60,000 miles worth of highways. That’s the amount of mileage in your circulatory system including all those blood vessels, veins and arteries. Our bodies have these “roads” everywhere to connect everything- enough to circle the world twice! I find this unbelievable and amazing.
At the center of this circulatory system is the heart, which pumps enough blood and creates enough energy to actually push a truck 20 miles! While in no way could I actually physically push a truck that far, it’s hard to think that the energy our hearts produce can do such a thing. But what’s the latest research on how we can best protect this magnificent system? The good news is this: what we eat can help our arteries be clear, flexible and healthy. And that’s where heart-healthy foods, like 100% grape juice enter in.
While most of us know the heart-healthy benefits of salmon, oatmeal and olive oil, most of us don’t buy them as often as we could be buying them to protect our heart. And drinking red wine every single day, while it shows some heart health benefit, there is also a potential for harm.
So what’s a mom to do? How can we protect our hearts?
- It’s not about the cholesterol we eat, it’s about inflammation. Anything that damages the walls of our arteries is inflammation. That includes things like tobacco smoke, high blood pressure, stress, lack of sleep, obesity, high blood sugars and high triglyceride levels.
- What we eat can keep our arteries clear, flexible and healthy. Antioxidants, like those found in grapes, and vitamin C all offer protective benefits.
As a member of Welch’s Handpicked Bunch, I received samples of 100% White Grape Juice and I couldn’t wait to imagine a recipe. While I don’t normally buy this particular variety, I was surprised to learn that this juice is made with the entire white Niagra grape, skins, seeds and all, grown right here in North America. Every 8 ounce glass provides 120% of your vitamin C needs.
While drinking 100% juice is a great option for up-ing fruit intake for the day, I wanted to spice it up a bit and make a quick and easy stuffing that’s the perfect pairing to a grilled chicken breast or lean pork chop. Enter Grape and Walnut Stuffing.
You can have this recipe done in less than 15 minutes – while the meat is on the grill!
- 1-1/2 cups Welch's 100% White Grape Juice
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 4 cups shredded herb stuffing
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup halved grapes
- In a covered medium saucepan, bring juice and 2 tablespoons butter to boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile in a separate pan, sauté celery and onions in 2 tablespoons butter for 5 minutes.
- Once juice mixture is boiling, remove from heat and stir in stuffing mix, cranberries, cooked celery and onion. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts and grapes.
- Serve immediately.