I’m working with a very talented and special friend of mine Anisha Anand from He”art”ful Earth Cuisine. She always has an abundance of healthy recipes and she has such an ability to combine ingredients I would have never thought to put together so who better to come up with a great one using plums? Anisha is a personal wellness chef and she strives to inspire and empower people to promote their health and wellness with food. Anisha, who studied Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at UCSF, has also completed the Nutritional Leadership program with Dr. Joshua Axe, and the Culinary Rx program with the Rouxbe Cooking School, in partnership with the Plantrician project. She is also a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (www.uspca.com). I am always so inpressed with the beautiful recipes she has on her website. More about how you can find Anisha and her great recipes at the end of the post today.
First I always love to know what the health benefits are of everything I’m consuming and a little bit about how to grow these yummies myself so here is a little bit about plums!
Plums are one of my favorite fruits and right up at the top of the healthy fruits list. The plum season goes from the months of May through October. There are several different varieties of plums that are grown which appears to give them such a long growing season but it is simply because different varieties ripen at different times with Japanese plums being the first to ripen and the European plums ripening closer to October. This year was the first year that our trees were loaded with plums. It was so nice to be able to go out and just pluck a couple of plums right off the tree for my breakfast in the mornings!
Plums have a “stone” pit in the middle and are closely related to peaches, nectarines and even almonds. The fruits are medium‑sized and range between 1 and 3 inches in diameter and tend to have more of an oval shape. The fruits peel is smooth and may have a tart taste and the flesh can range in color from white, yellow or purple depending on the variety. Plums have some amazing nutritional and health benefits. Here are a few of them:
I think when many of us think of prunes we may think of this benefit but just consuming fresh plums provide the same benefit. Not only do they contain the fiber but they also contain sorbitol and isatin which have been known to help regulate the digestive tract and get rid of constipation.
Plums are loaded with antioxidants, which help to rid the body of the substances called free radicals that plays a major role in precipitating illness in our bodies. Some of the antioxidants they contain are lutein, cryptoxanthin and zea‑zanthin which is very helpful for the retina of the eye and its ability to protect itself from the UV rays our eyes are exposed to daily.
Iron Absorption and Vitamin C
Plums have been proven to help the body absorb iron which could be related to the fact that they are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system, healthy blood vessels and arteries and also great for anyone suffering any sort of arthritis. This is one of the reasons that consuming more vegetable and fruits high in Vitamin C are better for the body overall and may reduce risks of heart disease and strokes.
If you enjoy growing your own fruit trees, plums might be a fruit you would like to give a try. First you will need to make sure you are growing a variety that will do well in your particular climate. As we talked about earlier there are many different varieties so do a bit of research for your area. The three categories are the European, which work in most climates in the U.S. The Japanese which seem to grow very well in close proximity to peach trees and then the Damson which grows in a variety of places around the U.S as well and tends to be more of a self pollinating plum. Plum trees should be planted in a well drained soil that is located in full sun. This year we had our first crop! It was quite abundant so I was able to make some things with the plums to preserve them such as making fruit leather for a great healthy snack!
Now onto Anisha’s nutrient packed plum chicken recipe! Enjoy!
Anisha says, “When I cook I usually seem to think savory. I don’t end up cooking or baking a lot of sweet dishes or desserts and I don’t even use a lot of fruit in my recipes. With plums I thought of Moroccan style food with a mix of maybe Asian flavors too and viola here is what I came up with. This chicken is sweet, spicy, savory, hot, tangy and sour all at the same time.. !!”
2 medium (organic pastured) chicken breasts
A few dashes or 2 table spoons coconut vinegar
A few dashes of coconut aminos
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 tsp. plus a few pinches of ground cumin
1/4 tsp plus a few pinches of paprika
a few dashes of cayenne‑ optional‑ only if you want to spice it up more
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 large shallot
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger finely chopped or grated
Avocado or neutral oil
generous amounts of fresh ground pepper‑ to offset the vinegar
5‑6 juicy plums
A few dashes of sherry wine‑ optional
Marinate chicken breast as strips for better flavor in 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon paprika, add salt to taste and plenty of black pepper, a few dashes of the coconut vinegar and coconut aminos. You can also use apple cider vinegar. Let the chicken marinate for 4‑6 hours if possible. Finely slice shallot and saute till soft in the oil, add garlic, ginger, extra spices and cayenne, cook well till garlic is fragrant, then add 4 of the plums diced or sliced, cook till plums are partially cooked through. At this time you may add the sherry wine and cook till it dries off. Then add the chicken and cook till chicken is done. Serve hot with steamed quinoa and fresh plum slices!
Anisha says, “I like to get organic and pastured or at least organic when possible. This recipe was made with Katerra Exotics (https://www.katerraexotics.com/) chicken breasts. For all my Houston friends: you can get local pastured meats at Katerra Exotics and also you can get whole pastured chickens, turkeys and more at Whitehurst Heritage Farms http://www.whitehurstfarm.com/.There’s nothing like pastured chickens. My friend Trisha also raised chickens at her homestead! I have so much to learn from her!”
If you are looking for some pastured meat for sale near Free Range Home in Middle Tennessee check out: https://hillfamilyfarm.wordpress.com/ They are an awesome family to work with.
If you would like to learn more from Anisha check out her beautiful website at: https://heartfulearthcuisine.wordpress.com/
Her social media sites are: https://www.pinterest.com/HeartfulCuisine/