I don’t care how hard the California Dried Plum Growers & Packers try, they will never make prunes sexy. They can change their name to “dried plums” and put them in fancy packages, but they’ll always be prunes in my book. And the thing is, no matter how old (and constipated) it may make me sound, I really like prunes. I don’t need them to be sexy. I just need them to taste good. And they do.
Prunes have gotten a bad rap over the years. Mostly because people associate them with “regularity” and other such sensitive topics. They were those wrinkly black things that your grandparents ate. And yet nobody had issues eating dried apricots, or raisins, or dried cherries, blueberries, apples or bananas. For some reason, prunes were the only dried fruit that gave people issues. So the powers that be decided to change their name. Next thing you know, we’ll be calling raisins “dried grapes”. What is the world coming to when even our fruits have politically correct monikers?
I hadn’t bought prunes in years, but over the holidays, Tami posted this recipe for Zinfandel Poached Prunes. Simply spooned over a dollop of rich mascarpone cheese, it exuded elegance. This is how you make prunes sexy, I thought to myself, not by changing their name to something innocuous like “dried plums”. I still haven’t had a chance to make that beautiful dessert, but I did go out and buy a passel of prunes. And we’ve been snacking on them ever since. My youngest thinks they’re the biggest, most delicious raisins he’s ever tasted.
People, I implore you. Give prunes a chance.
Oatmeal with Almonds and Prunes
prep time: 2 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
yields: 1 serving
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (could sub soy or dairy milk)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
- 1/8 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon sucanat (could sub brown sugar)
- Bring milk and salt to a boil in a small saucepan
- Add the oats and cook, stirring to keep from sticking, until thickened
- Add the prunes, almonds and sucanat
This is a hearty, nutrient-dense breakfast. It is not terribly low in calories, but it makes up for that by packing a wollop of vitamins, minerals and fiber into the calories that are there. I’m often left wanting when I eat a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast, but this sticks with you. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. The texture from the raw almonds is a nice contrast to the oatmeal and the prunes. And if you use almond milk (as I did), you get an extra bit of almond flavor, which is nice.
So while this is not as sexy as poaching them in red wine and spooning them over creamy Italian cheese, this oatmeal should help you overcome some of your preconceived prune notions. Oh, believe me – I’ll be poaching prunes soon – but until then, this will have to do.