February is National Heart Month
February is National Heart Month and Idaho is bursting with heart-healthy products that you can incorporate into your diet to support your cardiovascular system. With only a little bit of planning, you can create healthy menus with nutritious, local foods.
Follow our easy guide to learn how to add cardiovascular-healthy Idaho cuisine to your diet and give your heart some LOVE!
Teff is a low-glycemic grain that is hyper-rich in health benefits. This heart-loving superfood is gluten-free, high in protein and calcium. A cup of cooked teff offers 123 mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach! It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and iron— nutrients not commonly found in grains. Teff, commonly grown in Ethiopia, is grown right here in Idaho by The Teff Company. For more information on The Teff Company and their products visit www.teffco.com. Teff grain, flour and other products can also be found at your local retail and specialty food stores.
Breads made with whole grains, flaxseed and oats are also good for your cardiovascular system. Choose whole-grain loaves from Zeppole, Alpicella and Great Harvest Bread. Looking for a special treat? Try Zeppole Morning Glory Muffins that can be found at their bakery, Whole Foods Market and other coffee shops and cafes around Boise.
Idaho is the second largest producer of barley in the nation. While most of the barley we grow is malted and used for making beer, you can still find Idaho pearled barley at some grocery stores or online. Barley is a healthy addition to soups, stews and salads. Kauffman Farms located in Filer, Idaho makes a great “Hearty Barley” soup mix. To order their products visit www.kauffmanfarm.com/products. You can find other great barley recipes on the Idaho Barley Commission website.
Grains & Seeds
Ground flaxseed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It can easily be added to your morning cereal, homemade muffins and yogurt parfaits. Idaho Preferred member, Snake River Seed, has been growing and harvesting flaxseed in Rupert, Idaho since 1974. You can find their golden, ground flaxseed through Idaho’s Bounty, at the Boise Co-Op or at Whole Foods Market.
Oats and other whole grains are also good for your heart health. Oats are high in fiber and very versatile. Harvest Ridge Organics produces several products using whole grains and oats that are grown on their farm near Lewiston, Idaho. Harvest Ridge now produces organic oats that are available whole, steel-cut or flaked. For more information on their products visit the Harvest Ridge Organics website. Online ordering is coming soon but until then you can find them at the Lewiston and Moscow Farmers Markets and the Moscow Food Co-Op.
Legumes, including beans and lentils, are another healthy addition to your diet. Beans and lentils are not only a lean vegetable protein and high in fiber, but also contain folate, magnesium and potassium. Idaho dried beans and lentils are available year-round and can be found in bulk and packaged at the Boise and Moscow Co-Ops and at you local farmers markets. Look for Zursun Idaho Heirloom beans and lentils packaged at the Boise Co-op and at Whole Foods market. Visit Zursun Idaho Heirloom Beans recipe page for tasty meal ideas and follow the Idaho Bean Commission on Facebook for other great recipes.