Of all the heart healthy desserts, this easy, delicious granita stands out above the rest! It’s made from ingredients that are scientifically proven to help improve your heart function.
Granita is just like a sorbet, except that to create the granita you do not need an ice cream maker, you only need a blender or food processor. The granita tastes great and is incredibly easy to make since there are only a couple of ingredients.
The first ingredient is hawthorn berry. Many herbalists consider hawthorn to be one of the finest heart tonics, being both restorative and nourishing to the heart. It has a tart taste. You can find dried hawthorn berries at your local food co-op or order them online here.
The second ingredient is blueberries which most would consider a common food. The combination of blueberry and hawthorn berry, along with a bit of honey makes this one of the most delightful heart healthy desserts!
There has been a great deal a research on the cardioprotective effects of both hawthorn and blueberry. One study in particular that includes both of the berries (1) shows that they are highly effective for several cardiovascular diseases. They lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides and help to prevent plaque build up in the arteries. Both berries are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
According to Harvard Medical School (2), it’s best to consume blueberries at least three times a week for heart benefits. Hawthorn berry should be taken for at least a few months. While hawthorn berries are very safe, you should consult your doctor or a qualified practitioner if you are on heart medication before consuming hawthorn on a regular basis.
- ½ cup dried hawthorn berries, slightly crushed
- 4 cups frozen blueberries
- Honey to taste, roughly 2 Tablespoons. You can substitute agave to make it vegan.
Hearth healthy desserts – Making Granita:
1) Make a strong hawthorn berry tea by placing the hawthorn berries in 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and let cool.
2) In a blender, puree blueberries, honey and hawthorn berry tea until smooth.
3) Enjoy right away or freeze for later use. Remove from freezer ½ hour before serving.
Note: For a slightly softer granita, replace the hawthorn berry tea with 1 Tablespoon hawthorn tincture in ½ cup of water. The alcohol in the tincture helps to keep the granita from freezing as solidly.
If you have any questions or comments about this post, be sure to leave them down below. To learn more about using herbal medicine and remedies, check out these online herbalism courses.
(1) Zhao CN, Meng X, Li Y, Li S, Liu Q, Tang GY, Li HB (2017). Fruits for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases, Nutrients, doi: 3390/nu9060598
(2) (2013). Eat blueberries and strawberries three times per week, Harvard Health Publishing