January is almost over, so I’m wondering: how is everyone doing on their New Year’s resolutions?! More specifically, how is everyone doing on their healthy eating resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are often easy to make but difficult to maintain. Today we’re talking about a fruit that makes it easy to stay on track. The Feel Good Fruit! Also known as the prune (or dried plum!). Despite the bad rap prunes sometimes get, they are deliciously tasty and uniquely nutritious fruits. Definitely one of my favorites, and one I’ve been eating since I was a kid!
Healthy snacking in the New Year can be easy when you add Sunsweet® dried plums to your repertoire. They are great straight from the bag, with a dab of peanut butter on top, or mixed into your favorite smoothie. I wanted to create a fun and easy portable snack with my prunes. When I was working in an office, homemade muffins were one of my favorite things to take for a snack. They went perfectly with my morning coffee and I love knowing exactly what goes into them (which is not always the case with something like store bought granola bars). I can eat my muffins at home now, but they’re still great for throwing in Nick’s lunch box.
I got the inspiration for these muffins from an Asian plum sauce! Ginger and sesame seem to be perfect pairs to plums (say that three times fast). They are really unique and I’m kind of in love. Especially with the crunchy tops! These muffins are packed with whole wheat, prunes and healthy coconut oil, and just lightly sweetened. Definitely a winner for healthy snacking and keeping resolutions!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp ground ginger, divided
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil, cooled sightly
- 1 cup diced dried plums
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray OR line with paper muffin cups.
- Sift together flours, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, salt and 1¼ tsp ground ginger into a large bowl.
- In another bowl, lightly beat egg. Add milk and coconut oil and beat to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the dried plums.
- Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 tbsp sugar/ ¼ tsp ground ginger, and 1 tbsp sesame seeds. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over tops of muffins.
- Baked muffins 20 minutes, until tops are just turning golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
There are so many great benefits to prunes. If you haven’t had them in a while, it’s time to give them a try again! Studies suggest the following positive effects from certain nutrients in prunes:
- Bone Health: Prunes may promote healthy bones. Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi of Florida State University says, “Dried plums (prunes) are the most bone-friendly fruit that I have seen in decades. They are nature’s solution to maintaining good bone health.” Dr. Arjmandi hypothesizes that the many compounds and nutrients contained in prunes, such as vitamin K, potassium, copper and boron, likely work synergistically to have this positive effect. Additional research is currently being conducted to learn more about prunes and bone health.
- Potassium: Potassium may help prevent hypertension and stroke and play a role in helping support cell energy by regulating fluid balance, nerve impulses and muscle contraction to increase energy.
- Fiber: A diet containing foods with fiber can replace fats and sweets, and contributes to heart health.
- Regularity: A fiber rich diet may contribute to maintaining a consistent digestive tract which helps lead to improved digestive health.
Sunsweet® makes all kinds of prune products, so it’s easy to fit them into your healthy snacking. Their Amaz!n™ Prunes are delicious plump dried plums you can eat straight from the bag. Their Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes are perfect for baking or topping your cereal or oatmeal. You can use them anywhere you’d use raisins or dried cranberries. I used them in these muffins! Sunsweet® also makes PlumSmart® Light, juice made from a special variety of fresh, juicy plums that provides a good source of fiber.
How are you snacking healthy in the New Year? What are your favorite ways to eat dried plums?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.