Prunes have been proven to provide a healthy and natural replacement for some of the processed sugars in sweet dishes and can even be used to sweeten coffee. Called ‘nature’s candy’ in the US, and in Italy ‘sugar prune’, the wrinkly fruits are an easy substitute for sugar and can be used in many different ways to add natural sweetness to recipes. When blended into a puree, prunes can be used to sweeten cakes, pastries and biscuits and used like a jam to sweeten yoghurt and porridge or spread on bread or toast.
In recent testing the sugar content of seven recipes was reduced and replaced with prune puree producing sugar reductions between 27% and 35%, with no compromise on texture and flavour. Consultant Dietitian Jennette Higgs comments, “Too much added sugar in our diet is likely to be hindering our efforts to reduce calories, since much of this sugar is hidden.
The sugar provided in whole fruits is not a problem as this is in a form that is much more filling and more slowly digested in the body. People should not be put off eating whole fruits either fresh or dried, in their quest to reduce sugar intake.”
Esther Ritson-Elliott, California Prune Board’s European marketing director adds, “The great bonus with prunes is the fact that they tend to taste sweeter than their fresh counterparts and being convenient to carry around, offer a perfect alternative to processed snack foods that tend to be high in refined sugar, fat and salt. The fact that prunes can now also be used as a puree to reduce the sugar content of many recipes is a breakthrough in the fight against added sugar.”
Simply plums with the water removed, prunes contain only natural sugars and retain their nutrients and are naturally fat-free and a high source of fibre. Three prunes is one of your five-a-day. http://www.californiaprunes.co.uk/recipes.asp
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