Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dried Plums: Not Just Your Grandma's Fruit Anymore

It's no mystery why we're not calling them prunes anymore. After all, what's your first impression when you hear the word, "prune?" Not enticing, if you ask me. But how about, "dried plum?" Hmmm. Sounds just like any other dried fruit. So what's the benefit of adding dried plums to your diet too?

Well, a lot in fact.

They're surprisingly tasty and have many unique health benefits. California dried plums contain many compounds and nutrients that work synergistically such as vitamin K, potassium, copper and boron. These nutrients work together to prevent bone mineral loss, which can lead to osteoporosis.

Dr. Arjmandi of Florida State’s Department of Nutrition says, "Dried plums are the most bone-friendly fruit that I have seen in decades. They are nature’s solution to maintaining good bone health. Over my career, I have tested numerous fruits, including figs, dates, strawberries and raisins, and none of them come anywhere close to having the effect on bone density that dried plums have.” Dr. Arjmandi and a group of researchers from The Florida State University and Oklahoma State University tested two groups of postmenopausal women over a 12-month period. The group’s research, “Comparative Effects of Dried Plums and Dried Apple on Bone in Postmenopausal Women” was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Not to mention, dried plums taste great too. Their flavor is sweet and rich accompanied by a velvety smooth texture. Five dried plums have only 100 calories with 3 grams of fiber and 290 milligrams potassium, nearly the same amount contained in a glass of milk (great for maintaining normal blood pressure). Now that's a power-packed and handy snack!

Even better, California Dried Plums has recently teamed up with Olympic swimmer, Natalie Coughlin, to develop some tasty recipes featuring this delightfully unique little fruit. They sent me some perfectly portioned samples to try and to help get the word out. I have to admit, I've been introduced to a great resource! Check out these selected recipes for creative ways to add dried plums to your diet:

Natalie’s Snack Bars

Natalie’s Brownies

Natalie’s Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Tomato Sauce and California Dried Plums

Natalie’s Pizzettas with California Dried Plums & Caramelized Onions

Natalie’s Risotto with California Dried Plums and Radicchio

I can't wait to try this one very soon: Plum Filled Oatmeal Bars.

And there's more where that came from! Click here for more recipes using dried plums.

If you haven't given dried plums a thought before, I encourage you to do it! They're a fresh, tasty option with a host of unique benefits.

Visit California Dried Plums for more information.

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the perks of my job is receiving complementary samples of products or compensation for passing along my expert opinion as a Registered Dietitian. Please be assured that my opinion and review is not guaranteed to be positive solely because I have received compensation. I'm here to help you--the consumer--sort through the vast amounts of nutrition information available to find legitimate answers. This is my primary goal in providing product reviews and sponsored contests on my blog.