If you’ve never cooked your own food, then stewed prunes might just be what you need to get started.
This delicious fruit has many health benefits when eaten raw or cooked, so why not include it into your diet?
What Are The Ingredients In A Stewed Prunes Recipe?
Stewed prunes are very easy to prepare.
They require just a handful of ingredients including water, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks, and prune juice.
You will also want to add some spices like nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, mace, and/or peppermint oil if you desire.
The final step is to simmer them until they have reached the desired consistency.
You could use this as part of a dessert by serving it over ice cream, but you can also eat it on its own.
There are two types of prunes used in making stewed prunes recipes – dried and fresh.
Both are nutritious, but fresh prunes will give off more flavor than dried ones.
However, dried prunes are easier to find and less expensive compared to their fresh counterparts.
Dried prunes tend to come in different sizes ranging from 1 cup to 8 cups.
The larger size would work better for large families while smaller options may suit those who don’t consume much fruit per day.
Fresh prunes are available year-round due to their high demand during the holiday season.
As such, they are often sold out before Thanksgiving and Christmas even arrive.
If you are looking for these fruits, try stocking up early because they rarely last long once they hit the shelves.
How Do You Make Stewed Prunes?
Stewed prunes are easy to prepare if you have all of the necessary ingredients on hand.
The first thing you will want to do is gather up some dried prunes.
You should also choose a large pot to stew them in.
Prune stews don’t take too much time to prepare, but they taste better after sitting overnight.
You may use fresh prunes instead, however, depending on how long you plan on stewing them before eating.
Once you have gathered your ingredients, start by washing them thoroughly.
Once these items are clean, cut off any stems from the prunes.
Next, put the prunes in a bowl and cover them with water.
Allow this mixture to sit while you prep your other ingredients.
After soaking the prunes for about 20 minutes, drain them completely.
Place the drained prunes back in their original container and add enough water to fill the bottom third of the container.
Then place the lid on top and set aside until needed.
The next step in making stewed prunes involves adding the rest of the ingredients.
Start by placing 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
After stirring the sugar around in order to dissolve it, bring the contents of the pan to a boil once more.
Let this simmer for five minutes before turning down the flame.
Now add 1/4 cup brown rice flour to the pan.
Stir continuously as you continue cooking the liquid.
When everything comes together, turn down the flame again to low and let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
Make sure to stir frequently throughout the process.
When the prunes are ready, remove them from the stovetop and allow them to cool slightly.
If you like your stewed prunes sweetened, pour half the syrup into each jar.
Now carefully transfer the prunes into the jars using tongs.
Pour the remaining syrup in the middle of the jar, leaving room between the prunes and the rim of the jar.
Seal the jars tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Benefits of stewed prunes
Prunes contain high amounts of fiber which makes them great for weight loss.
They also provide vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus.
These nutrients help keep our bodies healthy and fight against disease and infection.
In addition, prunes aid digestion because of their high levels of pectin.
Prunes also benefit those who suffer from diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels.
Since prunes are rich in antioxidants, they work to prevent inflammation in the body.
Inflammation plays a role in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Prunes For Stewing?
The easiest way to use fresh prunes is by cooking them down until they become soft and mushy.
If you have dried prunes on hand, then you will need to soak them first before cooking.
You should also consider soaking the prune pits if they aren’t removed from the fruit while drying out.
You don’t want any mold forming inside the pit as this could affect the taste of your stewed prunes!
How Long Do You Stew Prunes For?
The time required for cooking depends on how much you want to eat.
You can either enjoy them as they come out of the pot, which will take around 20 minutes if you don’t add any other ingredients, or you can add more spices to the mixture before letting it simmer.
You can also use this technique to create different dishes by adding different fruits to the mix.
For example, you could try making stewed apricots instead of prunes.
Just remember to adjust the cooking times accordingly depending on the size of your fruit.
Prune Stewing Times by Weight
Here is a chart showing how long you should cook prunes based on their weight.
As you can see above, the heavier the prunes are, the longer they should be cooked.
The lighter ones usually require less time, but even those still have some flavor left.
If you are unsure about how long to let them stew, stick to the recommended time frames.
They won’t go bad if you wait too long, and they will taste great regardless of how long you leave them in the pot.
What Is The Perfect Temperature To Stew Prunes At?
This question comes up often because stewed prune recipes vary widely depending on how they are prepared.
Stewed prunes should always be cooked slowly enough to ensure that no chunks remain intact.
The slow cooking process will help release more of their beneficial compounds while also minimizing the risk of burning them.
To achieve this effect, it is important to use high heat for short periods of time.
If you want to avoid over-cooking your stewed prunes, you may want to add a little water to the pan as needed.
Low Temperature Cooking Process
When using low temperatures, you won’t have any issues with sticking, but you will miss out on all of the wonderful flavor that prunes offer.
To prepare stewed prunes for low temperature cooking, you must first soak them overnight.
The soaking process helps remove some of the bitter elements while also making them softer and easier to digest.
After soaking, drain off the excess liquid before adding them to the pan.
You can add a bit of sugar if you like, but there isn’t much point since most people don’t eat these unrefined fruits without added sweeteners anyway.
Next, place the prunes into a large skillet and cover them with apple cider vinegar.
Make sure to stir the mixture every once in awhile to prevent any pieces from burning.
After about 30 minutes of simmering, turn down the flame and let them continue to cook until they reach the desired consistency.
It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour to finish cooking according to different recipes.
During this stage, you should check frequently to see if they are soft enough to enjoy.
Medium Heat Cooking Process
Stewed prunes cooked on medium heat require less work than those that are simmered on low heat.
There is still some preparation involved though, including removing stones and peeling skins.
You will find that prunes are very dense, which makes them ideal candidates for cooking methods requiring medium heat.
Simply put, you cannot overcook prunes unless you choose to do so intentionally.
As previously mentioned, prunes tend to hold onto lots of nutrients due to their thick skin, but even so, they aren’t difficult to peel.
Begin by cutting away a small portion of the outer layer of each prune.
Next, carefully peel back the remaining layers one by one until you expose the fleshy interior.
Once you’re done with the peeling process, cut the prunes into quarters and throw them into a pot filled with cold water.
Allow them to sit in the water for 5 minutes before draining them.
You now have fresh stewed prunes ready to go!
If you would prefer to skip the peeling step, simply purchase pre-peeled prunes instead.
They come already peeled and cleaned, which means you don’t have to worry about dealing with tough bits of stubborn skin.
What Goes Well With Stewed Prunes?
When cooking stewed prunes, there are many different ways to prepare them depending on how much time you have available.
You can serve them as a dessert if you want something sweet after dinner.
If you prefer savory dishes, try pairing them with cheese or meat.
You could even add some extra flavor by using honey instead of sugar!
Sweet Stewed Prunes Recipe
- .5 cups of dried prune juice (you can find this in most grocery stores)
- 1 cup of water
- A pinch of cinnamon powder
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
(Optional) 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (or honey)
Savory Stewed Prunes Recipe
- .5 cups of dried prune juice (see above)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
(Optional) 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
What Is The Best Way To Serve Stewed Prunes?
There are several ways you can enjoy this healthy treat.
You could eat them plain as they are, but if you want to add some more flavor to the dish, try adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, or even chocolate chips!
You can also use dried apricots instead of prunes for a different type of taste.
To eat stewed prunes, simply pour about 1/4 cup (or less) over each serving and stir in the pan until mixed together thoroughly.
They will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Here are a couple other ideas on how to enjoy stewed prunes.
Stewed Prune Pudding Recipe – Add some milk, sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla extract to any stewed prune mixture and let simmer slowly while stirring constantly.
Then pour pudding mix into a greased bowl and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
Stuffed Prune Recipes – Stuff these little fruits with cream cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, rice cereal, and raisins before baking.
Or you may choose to stuff them with sausage meat, bacon bits, or chopped nuts.
Prune-filled Chocolate Chip Cookies – Bake cookies using standard cookie dough recipes, but substitute 2 cups of stewed prunes for 2 tablespoons of the flour used in the original recipe.
If you love prunes, then consider making stewed prunes part of your regular routine.
The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take much time to prepare, which means you won’t have to worry about burning dinner!
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Stewed Prunes?
When cooked properly, prunes have lots of nutrients, including vitamin A, C, B6, niacin, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, antioxidants, and more.
Prune nutrition varies depending on how they were grown, harvested, stored, and prepared.
The USDA says dried prunes have 25% less calories than fresh ones (with about 90 calories per 100 grams).
They also contain 20 times as much pectin compared to fresh prunes.
The FDA recommends cooking them until soft, but still firm, for maximum nutrient absorption.
Soaking them before adding them to recipes will help soften them up even further and add moisture.
However, boiling too long will destroy most of their nutritional value.
Here are some tips from the American Institute of Nutrition for preparing prunes:
- Soak dried prunes overnight in 1/3 cup water.
- Drain and rinse thoroughly.
- Add soaked prunes along with other dry ingredients to slow cooker.
- Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.
- Remove prunes after cooking time is complete, drain excess liquid if necessary, and enjoy!
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Stewed Prunes?
Prune recipes have been around for centuries because they contain vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants.
In addition, prunes also help improve blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, aid digestion, strengthen bones, boost energy, fight cancer, prevent kidney stones, and even protect against diabetes.
Because prunes are high in nutrients, they can easily become one of your favorite snacks.
Prune recipes can come in different forms, such as dried, canned, frozen, pickled, jam-filled, or even baked into muffins and cakes.
You can find them on their own or combined with other fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, meats, dairy products, and more.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Eating Stewed Prunes
Prune juice contains high levels of vitamin C as well as potassium, which means they have great health benefits.
For example, prune juice offers protection against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
They also contain antioxidants, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese – all essential nutrients for good health.
Despite their excellent nutritional profile, prunes shouldn’t be consumed by anyone who suffers from kidney problems due to their high level of phosphorus content.
However, if you don’t suffer from any medical conditions, then you should still eat them regularly because they offer significant health benefits to your body.
Another benefit of consuming prunes is its ability to help reduce inflammation throughout the digestive tract.
Inflammation plays a major role in causing diseases such as arthritis, asthma, allergies, migraines, Crohn’s Disease, and colitis.
Eating prunes helps prevent these inflammatory illnesses.
- 8 ounces pitted prunes
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- Prunes should be added to a pot, separated from those that are clumped together.
- Bring water to a boil after adding.
- For 10 minutes, simmer on low heat with the lid on.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
- Keep chilled and in a covered container.