Prunes

Prunes are one of the most popular dried fruits. It is an ordinary dried plum and has excellent nutritional and taste qualities. Plum is a tree-like plant of the Rosaceae family, which arose as a result of a natural crossing of blackthorn and cherry plum. Nowadays, it is actively cultivated in Moldova, Ukraine, southern and central Russia, France, the North Caucasus and Asian countries.

How can you get prunes?

There is nothing particularly difficult in the method of obtaining such a dried fruit. Any ordinary plum can be turned into prunes, you just need to properly dry fresh fruits. It is extremely important to observe some important nuances of cooking technology.

To get prunes, you need to select ripe, sweet and juicy plums without any flaws. Next, blanch the selected fruits in a boiling soda solution of 1-1.5% (at the rate of 100-150 grams of soda per 10 liters of water) for 5-20 seconds and immediately rinse them in hot water. Then you need to cool the fruits and dry them in a steam dryer. Thanks to this, it is possible to preserve the contained nutrients as much as possible.

The drying process also has its own characteristics. At the initial stage, the plums are dried for 3-4 hours (temperature 45-50 ° C) until dried, and then the next 1-2 days at a temperature within 60 ° C until fully cooked. In order for dried fruits to acquire their characteristic dark color, immediately before the end of drying, the temperature is increased to 100 degrees or more for 2-3 minutes. Due to this, the sugar contained in the pulp will come to the surface of the prunes and caramelize, which will give a characteristic shine. When you see a slightly white bloom, you can talk about the complete readiness and high quality of dried fruits.

Prunes are more often obtained from plums of the Renklod, Hungarian, Stanley varieties. Plums can be dried with or without pits. But when drying with bones, a maximum of useful substances will be preserved.

Rules for the selection of prunes and their storage

Care must be taken when choosing fruits. When buying prunes on the market, be sure to pay attention to how it looks externally. Quality product in matte black. If it is shiny or dark gray, then, most likely, in order to give a presentation, it was treated with glycerin at the point of sale. Also, prunes can sometimes be treated with boiling water or fat, which helps to reduce minerals and vitamins in it. A significant violation of the fruit processing technology is evidenced by their brown-coffee shade. Often they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. Qualitatively and properly processed product should be sweet with a slight sourness, rich in taste. Outwardly, it is fleshy, not overdried, elastic and slightly soft, black in color with a slight whitish bloom and a slight sheen.

Harmful substances may enter prunes during production. To protect yourself from them, first soak dried fruits for 15-20 minutes in cold water. It is this time that is enough for the fetus to leave substances that can harm health.

What is the right way to store prunes? Two methods can be used for this:

  • storage in a container (glass, plastic or wood) in a dry and cool place;
  • in zip bags - for this, prunes are sorted in small portions; so that ventilation is not disturbed, the packages do not need to be fastened to the end; bags can be placed in the refrigerator door.

Useful properties and composition of prunes

Prunes not only taste great, but also have versatile healing properties, which are due to the content in plum of useful substances, almost completely preserved during the drying process.

Prunes are rich in vitamins and minerals. All this is shown in the table.

Table 1. “Chemical composition of prunes”
0)Content in 100 gr.edible part
Vitamins
Vitamin A 10 mcg
Beta-carotene 0.06 mg
Vitamin PP 1.5 mg
Thiamine ( B1 ) 0.02 mg
Riboflavin ( B2 ) 0.1 mg
Vitamin E 1.8 mg
Vitamin C 3 mg
Minerals
Potassium 864 mg
Calcium 80 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Magnesium 102 mg
Phosphorus 83 mg
Iron 3 mg

The following table shows the nutritional value of prunes.

0)
Useful substances in 100 gr. product
Calories 256 kcal
Carbohydrates 57.5 gr.
Proteins 2.3 gr.
Fats 0.7 gr.
Water 25 gr.
Organic acids 3.5 gr.
Dietary fiber 9 gr.
Saturated fatty acids 0.1 gr.
Unsaturated fatty acids 0.1 gr.
Starch 0.6 gr.
Mono- and disaccharides 56.9 gr.
Ash 2 gr.

Prunes are very beneficial for the human body. It tends to:

  1. Normalize the work of the digestive organs due to the high content of organic acids and fiber. It allows you to get rid of problems such as constipation.
  2. Potassium contained in this product helps to fight the manifestations of vascular diseases - thrombosis, atherosclerosis and others. Potassium also promotes increased excretion of urine and bile secretion, supports the work of the heart muscle.
  3. Improves skin condition and appearance with antioxidant properties.
  4. Helps to improve vision due to the sufficient amount of vitamin A in it.
  5. Helps to cleanse the body of toxins.
  6. Sucrose and glucose present in prunes can increase the overall tone of the body and increase its efficiency.
  7. Due to the bactericidal properties of these fruits, an infusion of them can be used to rinse the mouth if there is an infection in it. It also tends to restore the acid-base balance in the body, which prevents the development of caries.
  8. The high content of B vitamins has a beneficial effect of prunes on the nervous system, allowing you to increase resistance to stress and eliminate anxiety. This dried fruit is valuable for its ability to normalize high blood pressure, so it is recommended to introduce it into the diet of hypertensive patients.
  9. Has the property of absorbing free radicals that destroy the body. Due to this, it is useful to use it for the prevention of oncological pathology.
  10. Due to the wide range of vitamins, prunes are useful for beriberi. Very often it is prescribed to patients with iron deficiency anemia.

Diets with prunes

Prunes have found their use as a means of losing weight. It helps to cleanse the body, increasing intestinal motility. Thanks to this, you can not only get rid of extra pounds, but also accumulated in the body of toxins, toxins and other harmful substances. The pectin present in this product helps to eliminate excessive amounts of cholesterol.

When losing weight, another property of prunes is also important. Due to the rich content in it of organic acids, vitamins and other elements that are important for health, it allows you to stabilize the overall activity of the whole organism, which is extremely important when cleansing.

Prunes are a natural antidepressant, and this is important for depressed and irritable women who are losing weight. The healthy sugars that it contains will help those who are trying to get rid of excess weight and cannot completely eliminate sweets.

There are different diets that include prunes. We will focus on some of them.

Fasting days on prunes

If you need a quick result, arrange yourself a fasting day on prunes. Pre-steam the fruits and take in small portions throughout the day every 2.5-3 hours. One serving should not be more than 100 grams. But such unloading cannot be used by those who suffer from diabetes.

Weight loss with prunes is no less effective when combined with other products.

Cleansing diet

The essence of such a diet is the use of several steamed prunes before each meal. If there is a strong feeling of hunger, then between the main meals you can have a snack with five dried fruits and drink a decoction of them.

Sample six-day prunes cleanse diet:

First day:

  • breakfast - cooked hard boiled eggs - 2 pcs., grapefruit and unsweetened green tea;
  • lunch - lean soup, a small slice of bread with bran, prunes;
  • afternoon snack - 1 grapefruit;
  • dinner - boiled or stewed fish, tea without sugar.

Second day:

​​
  • breakfast - low-fat cottage cheese, a glass of still water;
  • lunch - lean vegetable soup, unsweetened tea;
  • afternoon snack - one apple or grapefruit;
  • dinner - vegetable salad and apple juice.

Third day:

  • breakfast - a slice of cheese, a slice of bran bread, a glass of herbal tea;
  • lunch - lean borscht, boiled potatoes - 2 pieces, prunes compote;
  • afternoon snack - one apple or grapefruit;
  • dinner - boiled beetroot salad, a small slice of bread with bran, broth and prunes.

Then, from the fourth day, the diet is repeated, starting from the first. Every time before breakfast and afternoon snack you need to eat 5 pieces of prunes, before lunch - 9 and before dinner - 7. For the entire diet, exclude starchy foods from the diet (except for bran bread, which is part of the diet), fatty, salty, fried, sweet, carbonated drinks, coffee and alcohol. Nutritionists say that such a diet in 6 days allows you to get rid of about 5 kilograms. But it is not recommended to use it for more than two weeks.

The combination of prunes with kefir allows you to achieve excellent results. Mix them with a blender in the proportion that is tasty for you. Such a dish can be used for a fasting day, and if necessary, even two in a row. Also, this mixture can be used for sustainable and slow weight loss instead of a regular dinner.

The Prunes Diet for the Lazy

This prunes diet is very simple, but it will be effective if you control the diet yourself. Replace heavy side dishes of potatoes and cereals with light vegetable ones, eat meat and fish of low-fat varieties, dessert should be nothing more than light jelly. Be sure to eat 3-4 prunes 20 minutes before a meal with such a diet. Do not drink after meals, especially sugary drinks. Dinner should be no later than 2-3 hours before bedtime. So in a week you can lose 2-4 kilograms.

Harmful properties of prunes and contraindications to its use

Despite the enormous usefulness, it must be borne in mind that in some cases prunes can harm a person a little. What are these cases?

  1. Prunes are not suitable for diabetics due to their high sugar content.
  2. In some very rare cases, it is possible to be allergic to these dried fruits. This is especially true for those individuals who are prone to allergic reactions.
  3. Prunes should be taken with caution if you are breastfeeding. In infants, as a result of this, intestinal spasms are possible.
  4. It is better to exclude prunes from the diet for those who are prone to diarrhea, because they have a laxative effect.
  5. Dried plums can also become harmful as a result of the use of chemicals in processing.

Use in cooking

goose, beef, pork). It perfectly complements the taste of these products.

On the basis of prunes, a traditional uzvar is prepared for Christmas. Compotes with prunes have a pleasant aroma and rich color. Such a vitamin drink can be drunk instead of tea. This dried fruit can be added to oatmeal; taking it for breakfast, which contains fiber and vitamins, you can improve digestion.

Prunes go well with pastries. The stuffing is prepared from it, combined with other products as part of desserts (nuts, honey, raisins, apples, etc.). Prunes decorate cakes, cookies, buns, pastries.

Conclusion

Prunes are a popular dried fruit, which contains a lot of useful nutrients, micro and macro elements, vitamins. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, bactericidal properties. Thanks to its laxative and cleansing properties, it has been used in various diets.

Dried plum fruits have excellent taste, so it can be consumed by almost everyone, even babies, starting from 6-7 months of age. Widely used in cooking.

Prunes are a real pantry of health and a great dessert!

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