It’s not just fresh berries and apples that can help us meet our nutritional needs. Using dietary recall data from 25,590 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers reported in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that people who regularly ate dried fruits had better overall diet quality and higher intakes of certain nutrients that are typically underconsumed—like potassium and fiber—than those who didn’t eat dried fruit.
Even though daily calorie totals were slightly higher for dried-fruit eaters, mean body mass index, waist circumference and systolic blood pressure were lower for them than the other group. Most Americans do not get the recommended number of servings of fruit per day, so including shelf-stable dried fruit—such as the dried plums used in this coffee sauce to perk up a bowl of yogurt—can fill some nutritional gaps.
1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
20 dried plums (prunes), quartered (about 1 cup)
3 T honey
1 whole star anise
1/4 t cinnamon
1 t orange zest
1 t vanilla extract
3 cups plain Greek yogurt
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine coffee, plums, honey, star anise, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove plums from the pan. Simmer liquid, uncovered, over medium-high heat until reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Discard star anise and add plums back into sauce. Let cool before serving over yogurt.
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