Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal! My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.
Natural Weight Loss
No Washing or Chopping Needed
Some nutrients, like fiber and vitamins C and B, may be a bit lower in preserved produce, but other nutrients may be even higher.
For example, the antioxidant lycopene is even higher in canned tomatoes.
During canning, fruits and vegetables are heated, which can increase the availability of certain nutrients in some plants, like tomatoes, because the cell walls in the plant are disrupted, releasing the nutrients to be absorbed more easily.
It’s easy to see why you should rely on preserved produce when you consider their nutrition, ripe flavor, ease of use, and economical price.
Stock your pantry with canned unsalted beans, tomatoes, peaches, pineapple, and corn to add to soups, salads, side dishes, fruit desserts, and main dishes.
Gather a selection of dried, unsweetened fruits like berries, pears, raisins, figs, and dates for snacks, baking, and cereal toppings.
Try dried tomatoes and mushrooms as flavor enhancers.
Fill your freezer with frozen, unsweetened fruits for smoothies and cereal and yogurt toppings, as well as vegetables like edamame, green beans, spinach, and peas for salads, soups, and side dishes.
Best of all, these preserved fruits and vegetables are simple to use – no washing or chopping required.
Recipe of the Day: Fig Oat Bars
Active Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 40 minutes
A perfect treat for lunch boxes, this rich, gooey fig bar is packed with whole grain, nut, and fruit goodness.
And since it relies on preserved foods, like dried fruits, you can keep these ingredients on hand to whip up this dessert in minutes.
It’s great served warm with a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly day.
Plus, it’s packed with health-protective fiber and phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin – the thing responsible for the purple-black color in figs and linked to benefits like brain health.
Makes 16 servings (one 2×2″ square each)
4 ounces dried figs
2/3 cup water
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk
2 tablespoon maple syrup
Zest of 1 small lemon
*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.
1. Place the figs in a small pot with water and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and leave the figs in the pot, covered, to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Meanwhile, mix the white whole wheat flour, almond flour, oats, almonds, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Stir in the olive oil, plant-based milk, and maple syrup to make a dough.
4. Place the figs with their liquid and the lemon zest into a blender and process into a thick paste. Pause to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
5. Pat about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the dish. Spread the fig paste on top. Scatter the remaining dough over it in small crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then slice into 16 squares. Serve immediately.
Note: Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Variation: Substitute raisins, prunes, or dried apricots for figs, or use a combination. To make this gluten-free, substitute an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour) for the white whole wheat flour and make sure all other ingredients are gluten-free.
Per serving: 135 calories, 6 g total fat (0.5 g saturated), 6 mg sodium, 20 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugar), 5 g fiber, 3 g protein.
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Dick and Lenay
from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN