by Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH
[Editor’s Note: You know that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain!]
How do you celebrate your dad on Father’s Day? 79.1 million people will celebrate dad with a barbeque. There are two ways to show dad how much you love him: One is by grilling up a bunch of marinated steaks, baked potatoes packed with butter and sour cream and a big sugary cake and ice cream for dessert. The second is to prepare a heart-healthy backyard feast using a reduced sugar and salt barbeque sauce recipe, chicken and shrimp instead of red meat, baked potatoes with non-fat sour cream and butter substitute, a hearty green salad with low fat dressing and fresh fruit or frozen yogurt for dessert.
[box type=”warning” align=”aligncenter” ]One way says, “Enjoy today, but there may not be a tomorrow;” and the other way says, “Dad, I love you and want you to be around for a long, long time.” Which message will you send to your dad this coming June?[/box]
If you’ve never thought about food as a token of love, you’re not alone. Generally, we don’t think about heart disease until it smacks us upside the head. From experience, I can tell you a heart attack is no fun and we can prevent 90% of all heart disease if we change the way we eat. Switch out red meat for white meat chicken or turkey breast, pork loin, fish or shrimp. Use low fat and low sugar sauces and dressings and stay away from the buttered biscuits, butter-drenched corn, and pies, cakes and ice cream desserts. Choose food that enhances the body and provides vitamins and nutrients instead of fats, sugars and salts. My website has more information for you about the care and maintenance of your heart health. www.HeartEasy.com
Here are a few recipes you can choose to start moving in the right direction for better heart health, not only for Dad, but for yourself, too.
Bottled condiments, like barbecue sauce, are famously high in sugar and sodium. A little sugar and spice is definitely necessary, but some of the store-bought brands get carried away. If you do shop for BBQ sauce, check labels for ingredients you recognize. It’s best to use these homemade versions to add sizzle to chops, chicken, fish and veggies at your next cookout. The best part? You control the ingredients. You can make them ahead and refrigerate.
Quick Draw BBQ Sauce
This sauce is delicious and fast. That’s why I called it Quick Draw! Make it and enjoy it in less than ten minutes if you chop fast.
Non fat Canola spray
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cup honey
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Spray a pan with non-fat spray. Sauté onion and garlic about 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in vinegar, water, and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. You can store this in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. Perfect make-ahead recipe.
Easy Honey Mustard Barbeque Sauce
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine the honey, mustard and vinegar in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce completely without burning. Cool and then transfer barbecue sauce to a jar. Store for a week to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Peachy Mustard Barbeque Sauce
2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil, such as grape seed, canola or avocado
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons low sodium tomato paste
1 slightly heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
2 cups low sodium ketchup
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/8 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons English-style dried mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, allspice, and cloves and cook, stirring, until paste is dark red, about 3 minutes. Add the ketchup, water, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, black pepper, and bay leaf. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the flavors come together, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf before using. This will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Apricot Julep BBQ Sauce
3 tablespoons butter substitute (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light, or Smart Balance Light)
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup low sugar apricot jam or low sugar preserves
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Melt the butter substitute in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until almost completely reduced and the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 minutes. Whisk in both mustards and the jam or preserves. Simmer, whisking, until jam melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon* and salt.
*The bourbon is added at the end—uncooked—to give a kick to the sauce. This blend goes well with pork but is also a good finisher for chicken or shrimp.
The best news of all is that this Father’s Day you could be one of the 79.1 million people who choose heart health and long life for your entire family.