This recipe is a paid partnership with California Prunes. As always, all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.
I know what you’re thinking; prunes?! Yes, prunes! Although prunes might be best known for their digestive benefits, prunes are a highly misunderstood and undervalued food. Not only are prunes incredibly nutritious but they are a naturally sweet, soft, deeply flavoured and versatile ingredient that can be used so many different ways.
What are California Prunes?
In case you forgot, prunes are dehydrated plums, but California Prunes are much more than just dehydrated plums. California Prunes are decedents of the Petit D’Agen stock, which was brought over to California during the gold rush, and they ripen directly on the tree without fermenting. Thanks also to its world-famous growing conditions and generations of expertise, California grows 99% of the total United States’ production of prunes and 40% of the world’s supply.
What are the benefits of eating prunes?
In addition to being a whole food and a rich source of simple and complex carbohydrates, California Prunes have many health benefits.
- Source of Fibre: A serving of 5 prunes contains 3 grams of fibre which has been shown to help balance blood sugar, normalize bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels and support overall health.
Source of Nutrients: A serving of 5 prunes contains 25 mcg of vitamin K (20% of daily intake), 290 mg of potassium (6% of daily intake), 16mg of magnesium (5% of daily intake), and 0.8 mcg of vitamin B2 (6% of daily intake), as well as copper, boron and manganese. (1)
Support Digestion: A serving of 5 prunes contains 3 grams of dietary fibre and can help to maintain good digestive health.
Support Bone Health: Prunes are rich in vitamin K and contain manganese; two nutrients that support the maintenance of normal bones. Eating 5 to 6 prunes daily has been shown to slow bone loss in postmenopausal women.
Help to Control Blood Sugar: The fibre content and low glycemic index of prunes can help maintain blood sugar levels, manage hunger and limit cravings.
Help to Manage Cholesterol: The fibre and compounds in prunes can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Contain No Added Sugar: With only 100 calories per serving, prunes are a source of natural sugar and provide a satisfying sweet taste but contain no added sugar.
How to Cook with Prunes
Not only are California Prunes a good source of nutrition, but they are also a versatile cooking ingredient that works well in sweet and savoury recipes alike. Similar in texture to dried fruits such as raisins and dates, prunes can be eaten on their own, added to oatmeal, incorporated into salads, cooked into stews, or blended into snacks, like the No-Bake California Prune Power Ball, for a quick and convenient energy boost!
There are honestly so many ways to use prunes and their moisture content and ability to enhance a sweet or savoury dish make them ideal for cooking and baking. When cooked into savoury dishes, like this Quinoa, Squash & Prune Stew, they help to provide the perfect balance of sweetness and enhance the dish with a deep, rich and earthy flavour that can not be matched.
So, whether it’s a meat dish or a vegetarian dish, the next time you are looking to add a touch of sweetness, grab some California Prunes. There are so many different ways to use them, but this Quinoa, Squash & Prune Stew is a hearty one-pot vegetarian meal that makes a great weeknight dinner or a simple meal prep idea! Whip this up today and you’ll have a fridge stocked with a protein and fibre-packed meal for days to come.
More Vegetarian Stew:
Quinoa, Squash & Prune Stew
Packed full of fibre and plant-based protein, this Quinoa, Squash & Prune Stew is a hearty one-pot vegetarian meal that makes a great weeknight dinner or simple meal prep idea.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspons cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 3 cups butternut sqaush, peeled and diced
- 3 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
- 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 cup California Prunes, halved
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot on medium heat, warm the olive oil, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn it.
- Add paprika, cumin salt and peper, stir to combine, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add quinoa and butternut squash, stirring to ensure it is well coated with the onion mixture.
- Pour in broth, scrapping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and prunes, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and give it a good stir.
- Cover with a lid, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until quinoa and squash are tender.
- Once cooked, add kale, stir well to combine, and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until kale is wilted and bright green.
- Once cooked, if needed, add an extra splash of stock or water for desired consistency, or if you find it a little liquidy, simply simmer it for another 5 minutes to allow it to reduce a little. (This may occur depending on your brand of canned tomatoes.)
- Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf and season with additional salt to taste.
- This recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 233 calories
- Sugar: 7 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 44 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
Keywords: vegetable, kale, hearty, easy, healthy