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What Are Dried Prunes?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 April 2014
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Dried prunes are fresh plums that have been dried naturally in the sun or in a dehydrator, without undergoing any fermentation process. They are made from plum varieties selected for their high sugar content; in the USA, the most common plums for making the dehydrated fruits are grown in California. Generally, at least three or four pounds of fresh plums are required to produce a pound of the dried fruits. From the point of effective marketing, the dried prunes are often labeled as dried plums as this nomenclature seems to appeal more to buyers.

Unlike other dehydrated foods or processed foods, dried prunes do not usually contain any kind of chemical preservatives. At the most, potassium sorbate may be sprayed on the fruit to protect it from developing any mold or yeast growth. Sulfating agents that prevent darkening are not necessary and therefore not used with the prunes which are already dark.

Dried foods like prunes can be eaten directly from the packet as dried snacks. They can also be added as garnish in salads, cereals, breads, and cakes. There are many different vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes for cooking with dried prunes, and they can make for a delicious addition to stuffed vegetables, meat dumplings, rice dishes, stews, soups, and much more. The prunes may also be added to ice cream, milkshakes, and desserts.

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Like many other dried fruits, prunes are excellent for digestion. They contain soluble and insoluble fibers, and sorbitol, a natural sugar. The fibers in the prunes help with the absorption of important nutrients and in stool formation, and sorbitol promotes the growth of essential, helpful microorganisms in the intestine.

Another benefit of dehydrated fruits like prunes is that they are high in antioxidants, iron, Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, and boron. They are excellent for maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. They are also beneficial for keeping the skin well-nourished, and for slowing down the skin aging process; regular intake of dried prunes has been known to reduce the formation of wrinkles. Dried prunes are also highly recommended for people suffering from arthritis as they have anti-inflammatory properties.

Like most non-perishable foods, dried prunes can be safely stored for a long period in a cool, dry place at constant temperature. It is best to check the expiration date on the pack though when buying. A packet that has been opened should be stored in the refrigerator, and should ideally be consumed within a month.

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Discuss this Article

betterment
Post 3

I like dried prunes, but I don't really like to just eat them by themselves. As the article said, they taste great when added to certain dishes though. There's this one rice dish that I really like to make with dried prunes that's really delicious.

I start with white rice, and add dried prunes, raisins, and whatever nuts I have on hand. Sometimes I make a sauce, sometimes not. Either way it's good!

I do also like to add dried prunes to cold cereal that doesn't already have fruit in it.

JessicaLynn
Post 2

@Ted41 - You're so right about the added sugar. I was trying to reduce the sugar in my diet awhile ago, and I noticed that almost every single product we buy has added sugar. It almost seems like the only thing that doesn't have added sugar is meat and fresh fruits and vegetables!

Anyway, I liked dried prunes. I had no idea they were so good for you though, and I didn't know about their anti-wrinkle capabilities. I think the companies that make dried prunes should totally use this as part of their advertising. I think they could make dried prunes into a really popular product if they did!

Ted41
Post 1

I had no idea that plums and dried prunes were the same thing! I can totally see why some companies label their product as dried plums though, because plum just sounds more appealing than prune.

Anyway, it's great that dried prunes don't have many added preservatives. If you're buying dried prunes, you should still read the label though. I started eating dried fruit recently, and I noticed that a lot of dried fruit has a ton of added sugar, which is totally unnecessary. Dried fruit already has a lot of natural sugar in it anyway, there's no need for more.

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