Bruschetta, strawberries and a dash of mascarpone ― dessert the hypertension way.

High blood pressure or not, no meal is completely complete without a delicious dessert to round it off. Recipes don’t need to be extremely complicated to make them healthy either. Here is one that uses mascarpone cheese, which is far less in fat than butter; brown instead of white sugar and whole-wheat bread. It also uses strawberries, which are a good source of potassium. According to the DASH study (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension), potassium helps counter the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. A single serving of strawberries provides 170 mg of potassium or five percent of the daily value (3,500 mg) of potassium.

Strawberry Bruschetta

(serves 4)

Ingredients

    • 4 thick slices whole-wheat bread
    • 3 cups sliced or diced hulled strawberries
    • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, (Italian cream cheese)
    • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preparation

    • Toast bread in a toaster.
    • Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over a high heat. Add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook while stirring, until sugar melts and mixture begins to bubble (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Add strawberries and stir until juices begin to ooze and the berries are heated through (another 30 seconds to 1 minute).
    • Spread 1 tablespoon mascarpone on each piece of toast. Top with the warm berries.

The sauce (Step 2) can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, covered, refrigerated and then reheated for about 1 minute on high in the microwave. Or freeze it for up to 1 month, defrost and microwave.

 

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