3 Heart-healthy recipes for National Cherry Month

February is American Heart Month and unfortunately, heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.

Registered Dietitian Tawnie Kroll joined us to talk about ways you can protect your heart, starting with breakfast!

Recipe #1: Tart Cherry Overnight Oats
Because February is also National Cherry Month, try adding delicious dried tart cherries to these easy overnight oats. These are Montmorency tart cherries - the American-grown variety - and unlike​ ​sweet cherries, ​ ​you can get these year-round as dried, frozen, canned or in juice form. One recent study​ ​found that Montmorency tart cherry juice helped lower blood pressure and LDL or 'bad' cholesterol. Other studies have shown that tart cherries​ ​help with​ ​exercise recovery, sleep and inflammation - so these truly are superfruits. This combination of the tart cherries with a source of soluble fiber, like oats also helps to lower cholesterol. Try folding them into a cherry smoothie for breakfast on the go.

Recipe #2:  Farro Grain Bowl with Cherries, Pecans and Roasted Vegetables
You can pack multiple heart-healthy foods into a grain bowl and build in delicious elements. I started with a grain base, like fiber-rich farro, then added in some greens like arugula, a veggie, like roasted butternut squash, and then I`ve sprinkled tart cherries and toasted pecans on top. Pecans are certified by the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food-- plus they add protein, fiber and good fat.

Recipe #3:  Tart Cherry Pecan Energy Bites
These Tart Cherry Pecan Energy Bites are heart smart and hassle free! With the combo of Super Fruit tart cherries and Super Nut Pecans you double the 'super' and they're scrumptious! Folding in some oats and dates, you can whip them up in under 10 minutes. They`re great to have on hand when you want a nutritious sweet treat or for a healthy re-fuel after the gym.

​You can check out delicious recipe ideas like these at KrollsKorner.com.

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