February is heart month; and along with sporting as much red clothing as our wardrobes will allow, it is also important to prioritize heart health through the food we eat. Heart disease and stroke claims more women’s lives than breast cancer, yet most women don’t give their heart a second thought- unless of course it gets broken. Oftentimes we aren’t alerted to our heart health until something goes wrong; and some people don’t get a second chance at health. Which is why we should all, men and women alike, endeavor to eat to beat cardiovascular disease.
This delicious recipe loves our hearts and our taste buds; because if it doesn’t taste good, we aren’t going to eat it.
Shrimp is very low in fat, making it a favorable meal for those on a diet; and a mere 4 oz. serving contains 28% of our daily requirement for vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is crucial to our hearts because it keeps homocysteine levels in check; raised homocysteine levels are responsible for damaged arterial walls, leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Like many other sea dwellers, shrimp is high in cardio protective omega 3 fatty acids; which are necessary to reduce inflammation and for the prevention of blood clots. 4 oz. of shrimp provides 15% of our daily requirement of these protective fats.
Almonds are a favorite in my kitchen because they are delicate in flavor and extremely versatile. This wonder nut lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, therefore reducing heart disease risk; and contains natural plant sterols which reduces the amount of cholesterol in our blood- a result seen after only two weeks! A ¼ cup of almonds contains 25% of our daily requirement of magnesium; which is needed to block calcium deposits that cause blocked arteries and veins. Deficient magnesium levels increase free radical damage to our tickers- no good.
So you see why this recipe loves our hearts; but what about flavor? The coconut and almond creates a crispy crust that gives way to a meaty and delicious shrimp bite. By mixing coconut milk in with the egg, used in the breading process, the coconut flavor is through and through. These are delicious served alone; but even more enhanced when dipped in a simple mixture of chives, Greek yogurt, red chilies and salt.
Heart health has never tasted this good!
Coconut and Almond Crusted Shrimp
½ cup almonds
½ cup unsweetened, unrefined shredded coconut
½ tsp salt
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ cup coconut milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 375oc
In a blender (I use a Blendtec) combine the almonds, coconut, salt and chili flakes; buzz until the almonds are pulverized and everything is one cohesive mass.
In a bowl combine the egg and the coconut milk. Then line up the breading station in this order: flour, egg/coconut mixture, almond coconut mixture.
Bread the shrimp by coating in flour, then coating in the egg mixture and then coat in the coconut almond mixture. Once all the shrimp are coated, refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Bake for 10 minutes; then switch the oven to broil and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp red chili
1 tsp chives.