Happy Nutrition Month! I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to escape the last few weeks of winter and start off the month here in tropical Kauai. Spring is coming, and what better way to welcome a new season than to focus on eating fresh, wholesome and colourful foods.
This Hawaiian Rainbow Salad features fresh bell peppers, roasted butternut squash, pineapple, avocado, spinach, beets and chopped California prunes topped with home-made turkey balls!
Colourful plant-forward meals are a sure-fire way to get a full spectrum of micronutrients and antioxidants. I’m such a fan of adding fruit to salads to provide a natural source of sweetness, fibre and health benefits.
This salad features California prunes #ad @CAforprunes. It may seem like an unlikely pairing, but I promise the flavour is phenomenal. The prunes provide that sweet kick with a low glycemic index, meaning that they don’t spike your blood sugar. Going beyond flavour, prunes can support bone health, heart health, digestive health, immunity and healthy aging. Prunes are well known for their digestive benefits, but research shows that eating just one daily serving of 5-6 prunes helps to slow bone loss.
When it comes to bone health and osteoporosis prevention, it’s typically calcium and vitamin D that garner all the attention. However, prunes are very high in vitamin K and a source manganese which also play an important role in normal bone health. One serving is only 100 calories, which makes for a healthy portable snack, smoothie sweetener or salad topper. The options are endless!!
I was super excited to test out prunes in a smoothie bowl! I added 6 California prunes to 3/4 cup greek yogurt and blended it with 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, ¼ cup almond milk and a large handful of spinach to create the base to this smoothie bowl. The great thing about smoothie bowls is that you can decorate it with whatever fresh fruit, nuts or seeds you may have on hand. Here in Hawaii, it seemed only fitting that I add in some pineapple and cashews for a tropical flair!!
This superfood bowl was absolutely delicious and contained only natural sugars from the fruit and prunes. It also made for a perfect post-workout meal containing carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes such as calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Up until this point, I had somehwhat “forgot” about prunes as a natural sweetener and had been using medjool dates as the staple base for energy balls, baked goods and healthy desserts. However, I’m so happy that I’ve rediscovered prunes and will be introducing them into more sweet and savoury dishes in the near future. Stay tuned!!