This holiday season, there will be lots of opportunities to munch on treats that are a little less than heart-healthy. Between holiday parties and gatherings with family, the temptation to indulge will be strong, but there are ways to resist and still enjoy the fun. Your heart doctor will thank you!

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to de-stress, so don’t feel bad about turning down any invitations that will overburden you. When you do venture out to holiday parties, focus on mindful eating and snacking. In other words, don’t munch just because the food is there. Take stock on everything and allow yourself to either choose the healthier items or do overdo it.

When hosting a holiday party or family gathering, take advantage of your chance to serve what you will enjoy. Take it from the best cardiologists in Houston – eating heart-healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Check out these delicious and nutritious ideas!

Christmas Morning Waffles

Try these multi-grain delights to please your entire family after opening presents together. They are made heartier by incorporating oatmeal and whole wheat flour.

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Let the buttermilk soak with the oats for 15 minutes, mix in the wet ingredients, and then add all of that to the dry ingredients. Cook until waffles are crisp and golden brown.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Add a punch of vitamin A to your holiday table with this healthier take on sweet potatoes. The maple gives it a hint of sweetness.

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a 9 X 13 dish, cover with sauce mixture, and bake for an hour total.

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast

Pot roasts are a great choice for holiday meals, but many recipes call for prepackaged spices that contain a lot of hidden ingredients that aren’t great for heart health. Control exactly what goes into your recipe and get great taste with this delicious recipe.

1 4-pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)

Season beef with salt and pepper and brown for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and then soften the onions. Add the garlic and thyme. Stir in coffee and vinegar and simmer, then return beef to the pot. Cover and braise in the oven until tender, for about 3 hours at 300 degrees. Enjoy! Vital Heart and Vein are your heart specialists in Houston who want our patients to have a happy and healthy holiday season. If you need a cardiologist in Humble, or Pearland, TX, please give us a call!