People’s preferences for colors are often influenced by cultural, personal, and psychological factors. Purple has historically been associated with royalty, luxury, and spirituality, which may contribute to its appeal. Additionally, purple is a rare color in nature, which might make it more intriguing to some people. Individual experiences and associations with the color also play a significant role in shaping preferences.
But will start with PLUMS, will be back to colors later in this post…
Talking to parents, I’m sometimes asked about incorporating plums and prunes into babies’ and kids’ diets. While they appear similar, there are some key differences between these two nutritious fruits that are helpful to understand.
Botanically speaking, plums and prunes come from the same plant species, Prunus domestica. However, prunes are dried plums – they are simply fresh plums that have had most of their water content removed through the process of dehydration. When fresh plums are dried naturally through sun drying or a mechanical dehydrator, the resulting prunes take on a shriveled, raisin-like texture. This transforms the plum’s nutrients and flavors while preserving many of its healthful properties.
- While fresh plums and prunes share a similar sweet-tart taste, prunes tend to taste sweeter due to their higher natural sugar content. Prunes also have more wrinkles and a darker, almost black-purple hue compared to smooth, oval-shaped plums. Their appearance resembles dates or dried figs. But prunes’ unique puckered shape helps distinguish them from other dried fruits. Little one could say-
Nutritionally speaking, plums and prunes have excellent nutrient profiles with a few key differences due to their varying water contents. Since dried prunes have less water per serving than fresh plums, they contain more concentrated amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Notably, prunes contain about 75% more vitamin C and more than double the vitamin K and potassium compared to fresh plums.
Both plums and prunes are rich sources of fiber, vitamins C and K, potassium, and antioxidants like polyphenols. Here are some of the top health benefits they offer babies and children:
- Fiber – With about 2 grams per serving, plums and prunes help relieve constipation and promote gut health through added bulk and prebiotics.
- Bone health – The vitamin K content aids bone growth by activating osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone mineralization.
- Immunity – Vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production for immune defense and acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage.
- Support eye health with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin
- Blood pressure – The potassium helps control blood pressure by balancing fluid levels and excreting excess sodium.
- Iron absorption – Compounds in prunes called phenolic acids can increase iron absorption from other foods when paired together.
When preparing plums and prunes for babies under 12 months old, steam or puree the flesh to soften it before serving. For toddlers, chop plums into small pieces or cut prunes into quarters to prevent choking. Monitor for signs of sensitivity like rash, cramps, or diarrhea, as sorbitol in prunes can have a laxative effect in sensitive children. Moderation is key, since overconsumption of prunes’ natural sugars may cause gas or loose stools.
Creative ways to introduce plums and prunes include blending them into smoothies, folding into buckwheat or black rice pudding, baking into quinoa muffins and banana breads, adding to raw bars and crackers, and more. Their versatility makes them easy to incorporate into many dishes. Just be mindful of allergies ( I haven’t yet personally encountered any), and and potential choking hazards from pits. Be aware of chemicals plums can be treated with, double check the source of your fruit.
And one warning regarding prunes I must mention ( which goes generally with every type of dried fruit you may buy in supermarket): Commercially produced dried prunes may contain higher levels of impurities and preservatives that impact quality and safety. Prunes’ wrinkled surface and drying process can accumulate dirt, microbes, and agricultural chemicals from the plum’s skin. With less moisture content, any contaminants on the surface become more concentrated in prunes versus fresh plums. The high heat of dehydration can also cause the formation of acrylamide, a potentially toxic chemical. To extend shelf-life and prevent mold growth, sulfur dioxide is commonly applied as a preservative. Residual sulfur can trigger asthmatic reactions in sensitive individuals. While prunes offer beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, commercially dried varieties may harbor higher microbial and chemical contaminants from intensified handling and processing. Seeking out prunes produced with minimal intervention and organic or low-spray plums can reduce potential impurities. It is quite easy to dry your own in the dehydrator. Let me know if you want to know how,or have any other purple fruit-related feeding questions!
I used to have a number of plum trees in my garden, an absolute blessing. So yes, did perform my fair share of plum dehydrating, those days mostly on sun under some sort of mesh. That’s where the inspiration for my plums and walnut cracker recipe sprang ( check them out in my book).
By the way, these are some Prune Domestica varieties names that grow well in the UK. Aren’t they sounding beautiful? ‘Belle de Louvain’, ‘Czar’, ‘Marjorie’s Seeding’,‘Purple Pershore’, ‘Cambridge Gage’,‘Jefferson’, ‘Mirabelle de Nancy’, ‘Opal’,‘Avalon’, ‘Blue Tit’, ‘Oullins Gage’, ‘Victoria’ (( :
This week I felt inspired to create some printed clothing items. Added plums onto the spiral planner journal cover for 2024 and a more simple notebook if the planner is too much for you. The T-shirt for busy mum ( you can see above) can be personalized with the name of kids ( or pets). Personally I like these leggings and bikinis.
**in case you would like to see these products in my (for now in development) new 23blossom store-links are bellow here
The color purple is rich in symbolism, meaning, and healing properties.
Historically, purple has been associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, and ambition. In ancient times, purple dyes were extremely rare and expensive, so only the most wealthy and powerful could afford rich purple clothing and fabrics. As a result, the color purple took on connotations of extravagance, status, and nobility across many cultures.
In color psychology, purple is considered the color of imagination and spirituality. Lighter purples are thought to evoke romantic, nostalgic feelings, while deeper hues are associated with mystery, magic, and respect. Purple combines the passion and energy of red with the intuition and calm of blue. It represents balance between our logical and emotional sides.
Healing with the color purple dates back centuries. In crystal healing, amethyst exemplifies the vibration of the purple ray, known for cleansing negativity and bringing wisdom and clarity. Purple is thought to aid creativity, inspiration, and psychic abilities. During meditation, envisioning purple can create a profound sense of peace and transcendence.
In chakra healing, purple represents the crown chakra at the top of the head. When balanced, this chakra allows access to higher consciousness and wisdom. Purple crystals or visualizations can help open and realign this energy center.
As a blend of red and blue, purple carries meanings of their two constituent colors. However, purple also has its own unique essence – rich, sacred, mystical, and transformative. Engaging the color purple can bring out imagination, inspire innovation, create harmony between mind and spirit, and unlock inner peace.
From fruits to vegetables to grains, nature has imbued a variety of nutritious edibles with a rich, regal purple hue. These eye-catching purple foods can provide both visual appeal and important health benefits.
Vibrant purple produce like blackberries, blueberries, plums, eggplants, purple cauliflower, purple carrots, and purple potatoes deliver a hefty dose of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. These pigments act as anti-inflammatories and free radical scavengers within the body, supporting cellular health. The same anthocyanins that lend these foods their lush purple color also confer protective advantages.
Purple foods often contain other key nutrients as well. For example, purple corn contains the carotenoid lutein, which benefits vision and heart health. Full of satiating fiber, purple fruits like figs, raisins, and prunes aid digestion. Purple mangosteen fruit has antimicrobial tannins. The starchy purple ube yam boasts an antioxidant called ubequinone.
Beyond produce, purple wheat and purple rice varieties contain the same nutrients as regular grains but with eye-catching visual appeal. Vibrant purple beans can add color to soups and stews. Purple foods can satisfy cravings for something novel and different while providing key phytonutrients.
So explore the purple palette – your health and tastebuds will thank you!
Check these out and let me know if you have some juicy idea I can bring to life…