I’m constantly looking for little wins in my day-to-day nutrition plan.
Some foods might have a reputation of a less than ‘sexy’ name but do not underestimate this handy little food for its yummy taste and notable health benefits to boot! From helping improve bone density to acting as a natural appetite suppressor, these are my new secret weapon…
What caught my eye was the fact that an average portion of 4/5 of these little bad boys is only 100kcals. Not that I’m too bothered by calorie counting, as you guys know, but worth keeping in mind! So rather than nibble on (let’s be honest) boring rice cakes, I’ve started nibbling on some prunes dipped in crunchy nut butter- in a word…DIVINE!!! They have even become my go-to cinema snack!
Known for their (emmm….) help in ‘aiding’ digestion of food to our colon, these sneaky little jewels also pack a mean punch for the following health benefits:
They can improve bone health- rich in calcium and vitamin D.
They are also rich in magnesium (which held us sleep and relaxes our muscles), boron, copper, vitamin K (blood clotting!) and potassium (nervous system and blood pressure regulation).
They are high in fibre – 3g per serving-(something us ladies really need to improve on!)
Despite their sweet taste, they are actually low in terms of their glycemic index and load meaning your body doesn’t go crazy with elevated blood sugar levels (and they are absorbed slowly by the body too!) when you eat them. I always tell my readers and followers to try and incorporate a healthy fat or protein when eating any sweet foods, but you don’t need to be worried when it comes to eating prunes in terms of your blood sugar response, if eaten in moderation.
How I use prunes in my day to day food plan is either eating them straight out of their packaging dipped in nut butter OR I use them as a really nutritious sugar replacement for making snack bars, protein balls, cookies or anything yummy, homemade and delicious. In terms of savoury food, I also use them in stir fries to add a little natural sweetness and chopped into teeny chunks on top of my porridge in the morning- and if you let it sit for a while, they go a little gooey and kind of syrupy which is HEAVEN…
In general, they are super easy to cook or prep with- and are in essence an alternative to fat/sugar in your recipes. I’ve swapped out my dates for any of my sweeter recipes now as believe it or not dates have a much higher sugar content than prunes!
Here’s one of my favourite little prune recipes for you to try- ideal for lunch boxes, office tea breaks and on-the-go! You can also find loads of other tasty ways to incorporate these sweet little jewels into your diet here.
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
3/4 cup almonds or cashews
1 cup Sunsweet® Pitted Prunes, chopped
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp raw cacao
Scoop Lean Whey Protein Powder
2 tbsp crunchy almond butter
1 1/4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
*Optional 50g 85% dark chocolate, melted
1. Blitz almonds in a food processor until mixed well but not fully ground.
2. Add the chopped prunes, protein powder, chia seeds, cocoa powder and almond butter and pulse until well mixed together.
3. Add in your melted coconut oil and pulse until your mix holds well together as you will be forming it into little balls.
4. Roll into little balls- I recommend about a spoonful for one ball.
5. Roll the little balls in your coconut or in some melted chocolate.
6. Pop them onto greaseproof paper- just to avoid getting too messy with the dark chocolate and you can eat them in about 45 minutes-ish-
7. Try not to eat the whole batch like I always do with my other half eek! If, and I do mean IF they last that long, pop them into an air-tight container and off you go 🙂
NOTE: Refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes to set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Approx 100 kcals per ball!
If you’re anything like me, take it that you will eat at least 4 or 5 though oops!
This is a paid post in collaboration with Sunsweet® but I genuinely LOVE this product 🙂