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High cholesterol: Three heart-healthy desserts to help keep cholesterol levels…

by Ace Damon

England Public Health reported that six out of ten British adults have high cholesterol. This can result in too much saturated fat in the diet – found in butter and cream. But that does not mean that dessert is off the menu.

Top chef Milli Taylor created cholesterol-friendly desserts in which you can sink your teeth.

The first tasty treat is banana bread with chocolate and nuts. “This recipe is certainly more bread than cake,” began Taylor.

She added this recipe “benefits from a little extra spread of Benecol by serving a slice”.

Taylor continued, “I cut out any refined sugar and just use the natural sweetness of dates, vanilla and the ripe bananas themselves.”

Banana bread with chocolate and nuts

What do you need

  • A 2lb loaf of bread
  • 140g Medjool pitted and chopped dates (approximately eight dates)
  • Two very ripe bananas (160g chopped weight)
  • A tablespoon of vanilla paste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Two medium eggs
  • 70g 66% cocoa in pieces of chocolate
  • 80g of nuts
  • 170g of wheat flour
  • One teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g of Benecol “Amanteigado” spread, plus extra to serve
  • Preheat the oven on the 160c fan (180c convection oven).

Method

1. Add the chopped dates and 150 ml of water to a small saucepan and cook for a few minutes, until the dates soften and become a thick puree.

2. Beat the bananas, vanilla paste and chilled dates in a blender.

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7. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cooling properly on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing and spreading with a little more Benecol to serve.

Continuing the cholesterol-favoring effort, Taylor substitutes regular butter for Benecol Buttery, to lower cholesterol.

Scones (makes eight to nine)

What do you need

  • A two-inch cookie cutter
  • 165g of wheat flour, plus more to sprinkle the board
  • Small pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g Buttermilk spread from the fridge
  • One tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of refined sugar
  • Two original Benecol yogurt drinks
  • Two tablespoons of milk or herbal milk
  • Five strawberries or a few teaspoons of low-sugar jam
  • Extra Benecol buttery to spread or low fat soft cheese / quark
  • Preheat the oven on the 200c fan (220c convection).

Method

1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl, then rub the cold Benecol spread with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.

2. Start to pour the yogurts one by one and work each one with the cutting movement of a dinner knife until it just joins; it is important not to mix too much to obtain light scones.

3. Lightly clean the work surface with flour and turn the dough over it. Sprinkle a little more flour over the dough and start to flatten it gently with your hand or rolling pin, keeping the height about 2.5 cm.

4. Stamp your scones and place them on a non-stick baking sheet; you can make the last cookie with the remaining pieces of dough together.

5. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.

6. Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, then cut in half and cover each muffin with more benecol butter or low-fat soft cheese, such as quark or ricotta, and 1/2 teaspoon low jelly sugar or a few slices of strawberry.

Taylor also gave her a cholesterol-friendly way of baking brownies. “These brownies replace flour with ground almonds for a more nutritious cake,” she said.

“It also allows for the caramel texture that you can lose when you don’t use as much sugar or eggs.”

Brownies (makes 20 bite size brownies)

Youre gonna need it

  • A 20x20cm square shape
  • 140g 60-70% solid cocoa chocolate plus 50g extra to decorate
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 140g Buttered Benecol
  • Two medium eggs
  • A teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • Two tablespoons of cocoa
  • 200g ground almonds
  • Two tablespoons of milk / vegetable milk
  • Half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • Preheat the oven on the 160c fan (180c convection oven).

Method

1. Melt 140g of chocolate in a double boiler and let it cool for 5 minutes.

2. Beat the sugar and Benecol together until they are soft, then add the eggs and beat again.

3. Mix the milk, vanilla and ground almonds and sift the salt, yeast and cocoa.

4. Fold the sifted ingredients and then the melted chocolate and pour into a lined tin and bake on the middle shelf for 22-24 minutes; there should still be a slight oscillation in the center.

5. If desired, chop the remaining chocolate into small pieces and spread it on the hot brownie to melt and harden.

6. After leaving the oven and cooling in the can, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

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