Prunes have a marketing problem. I’m sure more than half of my readers didn’t even click on this post when they spied the word ‘prunes’ in the title, even alongside the promise of chocolate.
I’ll bet most of you associate prunes with two things: your grandmother, and constipation.
A few years ago, plum growers lobbied for a rebrand of prunes to ‘dried plums’, a request that was then approved by the FDA. This seemed to boost prune sales, but come on. Do you really think ‘dried plums’ is any better than ‘prunes’? If you already connect prunes with your wrinkly grandparents, will a new label with ‘dried’ in its name help improve the association with aging – or dry poop, for that matter?
Personally, I don’t understand why people don’t adore prunes. They’re sticky and sweet and soft and gooey. I’m also the kind of weirdo who loves raisins – another dried fruit that many hate with a passion (maybe raisins will experience a renaissance if they are renamed ‘dried wine grapes’ or ‘unicorn droplets’ or ‘Robert Downey Jr.’).
While it’s true that prunes alleviate constipation (which is why the elderly love them, since seniors are more likely to become constipated), that’s not the only reason we might choose to grab a handful. The insoluble fibre found in prunes feeds the beneficial bacteria in the colon, producing helpful fatty acids that feed intestinal cells. Prunes are packed with antioxidants, they balance our blood sugar, and their Vitamin C content improves our absorption of iron.
Now, I must admit I do have an association between my maternal grandmother and prunes. She always had a jar of them in her cupboard, and would often serve them dipped in chocolate. She made chocolate clusters with other dried fruit and nuts, too, something my own mother replicated in our house – but never with prunes.
Most of Grandma’s recipes are lost. I never learned to cook from her. Grandma was – how shall I put this delicately – a decisive perfectionist. She always wanted things to be a certain way. Then again, as a child it never occurred to me to ask her to teach me. When I began to show interest in cooking as an adult, she was more than happy to share a few recipes with me – I later learned to adapt her famous honey cake and kugel so they could be gluten-free and dairy-free.
However, it didn’t take much recipe development prowess for me to figure out how to make dairy-free chocolate-dipped prunes. Buy chocolate. Melt chocolate. Add prunes.
If you are a prune lover (and if you’ve read this far, then you probably are), then I’m sure you’ll enjoy them even more slathered in chocolate.
And if you’re not a prune fan, perhaps I can interest you in some chocolate-dipped dried plums?
- ½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- 20-24 prunes
- Gently melt your chocolate over low heat until glossy and smooth.
- Add your prunes to the chocolate and toss well, ensuring that all of the prunes are well coated.
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate the prunes one by one and put them on the parchment.
- Place in the fridge for at least an hour until hardened. Store in the fridge in a container.