…would be a dried plum.It seems Americans have a less than enthusiastic association with the noble prune and so the US food industry is considering calling them what they are: dried plums.
In Europe, a prune is a dried fruit as any other and so we cannot be sympathetic nor understand the problem.
Besides being good for you and your intestines (a few tablespoons before retiring to bed will help constipation – which in turn helps YOU avoid hemorrhoids), they can help reduce your fat intake and most importantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Prunes are considered a ‘super food’ or functional food because the benefits they offer go beyond the nutritional value. Clinical trials conducted in the Florida State University College of Nutritional Health showed a reversal of osteoporosis with only 9-10 prunes daily, improvement was shown in only three months and in a year showed significant improvement of bone mass.
Only 5-6 prunes daily are necessary to deliver all the essential vitamins and minerals needed daily and ranks highest of all fruits and vegetables for anti-oxidant value.
Prunes contain 18 health boosting vitamins and minerals.
Here’s a few culinary tips:
- Use pureed prunes to replace 1/2 to all of the butter in baking chocolate or spice cakes.
- For your own puree: bring 400 ml. of apple juice and 450 g. to 500 g. prunes (without stone) to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes or until prunes are soft. Puree until smooth.
- Add a few tablespoons of brandy to your puree and you have a quick prune sauce. If used in this way, try pureeing with a good handful of almonds and the zest of a lemon or lime. Use for dessert, pork, gammon or pleasure.
If prunes are very dry, soak them until they soften in very warm water (be sure to drink the water). Cooking time will be reduced.
Rosemary and prunes will turn any lamb dish into a culinary experience you will enjoy.
Nutritional info highlights:
Prunes are a functional food
High in Vitamins A and B6
Helps with iron absorption (most likely because of the Vitamin C content
Zink, Manganese, Selenium, Calcium
Low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol
Can prevent or reverse osteoporosis
Can help regulate blood sugar
Prunes…not so humble afterall!
Nutritional Consultant and Health Journalists of the Year Michael van Straten comments:
“When it comes to vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you’ll have to go a long way to beat prunes, and finally we have proof that they really are a wonder food. Not only do they taste great but have enormous health benefits for people of all ages.”