Valentines Day means heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate, candy hearts with cute messages on them and even Teddy Bears holding a little stuffed red heart reading "I Love You". But did you know that February is also National Heart Month? Now is the time to start making small or big changes and getting into healthy habits for your heart and over all health.
While I was pregnant with my 4 and last baby I had signs of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that causes a sudden onset of high blood pressure. Luckily for me, it was a mild case and I didn't need to take anything for it. I've always been very healthy and so hardly ever saw a doctor. A year or so later, I started getting frequent, excruciating headaches and saw several doctors who all wanted to treat me for "migraine like" headaches and sent me off with migraine and narcotics prescriptions (the latter I never filled). One said they were stress headaches and gave me muscle relaxers. My blood pressure was high at the office visits but since I'd never had HBP before, they said it was high because I had such a bad headache.
It wasn't until I began lifting weights last year and was becoming very dizzy and nauseous during my workouts that I started randomly taking my blood pressure. I then realized that I now had very high blood pressure. I'm very lucky that I didn't have a stroke or cause some permanent damage as high as it was for as long as it had been going on! In fact, most often HBP does not cause any symptoms and so people don't even know they have it. It's called 'The Silent Killer' for that reason.
According to the Center of Disease Control
"Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why having your blood pressure checked regularly is important. It's easy to get your blood pressure checked. You can get screened at your doctor's office and drugstores or even check it yourself at home, using a home blood pressure monitor."
TIME 60 MINUTES YIELDS 2 *SMALL LOAFS
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted real butter
1/3 cup real Maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter for greasing pan or use disposable paper bread pans as I did here.
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (can also use strawberries, chocolate chips, nuts etc.)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a small 8x5 inch bread pan with coconut oil or butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit just on the bottom of pan.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with a cookie paddle attachment, mash the bananas. Add butter and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add Maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and salt, mix to combine. Add the flours and baking soda Mix on low until just combined.
Spoon the batter into prepared bread pan. Bake on 350F for 35-45 minutes (depending on altitude, your oven and type of pan using.) When a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean, remove bread from oven. Place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. If you used a metal pan, take a butter knife and carefully slide it around the edges of the pan to help loosen the bread. Carefully, turn the loaf over and place the bread on the wire rack to cool another 10-15 minutes.
Serves warm as is or with a small slab of real butter.
If you don't have buckwheat flour, substitute with equal amount of almond flour. Coconut flour is very absorbent so I wouldn't use more of that.
When baking gluten free breads it's best to stick with smaller loaf pans so as not to create dense bread. I like this pan or small, disposable ones like these or these.
As always, thank you for purchasing my recommended products through the links I provide or through Simply Healthy Family's store at the bottom of this blog and thereby supporting this site.
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American Heart Association