This Spinach-Mango California Prunes Bowl is a fun, fresh, and springy gut-friendly recipe that you can enjoy all season long!
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with California Prunes. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.
Gut Health 101
Last year was a big year for “gut health” and 2020 continues that trend. More than ever, we’re identifying strong ties between a healthier gut and our total body wellness.
Let's break things down. The body is filled with trillions of bacteria, the majority of which live in the intestines. These are known as the gut microbiota. Our health is greatly impacted by this microbiota. This means, the food choices we make have a positive impact on the bacteria found there. A healthier gut is associated with reduced inflammation, improved immune function, and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. Much is still being learned about the role of gut microbiota and our health, but it’s no question that supporting a healthy gut is an important piece of the puzzle.
The Role of Food
We can play a direct role in our gut health by consuming a variety of pre-and-probiotic rich foods. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods including sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, and certain yogurts. They enhance gut function by promoting a balance between the “good”/”bad” bacteria, supporting a healthy immune system, and may even aid with weight loss. On the other hand, PREbiotics are the non-digestible fibers and particles that serve as fuel for probiotics. The gut bacteria breaks these prebiotics and promotes the growth of healthful bacteria in the gut. Some food sources of prebiotics include: Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, leeks, oats, garlic, onions, and California Prunes.
This Spinach-Mango California Prunes Bowl is a fun, fresh, gut-friendly recipe you can enjoy all season long! Prebiotic-rich prunes add sweetness and texture to this bright springy dish. Serve alongside grilled chicken or shrimp or enjoy all on its own! You are sure to love it.
Fresh is Best. If preparing ahead of time, store the salad components separate from the fruit and grains to reduce sogginess. Once prepared, salad will stay fresh and crunchy for up to a day. For a heartier green, swap spinach out for shredded kale or romaine.
Infuse with Flavor. To add an extra level of flavor, cook rice in broth or stock and season with extra lime juice. For a tropical twist, add a few tablespoons of coconut milk to the mix. These will add that extra pop of flavor.
Seasonal Swaps. In the winter, swap mango out for apples, persimmons, or citrus. Toasted or glazed nuts also add an extra level of fun. For a warm lunch, cook quinoa immediately before serving and toss together fresh.
Spinach-Mango California Prunes Bowl
- 1 cup cooked tricolor quinoa
- 3 cups fresh spinach sliced into shreds
- 1 cup California Prunes sliced into halves
- 1 mango peeled and sliced
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tsp honey
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings per preference.
- Add salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss well. Enjoy immediately.
Looking for more ways to enjoy prunes? Check out our fun and tasty way to enjoy prunes, check out our recipe for a Sweet & Spicy California Prune Sauce!