California Prunes AKA dried plums
I’ve eaten prunes since I was a kid because my mom always offered them as a snack. I must admit, I enjoy them much more now as an adult than I did when I was young. Prunes, now known as dried plums, are well known for their fibre content and their ability to help improve digestion and prevent constipation. But did you know that prunes are also being studied for their ability to help maintain healthy bones and slow bone loss in postmenopausal women? California Prunes are a source of vitamin K, manganese and boron, three nutrients involved in normal bone maintenance. They are also a source of magnesium and potassium which help improve blood pressure and important minerals iron and calcium. Prunes have a low Glycemic index (29) which makes them a perfect snack for maintaining blood sugar levels, especially for diabetics and they tend to promote satiety, so you feel full longer. Prunes have also been studied for their ability to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They really are the “whole package”.
Here are the nutrition facts:
5 prunes (40g) = 100 calories
= 26g carbohydrates
= 3g fibre
= 1g protein
= 290mg potassium
= 16mg Magnesium
= 25 ug Vitamin K
Eating California prunes/dried plums:
There are many ways to enjoy prunes, mine happens to be with California walnuts.
Prunes can be puréed and added to smoothies, muffin recipes to replace some fat, and baby food to add fibre and nutrients.
I love cooking with prunes in dishes such as Spanish Chicken with green olives and capers (see the recipe below). Drizzle prune puree on pork or dice prunes to add to granola, green salads and rice pilaf.
Spanish Chicken with Olives and Prunes:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1⁄2
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3-6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbsp (45ml) dried oregano leaves
1⁄2 cup (125ml) red wine vinegar
1/4c (60ml) olive oil
1 cup (250ml) pitted prunes
2⁄3 cup (175ml) large green olives, pitted
1⁄2 cup (125ml) capers with some juice
3 bay leaves
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup (250ml) white wine (good enough to drink)
1/4 cup (60ml) finely chopped Italian parsley
- In large bowl, combine chicken, garlic purée, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers, salt and pepper. Cover and marinate overnight in fridge. (minimum 2 hours)
- Arrange chicken in 9"X13" Pyrex dish and spoon marinade over evenly.
- Pour white wine around breasts and thighs, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in 350º F (180º C) oven for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Spoon chicken onto serving platter. Use slotted spoon to transfer olives, prunes and capers. Moisten with a few spoons of the pan juices. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.