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Those Funny Prunes

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Those Funny Prunes

Have you ever said that someone was as wrinkled as a prune?  Teased someone about buying prune juice?  We've all heard lots of prune jokes.   Everyone laughs at them, right?   Well, not exactly.  

The California Prune Board isn't laughing, and wishes other people wouldn't either.  Neither are many researchers and health experts.   Turns out prunes, which are just dried plums, are absolutely loaded with antioxidants, fiber and all sorts of good compounds.    

Naturally, a small part of their high rating is that prunes are more concentrated; in other words, the water has mostly been removed, leaving a higher percentage of everything else.    Never-the-less, they pack a powerful punch health-wise.  For some interesting details on how they may protect against aging, cancers and high cholesterol, see these  reports by the Dried Plum Board.    This includes data from researchers at several prestigious universities, as well as from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.  

Now let's discuss what most people consider to be the funniest side of prunes.  Tell the truth.  Are you ever constipated?  Many experts feel that America's chronic low fiber intake and resulting constipation is one reason for our high cholesterol as well as high rate of colon cancer-  not to mention hemorrhoids!    According to the Prune Board:

"Health recommendations for dietary fiber range between 20-35 grams per day. The US population, however, averages only 14-15 g/day.  Most fruits and vegetables contain less than 2 grams per serving of total fiber and most refined grain products contain less than 1 gram per serving.  Only legumes, whole grains and concentrated grain products typically have more fiber. "

See more at the Prune Board site (now called Dried Plums) on advantages of fiber and about prunes' other benefits.  Recipes for prunes include holiday treats and recipes using  prune puree instead of fat to make moist, tasty baked goods.

The Prune Grower Page has more interesting facts on prunes; health and nutrition, the history of prune growing, and delicious prune recipes.

More really tasty recipes which include prunes can be found at the Practical Kitchen.   Page down past the piece on oatmeal for a number of pruney treats.

You can substitute prunes for the figs in our recipe for Spaghetti Sauce- Sicilian Style Plus.

Where did this unwarranted levity start?  We don't balk at raisins, snicker at dried figs nor grin at dried apricots.  Why laugh at prunes?  We'll hurt their feelings.

Give it a try!  You don't have to struggle with messy seeds anymore; buy pitted prunes.  Bite into one.  It's as sweet as candy;  the mouth-feel is almost like butter, but this treat is fat free.  It's satisfyingly chewy.   Enjoy.  This is one healthy choice that's sweeter than you think.

 

 

 

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