Fat-Free Dried Plum and Balsamic Salad Dressing-Only 50 Calories!

Summertime is salad time, but many salads that could be healthy are actually highly caloric when combined with fat-laden calorie bombs like blue cheese dressing or even the traditional 3-to-1 ratio of oil to vinegar in homemade salad dressings.The truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice taste in the name of saving calories. You can have a delicious, healthy and yes, fat-free salad dressing to pair with your favorite salad.Here’s how: by making this oil-free Dried Plum and Balsamic Vinaigrette, which has only 50 calories and zero fat. The kitchen is the best place to jump out of your comfort zone and whip up different salads to go with this dressing because no one is watching. So go on—experience the excitement by exploring new vegetables, herbs and seasonings that provide you the chance to take control of your diet and your health. Enjoy the way that you look and feel in the summertime by creating salads that are not only healthy but taste great, too.Local produce is abundant in summer, so take advantage of it and enjoy fresh and fabulous-tasting fruits and vegetables. Most of us fall short of eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but ramping up your fruit and vegetable intake can help every part of the body—from the inside and out! So serve your next fresh, crisp salad with a variety of vegetables, topped with this light and sweet dried plum dressing.The base of the dressing is dried plum, which aids with constipation. There is also strong scientific research that suggests dried plums are able to prevent and reverse bone loss. One study in particular examined the effect in postmenopausal women and found that those who consumed dried plums had higher bone mineral density, compared to dried apple eaters. While postmenopausal women, who are particularly at risk of bone loss, may benefit from tossing a salad in this prune dressing, this is a healthy option for everyone.You can easily adapt this recipe with figs, raisins, currents, cherries and other such fruits. Hope you like it because I’m thrilled to share it with you!Fat-Free Dried Plum and Balsamic Dressing RecipeMakes 8 servings (serving size: 1.5 tablespoon)Ingredients:6 dried plums¾ cup water½ cup balsamic vinegar, 3 or 4 leaf qualities1 teaspoon garlic, minced½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon black pepperParsleyBasilDirections:Place dried plums and water in saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons of water remains. In a food processor, add plums-reduced liquid, pulsing to combine. Then add balsamic and remaining ingredients, pulsing until smooth.Brigid Titgemeier, nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, contributed to this article.

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