As I get older, as much as I hate to admit it, my body just isn’t the same as it used to be when it comes to eating food. I am finding that I crave healthier food, and if I don’t eat good, I feel really bad.
That is where I have started looking into alternative ways to eat the food I love with a healthier twist. This is where California Dried Plums have come into play in our house. They are packed with goodness, offering dietary fiber to antioxidants, California Dried Plums are a source of many important compounds.
Why Make California Dried Plums Your Fruit Choice?
- Dried plums are a convenient, economical fruit – a pantry staple because they resist spoilage and require no refrigeration.
- Dried plums can help overcome the shortfall of needed nutrients and foods. One serving (about 5 dried plums) has 3 grams of fiber, 293 mg of potassium, and 16 mg of magnesium, all for less than 100 calories.
- Dried plums have a consistent, satisfying sweet taste with no added sugar. Dried plums are unique in their sugar content; containing fructose and glucose but almost no sucrose. All these sugars are naturally occurring – there are no added sugars in dried plums. Dried plums also contain sorbitol – a sugar alcohol – which is non-cariogenic.
- Dried plums can help manage weight. Dried plum as a snack suppressed appetite relative to low fat cookies, perhaps by producing lower glucose and/or appetite-regulating hormone concentrations. Dried fruit consumption, as little as 1/8 cup a day, is associated with reduced overweight or obesity, specifically abdominal obesity, in adults.
- Dried plums promote heart health. Dried plums reduce LDL cholesterol in both animals and humans. The equivalent of eating 10-12 per day reduced atherosclerotic lesions in a strain of mice that develop atherosclerosis quickly.
- Dried plums promote bone health. Dried plums are rich in phenolic compounds, which may inhibit bone resorption and stimulate bone formation as well as function as antioxidants. Dried plums are also a good source of nutrients reported to influence bone health, including boron, potassium and vitamin K.
- Dried plums promote digestive health. Although moderate consumption of dried plums has been shown to have no undesirable changes in bowel function, research determined that dried plums are safe, palatable and more effective than psyllium for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation, and should be considered as first line therapy.
I had a hard time picking from the many amazing recipes on the California Dried Plums recipe site. I think what has intrigued me the most is by using a dried plum purée for baked items or spreads, you have a natural fat replacement to reduce calories without losing flavor or texture. One serving is about four to five dried plums and they are less than 100 calories.
After making California Dried Plums Pumpkin Bread, I have to say, I really loved the twist on the flavor. The fact that I was enjoying something that I knew was low in fat and could be improving my health, it really made me rethink about adding more to my diet, as they are and as a fat replacement.
California Dried Plum Pumpkin Bread
A Low Fat Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin and dried plum purees combine in a moist and spicy quick bread. It tastes rich, but it’s low in fat for guilt-free snacking.
- No-stick cooking spray
- 1 cup Dried Plum Puree
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (1/2 of one 16-ounce can) canned pumpkin
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon each baking soda and cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg
Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside. In large bowl, blend Dried Plum Puree with sugars. Beat in eggs and pumpkin just to blend. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Add to dried plum mixture, mixing just until moistened. Spread batter in pans; dividing equally. Bake in center of oven about 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn onto rack to cool completely. Breads can be wrapped tightly in foil and frozen up to 1 month.
Dried Plum Purée: In food processor container, combine 2/3 cup (4 ounces) pitted dried plums and 3 tablespoons water; process on and off until finely chopped. (Makes 1/2 cup)
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