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I love the whole Prune It campaign concept. I regularly cook with California Prunes – home of the best quality prunes in the world


Healthy eating tips for festive feasts - from California Prunes

The festive season signals a time for celebrating and this inevitably involves over-indulging– both in terms of the quantity and type of food we consume. According to the British Dietetic Association, Brits have been known to eat a staggering 6,000 calories on Christmas Day (triple a man’s and four times a woman’s recommended daily intake) * and with many people enjoying an extended period of partying, the after effects of this decadent lifestyle can result in an average weight gain of 1-5 lb over the holiday period. But with no-one wanting to miss out on the seasonal revelries, what steps can be taken to avoid the customary post-Christmas blow-out blues? The answer is simple – Prune It!

β€˜Prune It’ is a new campaign from California Prunes, producer of the best quality prunes in the world, which shows you how to enjoy delicious food whilst reducing the fat and sugar (and therefore calorie) content - but with absolutely no sacrifice on taste. And for anyone looking to adopt healthier eating habits it is worth acknowledging that prunes are the only natural, whole fruit to achieve an authorised health claim in Europe based on research which shows that eating 100g California Prunes (roughly 8-12) daily contributes to normal bowel function.

Popular TV celebrity / chef Rosemary Shrager has been working with California Prunes for a number of years developing inspirational recipes for a variety of occasions. However, in recognition of our growing concerns about potential weight gain and in line with the public’s general desire to adopt healthier eating habits, Rosemary has refined some of her original recipes to create a selection of lighter gastronomic treats.

Rosemary says:
β€œI love the whole Prune It campaign concept. I regularly cook with California Prunes – home of the best quality prunes in the world - because their natural rich sweetness really lifts the flavour of any dish but with the added benefit of being able to cut down the amount of sugar and fat required in the recipe, making for a healthier and tasty end result!"

In addition, California Prunes’ own nutritionist Jennette Higgs has developed a series of useful β€˜Prune It’ cooking tips to help you avoid piling on the pounds this Christmas and enjoy California Prunes as part of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Many classic Christmas indulgent dishes can be β€˜pruned’ by simply reducing the sugar and fat ingredients by 1/3-1/2, depending on the recipe. Some dishes / bakes will not require anything to be added in place of the sugar / fat but incorporating some chopped prunes or prune puree helps retain the moisture, taste and fat-like characteristics, BUT with the added bonus that prunes are fat-free and contain only naturally occurring sugars, with no β€˜extra’ added sugar.

Jennette’s β€˜Prune It’ tips:

Β· Prune down mince pies by adding finely chopped prunes to shop- bought mincemeat (add a third by weight as shop bought mincemeat is so sweet and syrupy it can take the extra fruit). If you make your own mincemeat then include chopped prunes in the mix

Β· Replace the candied cherries in a Christmas cake with chopped prunes to boost the fibre and create a more moist texture. Depending on the specific recipe, often this will also mean you can reduce the fat and sugar a little as well

Β· Add prunes to any homemade Christmas pudding recipe in place of more sugary candied fruit

Β· Prune puree is ideal for sweetening cakes, pastries and biscuits

Β· Prune puree can also be used in place of jam as a filling for sponge cakes, as a spread on bread or toast and to sweeten yoghurt and porridge

Β· Cut the calories in your chocolate pouring sauce by replacing 1/3 of the melted chocolate with prune puree

Β· Try adding a little prune puree when making gravy – in addition to helping to dilute the fat content, prunes will also enhance the flavour of meat

Β· Finely chopped prunes work really well added to meat fillings eg for sausage rolls, burgers, pates, and meat dishes such as Bolognese, chilli, lasagne. You could even include chopped prunes in the turkey stuffing whether it is homemade or out of a packet

Once you’ve got into the β€˜Prune It’ swing, here are some other ways to help cut down the fat content in your festive feasts!

Switch double cream for low fat crème fraiche, or authentic Greek strained yoghurt (not Greek styled yoghurt)

Use less oil for frying than the recipe calls for – it is usually possible to reduce the quantity by half or more - especially if using a non-stick pan

Measure oil for cooking with a spoon rather than free pouring

Wherever possible, try to cut down your pastry intake. Individual pastry tarts can usually be replaced with one large tart and if the recipe claims to be sufficient for 6 individual tarts, it’s likely you can divide the large tart into 8 portions. Where individual pastry cases are essential for the recipe, try reducing the pastry by 1/3 and simply rolling it out more thinly! Consider switching puff or rough puff pastry for filo, or shortcrust pastry that is rolled thinly. It may be that you can dispense with the pastry totally – as per the Rosemary Shrager β€˜Prune It’ Prune and Duck Tartare tartlets which feature lettuce leaves!

Swap pancetta for a lower fat alternative such as Parma ham or lean back bacon

How to make the California Prune Puree:

For 125g of California Prune Puree, simply blend 100g of California stoned, ready-to-eat Prunes and 25ml of water in a liquidiser until pureed.

For more healthy recipe inspiration, visit the California Prunes website

Watch this space for BIG news of how Rosemary has embraced the Prune It concept – with some very exciting results!

- Ends –

*Source: BDA Food Fact Sheet 2014

Note to editors

What exactly is Prune It?

Prune It is a healthy eating campaign designed to educate consumers to understand the role that California Prunes can play in helping to help reduce the fat and sugar content across a wide range of recipes. When blended into a puree, prunes offer a useful fat replacer in cooking by adding fat-like (but fat-free) characteristics that also work to enhance the flavours in both sweet and savoury dishes. In addition, the naturally occurring sugars present in California Prunes can also be used to provide a natural replacement for some of the processed sugars that traditionally feature in sweet recipes. And because of their high fibre content and ability to add bulk to dishes, California Prunes also have a role to play in reducing portion size without compromising on filling power or taste.

Prunes are the only natural, whole fruit to achieve an authorised health claim in Europe. Eating 100g California Prunes (roughly 8-12) daily contributes to normal bowel function.

For all media enquiries please contact:

Lisa Allen:

Carla Wessel :

Tel 01227 700 175 / 07970 252566

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Blueberry Communications in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Food & Drink, for more information visit