“Prune It” tips for watching your weight this Easter
Easter doesn’t have to be a calorie-laden holiday. Nor does it have to mean being completely abstemious if you try a California Prunes “Prune It” recipe.
We can only apologise for some of the all too tempting cakes and bakes we have on our own recipe pages, but we are advocates of healthy eating which you may have become aware of through our “Prune It” Eating Plan.
There is a school of thought that says you shouldn’t deny yourself something that you fancy because you could feel resentful, leaving you more likely to give in long term. You can treat yourself occasionally and not go off the rails.
But treats aside, if you are managing your weight you should explore the “Prune It” recipes designed by our registered nutritionist and dietitian, Jennette Higgs.
California Prune and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Rosemary Shrager has already experienced great success following the “Prune It” Eating Plan having dropped 3 dress sizes and losing an impressive 14cm from her waist. The “Prune It” Eating Plan is designed to educate consumers to understand the role that California Prunes can play in helping to reduce the fat and sugar content across a wide range of recipes.
When blended into a purée, prunes offer a useful fat replacement in cooking by adding fat-like (but fat-free) characteristics that also work to enhance the flavours in both sweet and savoury dishes. The naturally occurring sugars present in California Prunes can also provide a natural replacement for some of the processed sugars that traditionally feature in sweet recipes.
California Prune Puree
Not only that, research conducted by the University of Liverpool has found eating prunes as part of a healthy lifestyle can aid weight loss by inducing increased feelings of fullness, so you are satiated with smaller portions. And smaller portions equal less calories.
So if you are looking for ways to prune some calories this Easter, have a look through the “Prune It” recipes in our collection but also keep the following tips in mind when you are preparing your meals.
- Replace the candied fruit in an Easter cake with chopped prunes to boost the fibre and create a moister texture. Depending on the specific recipe, often this will also mean you can reduce the fat and sugar a little as well.
- Prune puree is ideal for sweetening all kinds of cakes, pastries and biscuits. It can be used to substitute some of the processed sugar or it can be used in place of a jam filling in a sponge cake. Prune puree can also be used as a spread on bread or toast and to sweeten yoghurt and porridge.
- Cut the calories in a chocolate pouring sauce by replacing 1/3 of the melted chocolate with prune puree.
- 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.
- 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 stuffing whether it is homemade or out of a packet.
- 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.
- Individual pastry tarts will consist of more pastry than a slice from one large tart. If the recipe makes 6 individual tarts, it will probably make one large tart that serves 8.
- Swap pancetta for a lower fat alternative such as Parma ham or lean back bacon
And don’t forget, if you do indulge over Easter, it does not mark the end of your healthy eating. It is just one day and will not undo all your hard work. Wake up tomorrow with a positive attitude and a healthy breakfast to kick you off again.