Prunes are produced by drying plums. They have a concentrated sweet flavor and a dense sticky consistency. Prunes are often sold pitted and have a long shelf life. Prunes are very fibrous and can help maintain digestive regularity.
Flat, round and wrinkly. Typically dark, though color varies based on variety of plum and method of drying.
Selecting and Buying
Ideally, you should purchase prunes that are sold in transparent containers so that you can evaluate them for quality. They should be plump, shiny, relatively soft and free of mold. If the packages are opaque, ensure that they are tightly sealed so that the prunes will not have lost any moisture. As with any other dried fruit, try to purchase prunes that are not processed with food preservatives such as sulfites.
Preparation and Use
If you have prunes that are extremely dry, soaking them in hot water for a few minutes will help to refresh them. If you are planning on cooking the prunes, soaking them in water or juice beforehand will reduce the cooking time.
Conserving and Storing
Prunes should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep for several months. Storing them in the refrigerator will extend their freshness, allowing them to keep for about six months. Regardless of where you store them, make sure that when you open the container, you reseal it tightly to prevent the prunes from losing moisture.