It is always a great time to renew your commitment to healthy eating by introducing more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Many people wait until summer to get in shape for bathing suit season, but Gold Medalist and World Champion swimmer Natalie Coughlin stays fit and healthy year-round with a challenging workout regimen and a healthy diet that includes California Dried Plums.
“California Dried Plums are a nutrient powerhouse that help to promote good bone, heart and digestive health. They also support the immune system,” says Coughlin. A study led by Bernard P. Halloran, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, suggests that dried plums might even be effective in repairing bone loss.
California Dried Plums are a superfruit rich in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins, so Coughlin always keeps a bag handy for snacking on the go. As an avid cook, she knows that adding California Dried Plums to one of her favorite recipes, a salad of mixed greens, goat cheese and pecans, is an easy and delicious way to take advantage of the health benefits of dried plums in her diet. “I love to cook with dried plums because they are a healthy way to add flavor and key nutrients to both sweet and savory dishes,” says Coughlin.
Want to give your favorite recipes a healthy California Dried Plum makeover? Mix them into low-fat cream cheese to spread on your breakfast bagel, make moist, reduced-fat meatballs with dried plum purée, or try a whole grain salad with California Dried Plums.
Mesclun Salad with Dried Plums, Goat Cheese and Pecans
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
Salt and black pepper
8 cups mesclun lettuce
¾ cup (about 4½ ounces) quartered California Pitted Dried Plums
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ cup candied pecans
To make vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and shallot; season with salt and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, toss lettuce with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide among 4 salad plates; sprinkle each salad with 3 tablespoons dried plums, 2 tablespoons goat cheese and 2 tablespoons pecans.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 281 calories; 7 mg cholesterol; 19 g total fat; 4 g sat fat; 6 g mono fat; 1 g poly fat; 0 g trans fat; 134 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 528 mg potassium
For a video of this recipe, as well as other recipes featuring California Dried Plums, visit www.californiadriedplums.org.