Prunes are one of the most popular dried fruits. It is a regular 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 the natural crossing of blackthorn and cherry plum. Nowadays, it is actively cultivated in Moldova, Ukraine, the southern and middle strip of Russia, France, the North Caucasus and Asian countries.
How can I get prunes?
There is nothing particularly complicated in the method of obtaining such a dried fruit. Any ordinary plum can be turned into prune, it is enough to carry out the correct drying of fresh fruits. It is extremely important to observe some important nuances of the drying technology.
To get prunes, you need to select ripe, sweet and juicy plums without any flaws. Then, select the selected fruit in a boiling soda solution of 1-1.5% (based on 100-150 gr. Soda per 10 liters of water) for 5-20 seconds and immediately rinse them in hot water. Then you need to carry out the cooling of the fruits and drying in a steam dryer. Due to this, it is possible to preserve the contained beneficial substances to the maximum.
The drying process has its own characteristics. At the initial stage, the plums are dried for 3-4 hours (temperature 45-50 ° C) until dry, and then the next 1-2 days at a temperature within 60 ° C until fully cooked. In order for the dried fruits to acquire a characteristic dark color, immediately before the end of the drying, the temperature is increased to 100 degrees or more for 2-3 minutes. Due to this, the sugar that is contained in the pulp will appear on the surface of the prunes and caramelized, which will give a characteristic shine. When you see a slightly white coating, you can talk about the complete readiness and high quality of dried fruits.
Prunes are most often obtained from plums of varieties of greengage, hungarian, stenley. Plums can be dried with or without seeds. When drying with bones, a maximum of useful substances will remain.
Rules for the selection of prunes and its storage
When choosing fruits, you need to be careful. When buying prunes on the market, be sure to pay attention to how it looks externally. The high-quality product is matte black. If it is shiny or dark gray, then, most likely, in order to give a marketable appearance, it was processed with glycerin at a 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 technology for processing fruits is evidenced by their brown-coffee hue. Often they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. Qualitatively and correctly processed product should be sweet with a slight acidity, saturated to taste. Outwardly, it is fleshy, not over-dried, resilient and slightly soft, black in color with a slight whitish coating and a slight sheen.
Harmful substances could get into 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 sufficient for substances that may harm health to leave the fetus.
How to store prunes properly? There are two ways to do this:
- storage in a container (glass, plastic or wooden) in a dry and cool place;
- in zip packages - for this, prunes are sorted in small portions; so that ventilation is not disturbed, packages do not need to be zipped up to the end; bags can be placed on the refrigerator door.
Useful properties and composition of prunes
Prunes not only have a great taste, but also have many-sided healing properties, which are caused by the content of useful substances in the plum, which are almost completely preserved during the drying process.
Prunes have a rich vitamin and mineral composition. All this is shown in the table.
|Useful material||Content in 100 gr. edible parts|
|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|
The following table shows the nutritional value of prunes.
|The energy value||Nutrients in 100 gr. product|
|Calorie content||256 kcal|
|Organic acids||3.5 g|
|Alimentary fiber||9 g|
|Saturated Fatty Acids||0.1 g|
|Unsaturated fatty acids||0.1 g|
|Mono- and disaccharides||56.9 g|
Prunes are very beneficial for the human body. It is peculiar to him:
- Normalize the digestive system due to the high content of organic acids and fiber. It allows you to get rid of such a problem as constipation.
- The potassium present in the composition helps this product fight the manifestations of vascular diseases - thrombosis, atherosclerosis and others. Potassium also contributes to increased excretion of urine and bile secretion, supports the work of the heart muscle.
- Improves the condition of the skin and its appearance due to antioxidant properties.
- Helps to improve vision due to the sufficient amount of vitamin A.
- Helps cleanse the body of toxins.
- Sucrose and glucose present in prunes can increase the overall tone of the body and increase its performance.
- Due to the bactericidal properties of these fruits, the infusion of them can rinse the oral cavity in the presence of infection in it. He is also characterized by the restoration of acid-base balance in the body, which prevents the development of caries.
- The content of B vitamins in large quantities 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 hypertonics into its diet.
- It has the property of absorbing free radicals that destroy the body. Due to this, it is useful to use for the prevention of cancer pathology.
- Due to the wide vitamin selection, prunes are useful for vitamin deficiencies. Very often it is prescribed to patients with iron deficiency anemia.
Prunes found their application as a means for 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 from accumulated toxins in the body, toxins and other harmful substances. The pectin substances present in this product help to eliminate excessive amounts of cholesterol.
When losing weight, another property of prunes is important. Due to the rich content of organic acids, vitamins and other elements that are important for health in it, it allows you to stabilize the activity of the whole organism as a whole, which is extremely important during cleansing.
Prunes are a natural antidepressant, and this is important for depression-prone and irritated women who are losing weight. Useful sugars, which are in its composition, will help those who are trying to lose weight and cannot completely exclude sweets.
There are different diets, which include prunes. We will focus on some of them.
Prune fasting days
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 a discharge can not be used by those who suffer from diabetes.
Slimming with prunes is equally effective when combined with other products.
The essence of such a diet in the use of several steamed fruits of prunes before each meal. If there is a strong feeling of hunger, then between the main receptions, you can eat five dried fruits and drink a decoction of them.
Approximate six-day cleansing diet using prunes:
- breakfast - hard-boiled eggs - 2 pcs., grapefruit and unsweetened green tea;
- lunch - lean soup, a small slice of bran bread, prune decoction;
- afternoon tea - 1 grapefruit;
- dinner - boiled or stewed fish, tea without sugar.
- 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 fresh apples.
The third day:
- breakfast - a slice of cheese, a slice of bran bread, a glass of herbal tea;
- lunch - lean borsch, boiled potatoes - 2 pieces, prune compote;
- afternoon snack - one apple or grapefruit;
- dinner - boiled beet salad, a small slice of bread with bran, broth and prunes.
Next, from the fourth day, the diet is repeated, starting from the first. Each 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 flour (except bread with bran, 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.
Diet with prunes and kefir
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. This dish can be used for a fasting day, and if necessary, even two in a row. Also, this mixture can be used for steady and slow weight loss instead of the usual dinner.
Diet with prunes for the lazy
Such a diet with prunes is very simple, but it will be effective if you yourself will control the diet. Replace heavy side dishes with 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 use 3-4 prune berries with this diet 20 minutes before a meal. You can not drink after meals, especially sweet drinks. Breakfast 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 its great usefulness, it must be borne in mind that in some cases, prunes can also slightly harm a person. What are these cases?
- Prunes are not suitable for diabetics due to the high content of saccharides in it.
- In some very rare cases, an allergy to these dried fruits is possible. This is especially true for those individuals who are prone to allergic reactions.
- With caution, prunes should be taken if you are breast-feeding. In infants, bowel cramps are possible as a result of this.
- It is better to exclude prunes from the diet for those who have a tendency to diarrhea, because it has a laxative effect.
- Dried plums can be harmful due to the use of chemicals during processing.
Prunes are used in cooking for desserts, decoration of the festive table, added to meat dishes (rolls, baked duck, goose, beef, pork). It perfectly complements the taste of these products.
On the basis of prunes, a traditional Christmas pattern is prepared. Stewed 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. A filling is prepared from it, combined with other products in the composition of desserts (nuts, honey, raisins, apples, etc.). Prunes are decorated with cakes, cookies, rolls, and pastries.
Prunes are a popular dried fruit, which contains many useful nutrients, micro and macro elements, vitamins. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, bactericidal properties. Due to laxative and cleansing properties, it has been used in various diets.
The fruits of dried plums have excellent taste, so almost everyone can eat it, even babies, starting from 6-7 months of age. Widely used in cooking.
Prunes - a real pantry of health and a great dessert!