September is Cholesterol Awareness Month and there is no better time than right now to be reminded that maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important to heart health.
In fact, even a 1% reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease by 2-3%. As someone with a long family history of heart disease, finding ways to reduce my risk is a priority.
Thankfully, there is a heart-healthy oil that be can be used in baking and cooking as well as in marinades and salad dressings — Mazola Corn Oil. The Journal of Clinical Lipidology published a study that found that corn oil, like Mazola, can help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. And, the American Heart Association issued a presidential advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD) strongly advising people to replacing saturated fats, like those found in coconut oil, with polyunsaturated fats, like those found in corn oil. They cited studies which found that making such a change can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 30%.
Those are some impressive numbers!
Below, I’m sharing four of my favorite make-head recipes — one each for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack — that feature Mazola. Many of these recipes have become regulars in our dinner rotation and all get two big thumbs up from my family.
Breakfast: Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Start your day with a spiced pumpkin walnut muffin! This recipe is packed with heart-healthy ingredients like corn oil, canned pumpkin and walnuts. I love the subtle sweet flavor and how the muffins remind me of fall (even if it is 95 degrees in Birmingham!). Corn oil is ideal to use in baking recipes because it has a neutral flavor letting the taste of the food stand out.
Make a batch or two ahead and store on the counter in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Or, store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Lunch: Garlic Ginger Dressing and Dipping Sauce
Make-ahead lunches are my jam so finding a delicious Asian-inspired vinaigrette to accompany a fresh salad made my day. With cholesterol-blocking plant sterols, Mazola is a heart-healthy choice for salad dressings and marinades.
This Garlic Ginger Dressing incorporates rich flavors such as soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, fresh ginger and honey. Combine the ingredients in a Mason jar and store, sealed, in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use, give the jar a shake and then add to your favorite dish. It’s delicious drizzled over a salad and works equally well as a marinade for vegetables or flank steak.
Dinner: Spicy Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa
Marinating chicken in a large zip top bag is my number one meal prep tip. The process is quick, not messy and can be easily be done in the morning for dinner that evening or even up to a day or two ahead.
Because it has a high smoke point, I like using corn oil in this gilling recipe. In fact, Mazola performs well in a variety of cooking applications, including stir-frying, sautéing , grilling and even baking.
For this Spicy Grilled Chicken recipe, add the marinade to the bag, give it a quick shake to combine and then add the chicken. Next, zip up the bag then toss until the chicken is completely coated. Speaking from experience, make sure the bag is zipped before tossing (or giving to your child to toss!). Store the chicken and accompanying mango salsa in the fridge until you’re ready to grill.
Snack: Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Have you ever made homemade tortilla chips? It’s so easy and something we love doing at home.
To make these Cinnamon Chips, simply cut a tortilla into triangles using kitchen shears or a pizza wheel. Arrange the triangles on a baking sheet then brush with corn oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or if you’re wanting a savory chip, try cumin, chili powder and salt. The result is a crispy chip that tastes delicious when paired with fruit salsa.
Want more recipes to help lower cholesterol?
Are you ready to make the swap from your usual cooking oil and reap the cholesterol-lowering benefits of corn oil? If so, then be sure to check out a few more family-favorite, make-ahead recipes from Mazola: