High blood pressure doesn’t mean you need to relinquish your love of meringue.
The right nutrition, enough exercise and plenty of sleep are fundamentals for lowering high blood pressure. That doesn’t mean eating foods that taste like cardboard, running marathons or sleeping for a week!
As far as healthy eating goes, there are plenty ways to turn your favorite dishes into healthier, high-fiber, low-sodium versions. For example, substitute sugar with fruit; swap high-fat cereals with whole grain varieties adding dried or fresh fruit; and eat fresh salads with lower fat cheese tossed into the mix. The possibilities are endless. Of course, don’t forget your vegetables. What about desert you ask, sadly imagining a life without them? Try this one for your hypertension!
Cranberry Meringue Pie
Tailored for meringue lovers, this recipe takes a bit of preparation so just count it towards your daily exercise routine. It only contains 268 calories per serving, 8g fat; 80mg cholesterol; 46g carbohydrates; 32g added sugars; 4g protein; 3g fiber; 100mg sodium; and 133mg potassium.
- 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
- Prepare the crust: Stir flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir in oil and butter with a fork until well blended and crumbly (should look like wet sand). Press the dough with the back of a spoon into the bottom and up the sides of the ready pan. Bake the crust until it just begins to brown, about 20 minutes. (Keep the oven on for Step 4.)
- Prepare the filling: Meanwhile, combine cranberries and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until all cranberries are beginning to break down (5- 6 minutes). Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the juice. Whisk 3/4 cup sugar into the juice until combined. Whisk in whole egg and 3 egg yolks. Return the cranberry mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and vigorously, until it thickens and just starts to bubble as you are stirring (4-5 minutes). Pour the warm filling into the warm crust. Set aside while you prepare the meringue topping.
- The topping: Beat the 3 egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and pinch of salt and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Very slowly add 1/3 cup sugar, beating constantly, until mixture holds stiff, shiny peaks. Beat in vanilla. Spoon the meringue over the filling, then gently spread to the edges of the crust. Make peaks in the meringue with the back of a spoon or a small off-set spatula. Bake until the top is lightly browned (about 15 minutes). Cool the pie on a wire rack to room temperature, at least 3 hours, before serving.
- For the fluffiest meringue, set your eggs out at room temperature for about 15 minutes or submerge (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes before beating — egg whites at room temperature will gain more volume than cold whites.
- Bake with white whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pastry flour. Both provide the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Store in the freezer.