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10 Mediterranean Recipes to Promote Graceful Aging

Yes, the fountain of youth just might be gushing olive oil. A recent study published in the medical journal "BMJ" showed that the Mediterranean diet (lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, olive oil, and fish; very little dairy, meat, and saturated fats; and a regular glass of wine with meals) boasts anti-aging benefits on top of its often lauded heart-healthy appeal. Here, we've compiled a day's worth of Mediterranean-friendly recipes from "Clean Slate," our newest book for healthy, delicious whole-foods meals.

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Photography by: Johny Miller

Start the day with figs, honey, and yogurt, long considered some of the Mediterranean region’s most luscious exports. Use dried figs in the off-season, and try adding antioxidant-rich pistachios and a dash of blood-sugar-balancing cinnamon for extra benefits.

 

Get the Honey-Caramelized Figs and Yogurt Recipe

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Savory lovers can breakfast on steamed salmon -- a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids that has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties. Avocado is high in compounds and fiber that can support liver detoxification, aid digestion, and improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. (And yes, this also makes a great lunch.)

 

Get the Steamed Salmon with Avocado Recipe

An almond-date smoothie makes an energizing snack or light breakfast. High in vitamin E and healthy fats, almonds also help facilitate healthy digestion to reduce stress on the body.

 

Get the Almond-Date Smoothie Recipe

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Ready for lunch? Whole grains such as farro and bulgur make a tasty backdrop for tabbouleh -- and they’re packed with insoluble fiber, which aids the digestive process. If you have gluten sensitivities, sub a gluten-free grain such as quinoa instead.

 

Get the Pomegranate-Bulgur Salad Recipe

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Photography by: Christopher Baker

This succulent salad, which pairs roasted peppers and carrots with detoxifying citrus and heart-healthy hazelnuts, is nutritious without an ounce of green. Take roasted peppers on a savory flavor trip with anchovy-marinated white beans -- if omega-3s aren’t enough to compel you, the umami factor should be.

 

Get the Roasted Sweet Peppers and Carrots with Orange and Hazelnuts Recipe

 

See More Anti-Aging Recipes in "Clean Slate"

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Instead of hummus, try a minted pea dip that will make your chickpeas green with envy. Mint contains volatile oils that relax the stomach muscles to relieve any post-lunch indigestion.

 

Get the Minty Pea Dip Recipe

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Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Any dried fruit and nut can be used to make these sesame-studded energy balls. Get the most bang for your Mediterranean bite with a combination of apricots, Medjool dates, almonds, and walnuts -- one of the only sources of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 that reduces inflammation.

 

Get the Dried Fruit and Nut Bites Recipe

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Photography by: John Kernick

And for dinner? You know and love spaghetti -- but what about pasta con le sarde, a heart-healthy Sicilian classic? We’ve added fennel and celery, both natural diuretics that help remove toxic substances from the body.

 

Get the Caramelized Fennel, Celery, and Sardine Pasta Recipe

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Photography by: Johnny Miller

Skip the spanakopita and try this vegetarian tart, which sets spicy sauteed spinach against an olive-oil cracker crust. Olive oil has strong concentrations of polyphenols, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

Get the Spinach Tart with Olive-Oil Cracker Crust Recipe

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Finally, feed your Nutella tooth with dark chocolate-hazelnut bark. With or without the orange zest, you’ll get plenty of vitamin E, folate, and antioxidants to spare.

 

Get the Chocolate, Orange, and Hazelnut Bark Recipe

See More Anti-Aging Recipes in "Clean Slate"

 

Which Mediterranean-inspired recipes will you try?

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