with heart disease continuing to be the number one killer in America, being able to incorporate heart-healthy foods like cherries into almost any meal or snacktime makes it easy and enjoyable to protect your heart. Substitute any recipes you currently make with berries, from topping your cereal or salad with dried cherries, baking or making yogurt parfaits with frozen cherries. Or, substitute your regular juice by mixing cherry juice into a smoothie once a day.”
Here is one of Ellie’s heart-healthy and tasty cherry recipes, courtesy of the Cherry Marketing Institute. Enjoy!
Cherry Pecan Energy Bars
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
1 large egg, beaten to mix
1 large egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried cherries
½ cup finely chopped pecans
¼ cup “fruit only” apricot preserves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and pecans.
Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
clean, 30-35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 x 1 ½ inches each. Makes 12 servings
230 calories, 10 g total fat, 1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat, 34 g carbohydrate, 20 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 3 g fiber, 60 mg sodium
“Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition and health communications, and author of The Foods You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. She also is the host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger” and is a regular contributor to nutrition columns in major women’s and parenting magazines. Krieger says the homegrown advantage, coupled with powerful health benefits, make cherries “America’s Super Fruit.”
“Cherries offer some of the most important attributes people are seeking in their foods today. While exotic berries may be ‘trendy,’ as a chef and dietitian I choose cherries, an all-American favorite, because they deliver a powerful combination of good nutrition, local sourcing and environmental sustainability.”