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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Health Benefits of Prunes (dried plum)

More Than a Laxative


Prunes (dried plums)
All my life I looked at prunes as an "old-folk" food.

The thought of prunes conjured-up images of the elderly with problematic digestive systems and consuming  dried plums was a way to help out with these minor problems (like constipation, for example).

Prunes are far from being an old-folk remedy. Prunes are good for everyone.

Prunes are a rich source of dietary fiber and a naturally fat-free source of antioxidants and chocked full of vitamins, including vitamin A and C, potassium, as well as a little iron thrown-in for good measure.

They are great for snacking; for baking cookies, breads and muffins; for cereal toppings; and, prunes are good for making your own trail mixes and salads.

For me, prunes are a handy way of suppressing my appetite. They don't need to be refrigerated as long as they are sealed in an air-tight ziploc bag.

I keep a bag of dried plums on the night stand next to my bed just in case I get a snack attack.

So, the next time you hear someone tell you that prunes are for old folks only ... well, you can tell them they are just plum crazy.

In the Kitchen 

Old-Fashioned Prune Cake with Hot Buttermilk Glaze


Ingredients

  • 1 package (18.25-ounces) yellow cake mix with pudding
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil such as Canola or other vegetable oil
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
Note: (Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan)

Directions

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Fold in the chopped prunes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 32 to 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the Hot Buttermilk Glaze.

Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick or wooden skewer and pour the hot glaze over the top, a little at a time, spreading the glaze out with a spoon to reach all edges of the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more before cutting it into squares and serving.

Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.

Bon Appetit! Ahheee!!
(Recipe Source: http://tinyurl.com/25rovlo)
 
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