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Prune power

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Nutri-rich Pick up from the platter full of prunes
Nutri-rich Pick up from the platter full of prunes

They shouldn’t be pruned from your diet as they contain vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants

A prune is a dried fruit of various plum species, mostly Prunus domestica. It is wrinkly in shape, unlike its non-dried counterpart. More than 125 cultivars of plums are grown for drying. Four of the most common cultivars are French, Imperial, Italian and Greengage. In general, prunes are freestone cultivars (the stone is easy to remove), whereas most other plums grown for fresh consumption are cling (the stone is more difficult to remove). Fresh prunes reach the market earlier than fresh plums and are usually smaller in size.

However, only some varieties of plum are usually called prunes when dried; others have usually been called “dried plums.” California produces more dried plums/prunes than the rest of the world combined.

Prunes are used in cooking both sweet and savoury dishes. Stewed prunes are a dessert. Dried plums are the not-so-secret ingredients that make everything from appetisers and salads to entrées and desserts.

Dried plums are nutrient-dense. When eaten frequently, they contribute to the overall intake of dietary fibre which function as antioxidants. They contain modest amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. Prunes are a valuable food for anyone suffering from high blood pressure .

Now for a recipe.

Apple-Spice Dried Plum Griddle Cakes

Ingredients

All-purpose flour: 1 cup

Whole wheat flour: half cup

Sugar: 2 tsp

Baking soda: one-and-a-half tsp

Salt: 1 tsp

Buttermilk: 2 cups

Eggs, lightly beaten: 2

Butter, melted: 2 tbsp

Dried plums, chopped: 1 cup (about 6 ounces)

Apple-Spice topping

MethodGriddle Cakes

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt; mix well. Set it aside. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and butter. Add it to the dry ingredients, mixing just until they are moistened.

Stir in the dried plums; let the mixture stand for five minutes.Heat a lightly greased griddle or non-skillet over a medium flame. For each pancake, pour quarter cup of batter onto the hot griddle. Turn the pancakes when the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked.Cook the other side until golden brown. Serve warm with Apple Spice Topping.

Apple Spice Topping

In a small saucepan, cook and stir one cup of unsweetened apple sauce. Add one-third cup (about 2 ounces) of finely chopped, pitted dried plums and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon over medium heat for 1 to2 minutes or until warm.

N. GOPI

Sous Chef, Taj Connemara

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