I start every year with such enthusiasm. This is the year that I’m finally going to lose ALL of my weight, become exceptionally productive, travel more, yell less, spend more time with the kids, make more money……
And then about the third week of January, reality sets in. Changes are hard. It is so easy to may New Year’s resolutions but stick with them – not so easy.
One think I’ve learned in my weight loss journey is that healthy snacks are a great way to improve my diet. When I don’t have something that I can grab quickly I am much more prone to reach for something unhealthy.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying snacks with the Feel Good Fruit – the prune.
Now don’t curl up your nose! These aren’t the stewed prunes that your grandma made you eat. These babies are yummy and a fabulous solution to your healthy eating resolutions for 2015.
Sunsweet® prunes and juices offer several great options.
PlumSmart® Light is a juice made from a special variety of juicy plums. A great source of fiber and only 15 g of carbs and 60 calories, PlumSmart® Light is a great addition to smoothies. (I made dummies for the kids with it too!)
Amaz!n™ Prunes are a fantastic source of fiber and have only 100 calories per serving. Since they are low glycemic, they keep you fuller longer. Plus, they are yummy.
Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes are what I used in today’s recipe, and I have to say I am hooked on them for nutritious snacking. They are great in cereal, oatmeal or quinoa, or even on a salad!
Studies suggest that by consuming prunes we can expect the following positive effects:
- Regularity: Not something anyone likes to talk about but a fiber rich diet can help improve your digestion and keep things em, going, down there.
- Fiber: Fiber, especially when it is replacing unhealthy fats and sweets, can contribute to heart health.
- Potassium: Studies show that potassium can help prevent hypertension and stroke and play a role in helping support cell energy by regulating muscle contraction, fluid balance and nerve impulses to increase energy.
- Bone health: According to a study by Dr. Bahram H. Armada of Florida State University “Dried plums (prunes) are the most bone-friendly fruit I have seen in decades. They are natures’s solution to maintaining good bone health.” The nutrients in prunes such as potassium, vitamin K, copper and boron work synergistically to have the effect.
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup honey or coconut nectar
- 1 cup Sunsweet® Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons organic ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 3/4 cupquinoa flakes
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup chopped cashews
- 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or other nut of choice)
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and spray lightly.
- In a food processor combine almond butter, honey, 1/2 cup Sunsweet® Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes, vanilla, flax seeds, salt and water. Process until mixture is pureed.
- In a medium bowl combine remaining prunes, oats, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts. Stir in almond butter mixture.
- Press mixture into prepared pan, using the back of a spatula to smooth. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a rack. Allow to cool completely. Cut into 12 squares.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.