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The Yankee Express

It’s never too late for heart-friendly ‘candy’


Did you miss your chance to try making candy hearts for Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry; it’s not too late. Although the holiday featuring hearts and flowers has passed, it’s still National Heart Month. 
In fact, in this month of heart health awareness, there’s no better time to make these dark chocolate cranberry crunch hearts. With only five simple ingredients, these treats are much better for your heart than most of the candy that you find on store shelves. And they taste just as good.
You’ve probably already heard that small amounts of dark chocolate can benefit your heart.   That’s because the cacao in dark chocolate has heart-healthy antioxidants. It also contains flavonoids, magnesium, iron, fiber, zinc and copper.
Grape-Nuts cereal, which was introduced in 1897 as a health food, is one of the healthiest cereals you can eat. In addition to being high in iron and several other nutrients, including protein, zinc, vitamin B6 and folate, it’s a great source of whole grains and dietary fiber. According to the American Heart Association, dietary fiber can lower your risks of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and it can lower your chance of having a stroke. And it recommends choosing whole grains over refined ones because they provide important nutrients.   

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Crunch Hearts


½ Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips
½ Cup of Grape-Nuts
¼ Cup of Dried Cranberries
1 Tbsp. of Light Olive Oil
1 tsp. Almond Extract

Pour the dark chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds.
Remove from the microwave, and stir in the olive oil and the almond extract.
Cover again, and microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds.
Remove and stir the mixture until it’s completely smooth.
Stir in the Grape-Nuts and the cranberries.
Pour and press the mixture into small heart candy molds. 
Let them become firm in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Gently pop them from the molds, and place them into candy or mini-cupcake liners. Enjoy! 

Even though you can make these treats throughout the year, they seem especially appropriate for National Heart Month. And eating healthier candy might be the first step in a series of healthier choices. Happy (healthier) candy making!

Contact Christine at [email protected]