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Poached Pears in Spiced Prune Juice Recipe

Poached Pears in Spiced Prune Juice Recipe

This Poached Pears with Spiced Sunsweet® Prune Juice recipe makes a light, warming dessert with no added sugar. The dish is served with an easy vanilla whipped cream.

Oh man. Prune juice may have just become my new favourite ingredient in my little country kitchen! Today I’m using it to create the dreamy sauce for these poached pears, but stay tuned as we have an incredible savoury dish coming up real soon too.

Prunes? Really??

Yep! Prunes may have traditionally had a medicinal cult following, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious too! And there’s no disputing that they’re good for you. As a healthy wholefood, they offer a range of vitamins and minerals, especially potassium and vitamins K and B6, and are a brilliant way to bring a natural sweetness to all sorts of recipes. Both sweet and savoury.*

A prune is simply a dried plum, and is there any fruit sweeter or more delicious than a perfectly ripe plum? Sunsweet Prunes and Prune Juice are from California, the land of sunshine, and I swear you can taste it in their fruit!

And whilst I may sound like a life-long prune fan, the only time I actually remember eating them was in my Mum’s famous rabbit and prune casserole she used to make when I was a kid (more on that note coming soon). And the only other place I’ve really seen prunes was in hotel breakfast buffets and they are rarely anything like the quality prunes from Sunsweet.

It’s only this past fortnight, since I’ve been testing recipes and researching all things prune that I’ve become really rather smitten. In fact, if we had more than one single solitary plum tree here on our little farm in Cornwall, I’d be tempted to try dehydrating my own prunes this summer. But as it is we scoff through those fresh plums far too quickly to consider putting any back for winter!

When I mentioned this to Sunsweet, they did advise me that even though all prunes are plums, not all plums can become prunes and that the garden variety of plums is most likely not the variety that would make prunes. Something I wasn’t aware of and thought was really interesting!

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Prune juice recipes: A Versatile Ingredient!

Buying prune juice makes this amazing fruit even more versatile, and I can’t believe how many recipes I’m now reaching for it. From our post-workout smoothies, to overnight oats. I’ve even used it in a breakfast muffin and managed to get the sugar right down whilst boosting the nutrient density through the roof.

I can highly recommend searching for a prune juice recipe from Sunsweet’s online collection. It’s really quite surprising what you will find there!

And then there’s the real magic I have discovered since experimenting with prune juice recipes. Prune juice makes the most incredible sauces, ever.

The only ingredients in this thick, sticky and unctuous sauce are:

  • Sunsweet Prune Juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla pod
  • Arrowroot powder (available in supermarkets)

That’s it! Even though it is super sweet, all that sweetness comes from the fruits themselves. No sugar or syrup needed. Somehow (and I know how bonkers this sounds) when poured over these slow cooked pears, and topped with those crunchy little nuggets of toasted hazelnuts, this sauce tastes like a caramel’y chocolate sauce.

The arrowroot powder is used to thicken the sauce up, and it does so perfectly. If you mix the arrowroot in a cup with a splash of cold water first, you’ll find it stirs into the fruit juice easily and with no lumps.

Honestly, this recipe is up there as one of my favourite natural, gluten-free desserts on my whole blog.

I beg you to try it next time you need a pud that is easy, healthy and that doesn’t contain any added sugar, sweetener or syrup. I hope you love it too!

Health Benefits

The extracts have similar beginnings and are only separated at the juicing process. These separations result in different health benefits;

Health Benefits of Plum Extract

  • Helps prevent heart attacks/strokes. Plums contain phenols that prevent heart attack, stroke, and hypertension when consumed.
  • Aids in weight loss due to antioxidants in plum extract.
  • Vitamin A is good for eye health.
  • Reduces the risk for age-related macular degeneration, thanks to Vitamin A.
  • Healthy for pregnant women. They obtain vitamins necessary for bone development, cell division, and tissue development during pregnancy.

Health Benefits of Prune Extract

According to Medicalnewstoday, the extract can prevent constipation as well as prevent colon cancer. The nutrients may also help control obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Some additional nutrients and health benefits you can expect include:

  • Iron, which helps prevent anemia.
  • Potassium, useful for controlling blood pressure.
  • Sugars combined with soluble fiber provides sustained energy.
  • Phenolic compounds that help the body to combat and preventing chronic diseases.
  • Contains boron, which helps in preventing osteoporosis.
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The Ingredient Differences

If you are unable to differentiate prune juice vs plum juice up to this point, read on as we guide you through the two.

Nutrients, Antioxidants & Sugar Level

Plum juice is made from fresh plums; hence contains a lot of nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. On the other hand, Prune has a high concentration of Vitamin A and K as well as potassium and iron. This is because the juicing process destroys some vitamins like C and concentrates on other nutrients.

The plum extract has a lot of vitamins A, C, K and B, riboflavin, potassium, iron, calcium, and thiamine.

Here is a summary of nutrients:

Fresh ExtractDry Extract
Calories: 30Calories: 67
Carbs: 8 gramsCarbs: 18 grams
Fiber: 1 gramFiber: 2 grams
Sugars: 7 gramsSugars: 11 grams
Vitamin A: 5% of the RDIVitamin A: 4% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 10% of the RDIVitamin K: 21% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 5% of the RDIVitamin B2: 3% of the RDI
Potassium: 3% of the RDIVitamin B3: 3% of the RDI
Copper: 2% of the RDIVitamin B6: 3% of the RDI
Manganese: 2% of the RDIPotassium: 6% of the RDI
Copper: 4% of the RDI
Manganese: 4% of the RDI
Magnesium: 3% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 2% of the RDI

The Laxative Effect

The dry extract has the biggest reputation when it comes to the prune juice vs plum juice debate on their laxative functions. They both, however, will help you with constipation as they contain sorbitol. The main difference, though, is that the dried extract has higher fiber content and will help out your digestive system more effectively. If you are having tummy troubles, go for the dried option. Prune juice benefits on digestion have been tried and tested and supported by many plum juice vs prune reviews.

Taste and Texture

Due to a difference in production methods, the extracts have different tastes. Prune juice is sweeter, while plum juice has a tangy-sweet taste and natural sugar content, just like other fresh fruit extracts. You can improve on the taste by adding other sweeteners as per your taste.

The dried extract has a denser texture than the fresh extract, thanks to the high fiber content.

The Drying Process

The drying process is what separates the health benefits of prune juice and plum juice. It destroys the naturally occurring Vitamin C but preserves other vitamins like A, B6, E, and K. This ensures there is some nutritional value to be found in the dried version.

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Once the dried fruits are rehydrated, they disintegrate a little and are then extracted using a masticating juicer. The extract is then filtered and reduced down to a concentrate ready for drinking. These two take the medal for the best juicer for making your extracts at home.

The key to poached pears is to start with ripe, but hard pears. If you use soft, juicy ones, they’ll collapse with the long slow cooking time. And whilst they’ll no doubt be delicious, you’ll miss out on the fabulous contrasts of texture that this dish brings to the table.

Peel the pears using a potato peeler. Keep the stalk intact (for no other reason that it looks cool when you come to serve them!)

You don’t need to remove the pips either. I find that they soften to the point of disappearing during the cooking process so I don’t even notice I’m eating them. However you are welcome to remove them once the pears are served if you prefer.

Once they are peeled, I placed them in a baking dish and covered them with the prune juice and spices. Then I simply covered them with piece of foil (bonus points if you use a pan with a lid!) to keep the moisture in. Then baked in a low oven for three hours. Low and slow.

Try to remember to turn them once during the cooking time. And finally, if you’d like your pears to stand upright in the serving dish, simply slice a little piece off the bottom to create a flat surface. You’ll find they’ll then easily balance on a flat dish or plate.

Common Questions and Answers

Still, you do not have a good grasp of the difference between plum and prune juice? Here are some frequently asked questions.

Is it Advisable to Drink the Extracts Every Day?

Yes, you can. There is no health problem associated with a daily intake of these extracts. The dried version hydrates your body as well as provide it with a host of other benefits.

Is Dried Extract Good for Detox?

Yes. Due to abundant fiber and Vitamin A, and natural laxative that helps in digestion and constipation, it is highly recommended to detox. It boosts the digestive system and cleanses the bowels.

In case you have a daily detox routine, we recommend adding the extract to it as it helps cleanse lymphatic and bowel systems.

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