HEALTHY CALCIUM-RICH RECIPES FOR STRONG BONES

Healthy Calcium-Rich Recipes for Strong Bones

It’s important to have good bone health no matter what age. However, once you reach your 40s, bone density loss becomes a more pressing concern. If you want to reduce your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis, it’s important to have a healthy diet that’s rich in calcium and other essential nutrients. To kickstart your journey towards good bone health, I’ve come up with healthy calcium-rich recipes for strong bones.

RECIPES FOR STRONG BONES THAT THE AGING BODY NEEDS

1. KALE AND EDAMAME DUMPLINGS

This list of healthy calcium-rich recipes for strong bones begins with this recipe for kale and edamame dumplings. Apart from being rich in calcium, kale and edamame are good sources of protein, fibre, folate, vitamin K and other essential nutrients. Thus, incorporating these kale and edamame dumplings into your meal plan gives you a good balance of nutrients that keep your bones healthy and strong.

Ingredients:

  • 15 wonton wrappers
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 cups kale, lightly steamed
  • 1 cup edamame beans, steamed
  • 1 1/4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • salt and pepper, as needed

Directions:

  1. Add garlic, green onions, kale, edamame, 1 tbsp maple syrup, tahini, lemon juice, tamari, salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture has a chunky texture.
  2. Place 1 tbsp of the dumpling filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Use water to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and lightly press down on the edges to create small folds. Repeat step for the rest of the dumpling filling and wonton wrappers.
  3. Steam the dumplings for three to five minutes. Set aside.
  4. Place tamari, 1/4 tbsp maple syrup, chipotle powder and rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients. Transfer to a small serving bowl.
  5. Put kale and edamame dumplings on a platter. Serve alongside the dipping sauce.

2. BROCCOLI, WHITE BEAN AND CHEDDAR SOUP

You can keep your bones strong and healthy with this broccoli, white bean and cheddar soup. The main ingredients in this soup are excellent sources of calcium — making this delicious, flavourful dish one of our healthy recipes for strong bones. Broccoli, white bean and cheese are also packed with other essential nutrients that can improve your overall health.

Ingredients:

  • 454g broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 (390g) can low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (390g) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Place vegetable broth and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add broccoli to the pan. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until tender.
  3. Stir in cannellini beans, salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or until beans are heated through.
  4. Place mixture and cheddar cheese in a blender. Pulse until you have a purée.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

3. SPICY MOZZARELLA EGGPLANTS WITH GREEN BEANS AND CHICKPEAS

Spicy mozzarella eggplants with green beans and chickpeas is a delicious and satisfying dish. As a calcium-rich recipes for strong bones, it features healthy ingredients that can improve your bone health.

Apart from a good dose of calcium, you’ll also benefit from the other important nutrients found in eggplants, mozzarella cheese, green beans and chickpeas.

Ingredients:

  • 175g green beans
  • 25g panko breadcrumbs
  • 25g fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 eggplants, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 (400g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, roughly torn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut a crosshatch pattern on the eggplant flesh without cutting all the way through.
  3. Place eggplant, chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and salt in a roasting pan. Gently toss to combine the ingredients. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Reduce oven heat to 200 degrees Celsius.
  5. Add green beans to the pan. Add more olive oil if needed. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  6. Place mozzarella pieces, a pinch of sea salt, breadcrumbs and 1/2 chilli on top of the eggplant flesh. Roast 30 more minutes or until eggplant flesh is soft and the topping is crisp.
  7. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle chilli and parsley on top. Serve.

4. VEGETABLE AND TOFU STIR FRY

My list of calcium-rich recipes for strong bones includes this vegetable and tofu stir fry. Since tofu is made with calcium sulphate, you’ll be able to increase your calcium intake with this healthy and delicious dish. The vegetables also ensure that you consume a variety of nutrients, which are needed for good bone health as well as to improve your overall health.

Ingredients:

  • 450g extra-firm tofu
  • 100g baby corn, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Press tofu for 15 minutes to remove water. Slice into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Fry, occasionally turning the tofu for two to three minutes or until brown on all sides.
  3. Stir in corn, carrot, spring onion and bell pepper. Fry for one minute.
  4. Add hoisin, soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion flakes and cayenne pepper to the pan. Stir and fry until the vegetables are soft and evenly covered in the sauce.
  5. Transfer to a platter. Serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice or your preferred side dish.

5. SALMON COUSCOUS

Apart from calcium, healthy recipes for strong bones should also have other important nutrients such as vitamin D — which helps the body absorb calcium. You’ll get both with canned salmon.

Similar to fresh salmon, it’s also an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. So, if you want to keep your bones strong and healthy and improve your overall health, try this recipe for salmon couscous.

Ingredients:

  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 2 (280g) cans salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (340g) can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract

Directions:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and stir. Cook until it starts to brown.
  2. Stir in skim milk and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Add couscous and coconut extract to the pan. Cover and let stand for seven minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add salmon, scallions and ginger. Toss until the ingredients are well-combined.

6. HUMMUS AND VEGGIE COLLARD WRAPS

I’ve included hummus and veggie collard wraps in our list of calcium-rich recipes for strong bones. Collard greens are one of the best foods to eat if you want to increase your calcium intake. It’s also rich in vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in bone metabolism.

Collard greens are also big and sturdy so they make a great substitute for tortilla wraps. With this simple hummus and veggie collard wraps recipe, you’ll get to enjoy a light, healthy and nutritious dish.

Ingredients:

  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 2 collard leaves, stems trimmed
  • 2 carrots, sliced into short thin strips
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced into short thin strips
  • 1/2 cup radish, sliced into short thin strips
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, sliced into short thin strips
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto hummus

Directions:

  1. Put collard greens on a flat surface. Spread 1/4 cup hummus on one side of each leaf.
  2. Place asparagus, carrots, avocado, cucumber, radish, zucchini and red cabbage on top.
  3. Roll the leaves to form a burrito. Cut in half.
  4. Transfer to a plate and serve.

7. BROCCOLI WITH SMOKED GOUDA CHEESE SAUCE

My list of calcium-rich recipes for strong bones is full of healthy and delicious dishes that can safeguard your bone health. This includes this broccoli with smoked Gouda cheese sauce dish. It’s simple but flavourful.

This recipe also includes a lot of calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, milk and cheese. Thus, broccoli with smoked Gouda cheese sauce is an excellent choice for your bone-friendly meal plan.

Ingredients:

  • 567g broccoli, cut into spears
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 3/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a steamer basket on top of a large saucepan. Put water in the pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add broccoli to the steamer. Cover and reduce heat. Steam for six to eight minutes or until tender.
  3. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook and stir until tender.
  4. Add flour, salt, pepper and milk to the pan. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  5. Gradually add cheese to the pan. Stir until melted.
  6. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 tbsp melted butter in a small bowl.
  7. Transfer broccoli to a baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over broccoli, and then sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top.
  8. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from heat. Serve as a light snack or a side dish.

8. GRILLED CHEESE WITH PROSCIUTTO AND SPINACH

Take your grilled cheese sandwich to the next level by boosting its flavour as well as its calcium content. You’ll enjoy a burst of flavour from prosciutto ham.

Meanwhile, with spinach and other vegetables added to the mix, this healthy grilled cheese sandwich becomes a worthy addition to our calcium-rich recipes for strong bones. Spinach is an excellent source of both calcium and vitamin K, so it can help improve your body’s bone metabolism.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices prosciutto ham
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup provolone cheese
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in spinach. Cover the pan and let stand until spinach has wilted.
  3. Place spinach, prosciutto and cheese on top of one slice of bread. Put the other slice on top. Brush butter on the outer surfaces of the sandwich.
  4. Put the sandwich in the pan over low heat. Cook, while flipping occasionally, for six to 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  5. Transfer to a plate. Slice in half and serve.

9. GARLIC SHRIMP PIZZA

As another calcium-rich recipes for strong bones, this garlic shrimp pizza recipe provides you with almost 40% of your daily calcium requirement.

It’s also packed with vitamin B12, which is an important nutrient for protecting your bones. Despite being a cheese-heavy dish, this garlic shrimp pizza is still healthy and won’t wreak havoc on your healthy diet.

Ingredients:

  • 454g shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 6 tbsp green salsa
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt, as needed
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. For the dough, combine honey, yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Let it stand for five minutes. Add 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp cornmeal and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir until mixture forms a soft dough.
  2. Knead the dough on a flat surface for about 6 minutes or until it has a smooth and elastic texture. Add 1 tbsp of flour at a time to prevent dough from sticking.
  3. Transfer dough to a large bowl. Spritz all sides with cooking spray. Cover the bowl and store in a warm place for 45 minutes or until dough rises.
  4. Divide dough into two. Roll each portion into a 10-inch circle. Place dough in separate baking sheets. Sprinkle 2 tbsp cornmeal on top, and then drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Then, spritz lightly with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  5. Preheat the grill and cover grill rack with cooking spray.
  6. For the topping, thread six pieces of shrimp onto wooden skewers. Season with 1/8 tsp salt.
  7. Grill the skewers for two minutes. Flip to cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let shrimp cool slightly before coarsely chopping.
  8. Combine mozzarella cheese and queso fresco in a medium bowl.
  9. To assemble the pizza, grill the dough for three minutes or until lightly browned. Spread 3 tbsp salsa on each dough. Then, add shrimp and cheese mixture on top. Grill for another three minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden brown.
  10. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Cut into wedges and serve.

10. CITRUS CUSTARD

The last of my calcium-rich recipes for strong bones is a healthy and delicious dessert you can enjoy after meals. Apart from having a decent amount of calcium, this citrus custard recipe is also low-calorie and diabetic-friendly so you can indulge in this dessert without feeling any guilt. Thus, it’s the perfect addition to your bone-friendly meal plan.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortbread cookies, coarsely crushed
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour 1 cup of the milk mixture into the egg yolks. Then, transfer back to the saucepan. Stir in orange zest and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the custard into a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.
  4. When ready to eat, remove from the fridge. Sprinkle cookies on top and serve.

You can now take charge of your bone health with these 10 healthy calcium-rich recipes for bone health. Consuming more dairy products as well as calcium and nutrient-dense foods doesn’t really entail a drastic lifestyle change. However, slowly but surely, incorporating these bone-friendly dishes into your meal plan will be able to reduce your risk of bone density loss and osteoporosis as you get older. These dishes are delicious and diet-friendly, too. So, you don’t have to worry about consuming excess calories.

ANTHONY HILL, FOUNDER

Anthony Hill

When you put together the sum total of my 30 years of bodybuilding training, the contests, the vast array of diets I have experimented (tortured) myself with as well as the experiences I have been through with various training partners in the gyms I have trained in all over the world, it’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do lots of personal training for private clients alongside my day job. For a few years during my 30’s, I moved to Asia and worked as the Fitness Manager and head personal trainer at one of Thailand’s leading gyms in Bangkok. Learn More

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