Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Sure, we've indulged a bit with some Valentine's desserts but I actually look for ways to incorporate more heart healthy options most of the time. The big New Year's resolutions are fine and there is something empowering about new beginnings. But in the long run, I've always found that small changes along the way make the biggest impact.
I did a little research online and then went shopping for two spreads, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Smart Balance Dairy Free Butter Spread and tried them both. Just spread on a slice of bread I preferred the taste of the Smart Balance. It just tasted fresher, somehow. But the true test was in cooking the dish so I made it twice with both spreads and Smart Balance won again. I found that it blended properly with the flour to give me a smooth white sauce and I got that good gratin flavor I was after. With less saturated fat, no trans fat and no cholesterol, it passes the heart healthy test around here. Enjoy!
1 Clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 Tablespoons Smart Balance spread
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 Cup low fat, low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 Cups low fat milk
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Large sweet potatoes
1/4 Cup seasoned breadcrumbs, for topping
2 Tablespoons Smart Balance spread, melted, for topping
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash the sweet potatoes but no need to peel them. Cut off the tips and use a mandoline to slice thinly. You can make this in one pan or 4 individual pans as I did. Layer a round of sweet potatoes followed by a spoonful of sauce and repeat until you've reached the top of the pan.
In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and melted Smart Balance spread then sprinkle evenly over each gratin dish. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until the topping is a light golden brown.
Smart Balance buttery spreads support healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range. Clinical research has proven that the right blend of fats may improve your cholesterol ratio when:
- At least 2/3 of your fat intake comes from these products or the Smart Balance Food Plan
- You limit total fat to about 30% of calories (65g per day)
- You limit saturated fat to 10% of calories (20g per day)
- You limit dietary cholesterol to average 300mg or less per day
- You avoid trans fat
- You exercise regularly
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smart Balance®. The opinions and text are all mine.