There is no dried fruit more misunderstood than the prune. It is so prejudiced for its wrinkles that in many countries marketers have attempted to give the prune a face lift by calling it ‘dried plum’. We keep it real in South Africa, so ‘prune’ it is. However ‘prune with pip’ is a misnomer but perhaps this time out of fondness because it does not really have a pip but we are unwilling to give it a heart of stone.
Many customers raise their eyebrows if I suggest prunes as a healthy snack, as if I might have suggested that they need help to go! Perhaps the biggest misconception of prunes is that they are a stimulant laxative; which is not true. Prunes are a great source of fibre, they contain sorbitol which helps the gut absorb water, so they can get you out of a spot if you find you can’t go.
But there is much more to this humble fruit such as lowering cholesterol, assisting with blood clotting and building strong bones. The prune is especially beneficial as we get older. The inevitable price of getting to stick around is that our bodies will change. If a handful are added to our daily diet, the high levels of calcium in the prune will help to maintain bone density.
Even then, doubt lingers. Surely the sweetness of prunes will result in weight gain or sugar spikes. Yet people that eat prunes regularly say prunes won’t make you fat, the high fibre and sorbitol content temper the sugars.
At Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts we are rather fond of the prune. There is something decadent about our soft succulent pitted prunes. I keep them in a small tub in my car and they comes in handy during a sugar low, often the same time as late afternoon traffic.
But it’s the unpretentious prune with pip that we have on special in all Montagu stores at the moment. Enjoy them as is or soak in warm water to separate prune and pip. May be add to a lamb casserole or serve stewed with custard as dessert. Why not visit your nearest store for more ideas of what to do with the modest prune with pip to make the most of all it has to offer. Be sure to pop a bag of sweet, juicy prunes into your trolley on your next visit to the store.
About Liesl Carstens
Liesl Carstens is the marketing manager for Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts – one of South Africa’s foremost dried fruit, nuts and seeds suppliers with more than 137 specialised stores nationwide. Liesl is passionate about the brand and the dried fruit and nuts industry and has 16 years marketing and communication experience. She’s been with the brand since the launch of its first franchise in 2011. Ever since joining Montagu, Liesl has strived to encourage consumers to live healthier, balanced lifestyles and to choose nutrient dense snacks. She does this by growing customers’ knowledge about dried fruit, nuts and seeds’ benefits and uses.