6 Completely different Kinds of Prunes

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Prunes are primarily dried plums and there are varieties appropriate for prunes. This text options various kinds of prunes that you could be be excited about.

Dried plum on wooden bowl.

What Are Prunes?

Whereas there’s often some confusion about this, prunes are primarily simply dried plums. The factor is, that whereas all prunes are dried plums – not all plums are destined to be prunes. Until you’re drying them out your self, the prunes you’ll discover offered on the retailer are produced from a sort of plum particularly cultivated to be dried into prunes.

In reality, they really come from a unique plant than the one which grows your common plum. It is because prune cultivars are grown particularly in order that it’s simpler to take away the pit.

Fresh and dried plum in a wooden bowl.

Whereas prunes are sometimes related to older people preserving their gastro-intestinal methods flowing, they’re rather more than that. Prunes have unimaginable well being properties and are simply as pleasant eaten alone as a scrumptious snack as they’re cooked, stewed or added as a candy accoutrement to a roast.

In 2001, prune growers in the USA received approval to rebrand prunes to ‘dried plums’, in an effort to fight a purportedly derogatory notion that they had been solely eaten by geriatrics and used as a laxative. In consequence within the US, many growers now bundle these fruit as dried plums at grocery shops.

Prunes You’re Prone to Encounter (and One You’re Not)

There are over 1000 totally different sorts of plum cultivar which have been particularly engineered for drying into prunes. Whereas I received’t be protecting all of them, listed here are the most typical varieties you’re more likely to discover, and one barely rarer one which makes for an ideal possibility should you’re trying to begin rising your personal plums!

1. Improved French

A heap of Improved French prune.

The French Improved Prune is the preferred prune varietal grown within the states. It has reddish purple pores and skin and honey-colored, deliciously candy flesh. French improved prunes are self fertile bushes however they are going to develop greater and more healthy if planted alongside a second tree. The style is wealthy and succulently candy, with notes bordering vanilla.

2. Sutter

Sutter dried plum on a small cloth sack.

The sutter prune was developed by the College of California’s Dried Plum and Prune Cultivation Enchancment Program (which is completely an actual factor), and was explicitly developed as a competitor to the improved french prune.

A lot redder in hue, the Sutter plum averages the next sugar content material than the Improved French and in addition has the extra advantage of maturing about 7 to 10 days faster, which helps growers handle the harvesting and drying phases over an extended interval.

3. Tulare Big

Whole Tulare Giant dried plum.

One other alumnus of the College of California’s Dried Plum and Prune Cultivation Enchancment Program – which is able to henceforth be referred to on this article with a extra handy acronym: The UoCDPPCIP – the Tulare Big is a cross of the Empress and Primacote sorts of European plum.

In contrast to the earlier two, this tree isn’t self fertile. The fruit is considerably bigger than the improved French, and whereas it has been used to dry into prunes, it was not initially supposed to be for the reason that pit on the Tulare Big continues to be fairly giant. Nonetheless prunes of this sort can nonetheless be came upon and about, and so they style completely phenomenal.

4. Moyer

Moyer prune and fresh moyer plum.

Moyer plums are additionally widespread for drying. Italian in origin, they produce a hefty prune. The unique fruit has a beautiful orange flesh and is excellent as each a recent plum or loved dried into prunes. They’ve reddish pores and skin and the tree flowers extra usually than most, bearing a big crop. Moyer plums are somewhat extra tart, and make scrumptious prunes.

5. Imperial

The Imperial, or Imperial Epineuse Plum is a prune plum that’s notably notable for the truth that its plums don’t require a ‘lye dip’. Whereas it depends upon the tactic of the drier, most prunes are briefly dipped in lye as a part of the drying course of, which cracks the pores and skin and helps the prune retain sugar.

The Imperial doesn’t want a lye dip and might be dried proper off the tree with no additional prep. This purple pruning plum is to not be confused with the Imperial Gage, a really juicy and candy plum with inexperienced, yellow tinted pores and skin. Imperial gage bushes crop very reliably and their plums may also be used to make prunes, although the top product Gage Plum received’t be anyplace close to as specialised as an Epineuse.

6. Inexperienced Gage

Green Gage dried plum on a white background.

As soon as the king of prunes, this selection was essentially the most prolific species throughout Europe and the USA within the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Whereas many individuals declare to develop them, the true Inexperienced Gage is headed for extinction in North America.

It is a results of them being cross-bred and diluted to attempt to mitigate their common fragility, a high quality which makes them arduous to domesticate as a business plum and equally troublesome for giant scale drying into prunes.

Nonetheless should you’re homesteading or have an curiosity in rising your personal plums, they need to pose no bother in any respect for the house gardener, and true Inexperienced Gage plum inventory might be present in North America with somewhat little bit of discerning analysis. The ensuing prunes are a number of the most scrumptious and coveted, so the Inexperienced Gage makes for an outstanding dwelling orchard tree.

What Are the Advantages of Prunes?

A woman eating dried plum.

Prunes are a type of fruits that rides the border between regular dried fruit and medicinal wonderdrug. Packed stuffed with nice vitamins, prunes comprise over 15 important nutritional vitamins and vitamins resembling Nutritional vitamins A, Okay, B2, B3, Potassium, Copper and Manganese to call a couple of. Listed below are a number of the major advantages of prunes.

They Relieve Signs of Constipation

Prunes are an age outdated, dependable technique of getting issues flowing once more if, God forbid, you ever come up in opposition to a pesky bout of constipation. This borderline magical high quality is a results of the excessive fibre content material. Fibre isn’t water soluble and in consequence, the fibre provides bulk to stool which is assumed to hurry up the speed at which the digestive tract processes waste.

On high of the fibre prunes have the extra advantage of containing sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol identified to supply laxative results when ingested. Prune juice is especially efficient as a result of along with all the advantages of prunes, the method of juicing prunes is accomplished by steaming them. This steaming releases the chemical dihydrophenylisatin, which is a pure laxative and is beneficial for regulating muscle contractions.


Prunes and their widespread mother or father, plums, are virtually pulsing with polyphenol antioxidants that are confirmed to have constructive results on bone well being and have been linked to reductions in coronary heart illness and decreased incidence of diabetes.

Antioxidants on the whole are nice for decreasing irritation and preserving cells wholesome. Lab checks have proven that the precise antioxidants in plums are notably highly effective and efficient in stopping lung and joint illness in rats and mice, although intensive prune testing hasn’t been carried out on people in a lab setting.

They Are Helpful in Serving to Regulate Blood Sugar.

Regardless of being candy and replete with carbohydrates, plums have been proven to not trigger a big spike in blood sugar after being consumed. This makes them possibility for regulating blood sugar ranges, and has been linked to decrease incidence of sort 2 diabetes.

The principle trigger for that is doubtless the excessive ranges of adiponectin present in plums, a protein hormone that in people, is launched by adipose tissues within the physique. Adiponectin is used to control blood sugar and has been related to weight reduction making prunes an ideal possibility as a wholesome snack.

Bone Well being

Prunes are nice on your bones and have been related to decreased bone loss. They’ve additionally been discovered to help in sustaining wholesome bone density. It is a results of the excessive ranges of Vitamin Okay present in prunes, in addition to the presence of these polyphenol antioxidants talked about earlier.

Are There Any Dangers Related to Consuming a Lot of Prunes?

Whereas all of the medicinal advantages might tempt you to start out shovelling prunes down as quick as potential, warning is suggested. With nice energy comes nice efficiency and it’s simple to overdo it and provides your self an excessive amount of of factor.

Suggestions range, however on the whole I’d keep away from consuming greater than 50 grams of prunes in a day -which quantity to five or 6- and rather a lot much less should you’re notably delicate to them. Listed below are the principle belongings you need to be careful for earlier than embracing the prune as a dietary staple with reckless abandon:

Gastrointestinal Misery

A man holding his stomach and suffering from pain.

The prune’s revered standing as a pure laxative generally is a little bit of a double edged sword should you overdo it. Some individuals might be fairly delicate to the sorbitol present in prunes as properly, which might result in bloating, cramps, nausea and even vomiting. Prunes have slightly below 15 grams of sorbitol per hundred grams, and solely 5 grams of sorbitol is sufficient to elicit signs of bloating in some individuals.

Given this, it’s prudent to err on the aspect of much less is extra with prunes and to not overdo it in case you have a historical past of abdomen misery from different fibrous dried fruits like raisins, figs or apricots.


Whereas not true throughout the board, it’s value figuring out that not all prunes are created equal. When dried at excessive temperatures, some prunes develop a chemical in them generally known as Acrylamide which is the byproduct of an interplay between the sugars in plums and an amino acid referred to as asparagine.

Not all prunes are stuffed with this, and most are dried at decrease temperatures to keep away from this from taking place, nevertheless it’s value figuring out that Acrylamide can enhance your danger of getting sure cancers. In consequence, you should definitely learn the label when shopping for prunes to make sure they’re top quality and have been dried at low temperatures.

The right way to Dry Your Personal!

Slices of plum being dried on a screen.

Okay, now that we’ve coated all the advantages of prunes and the drawbacks related to consuming method too a lot of them – right here’s a fast information on making your very personal!

That is assuming that you simply don’t have a meals dehydrator as a result of, properly, I don’t have one nor do I do know anybody who does. That mentioned should you do have one, it’s apparently simpler to do, though making this course of any simpler is tough to think about for the reason that drying course of is a chunk of cake and all you want is a knife and an oven – and a few plums after all.

  1. Begin by pitting your plums. There aren’t any shortcuts until you need to put money into an industrial plum pitter, simply reduce two slits on one aspect from high to backside, and fiddle it out. With somewhat trial and error you’ll be a grasp very quickly. Most plums are freestone so the flesh doesn’t cling to the pit. I prefer to pinch the stones out, toothpaste squeezing fashion however discover what works for you.
  2. Get a rack and place all of your plums with the reduce half face down in order that the juices can leak out. You’ll need to put a tray with a baking sheet beneath the rack to gather all of the juices, in any other case you’re going to have a hell of a time cleansing your oven.
  3. Put them within the oven on convection mode, set to 180°F / 200°F, relying on how a lot time you’re prepared to spend. The decrease the higher on the whole for drying fruit, however at 200°F it’ll nonetheless be about 8 hours to get them dried however nonetheless pretty juicy.

As soon as they’re in, hold tabs on them and see what you want. If you need them somewhat juicier you possibly can take them out earlier.
Since these received’t comprise the preservatives used on retailer purchased prunes, you should definitely hold them within the fridge or freeze them should you’re not going to eat them rapidly since they are going to be vulnerable to mould.