Prunes have an image problem. Yes, your grandma might use them for a little digestive relief, but these dried fruits aren't just for the geriatric set. They're actually pretty tasty—and they're packed with nutrition.
The sweet, chewy fruits contain lots of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K—all nutrients important for bone health. If you're a little leery of eating them straight from the bag, we're got three great ways to work them into your diet.
1. To take the bitterness out of greens
We recently attended an event where a fellow RD, Dawn Jackson Blatner, gave us a great tip for using prunes: Sauté them with hearty, bitter greens like kale, chard, collards, and dandelion. (Actually, the sweetness of prunes can be used to take the bitter edge off of any bitter food, including quinoa.)
Simply add diced or whole prunes to a pan full of greens, or even puree the prunes to make a sauce. Then cook, adding a little white wine, broth, or water and covering the pan for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the prunes to soften fully.
2. In a PB&P sandwich
Move over jelly: Prunes are the real match made in heaven for peanut butter. One of our favorite breakfasts lately has been toast topped with a good slather of nut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a couple of prunes. Delish! It’s also great with a dusting of freshly grated ginger or lemon zest.
3. In burgers
Hear us out here! Prunes provide moisture and they’ve got incredibly rich flavor. So, why wouldn’t they be awesome in burgers?
Trust us, you'll the star of this summer’s BBQ if you add chopped up or pureed prunes to your burgers. We usually use around 4 or 5 chopped prunes per pound of ground meat (beef, buffalo, turkey, etc.). Mix the chopped prunes into your ground meat, season as usual or kick things up another notch with some dried herbs. The prunes not only lend flavor to the patty, but also help keep the burgers from drying out on the grill.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont