Hartford HealthCare’s Community Health team is making the rounds in eastern Connecticut, teaching residents of elderly housing complexes how to make heart-healthy snacks.
The community health nurse also provides a free blood pressure check.
Community Health Nurse Michele Brezniak and East Region Dietician Shannon Haynes were at Stonington Arms recently. They taught a roomful of residents how to make healthy smoothies and avocado hummus.
Stonington Arms is a HUD-funded complex for ages 62 and older.
“It’s really nice to be able to have everyone together for a health-related program,” said Resident Services Coordinator Deborah Mansfield.
Resident Lee DeSa, 78, said she attended more for the blood pressure check than the recipes. But she found the avocado hummus surprisingly delicious.
Super Green Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 large banana
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach, or 1-2 handfuls
1/2 avocado, with pit and skin removed
1 cup diced frozen mangos or pineapples
1/2 chopped, fresh apple with skins removed
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1. In blender or food processor, place in ingredients as listed in above order. Puree for 2-3 minutes, until all ingredients are pureed smooth and there are no large chunks remaining.
2. Serve right away. Remaining smoothie can be saved for about 24 hours, however it should be covered completely as it will brown quickly on top due to the avocado. Smoothie can also be poured into popsicle molds and frozen.
* This recipe was written and developed by Shannon D’Aquila Haynes RD, CD-N.
2 cups garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water or liquid from garbanzo beans
lime juice from one lime
Slice your avocado is half and remove the pit.* Scoop the fruit from the shell with a spoon.
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or a food processor until smooth. If necessary drizzle in additional small amounts of olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency.
Put in a bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes if desired. Serve with homemade tortilla chips and cut vegetables.
* This is best served and eaten within 1 day. The lime juice keeps it from turning brown within that first day. To keep it fresh-looking longer, save the pits from the avocados and place them inside the hummus. When ready to serve remove the pits.
Elissa Bass is a former writer and editor at The Day.