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We regularly publish some great healthy living tips, new recipes and other Prune tidbits on our blog

  • Positive steps towards maintaining a healthy weight

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    If you believe the headlines, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Our kids are fatter than ever. Adult health is being negatively affected by expanding waistlines with the results being a greater propensity for cancer, heart disease, diabetes. It’s enough to make you reach for a chocolate bar. But hold that thought! It’s never too late to do something positive about weight management.

    Comfort Eating

    The links between stress, comfort eating on high-fat, sugar-laden foodstuffs and subsequent weight gain cannot be ignored. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, a quarter of Americans rate their stress level – on a ten-point scale - as 8+. And stress certainly seems to have an adverse impact on our food preferences. When the going gets tough, we reach for the buns! And, when we’re stressed, we also sleep less, exercise less and drink more alcohol. None of which are great for the waistline.

    Researchers at Harvard University offer a trio of common-sense tips for countering stress:

    • Meditation: The practice will help you to become more mindful of your moods and better able to make healthy food choices.
    • Exercise: Activities like yoga and tai chi combine exercise and meditation – a win-win!
    • Social support: A listening ear, when you need to offload, from a supportive member of your network of contacts – choose that ear wisely, it could be a friend, a family member or colleague – can also help to alleviate the symptoms of stress.

    Removing Temptation

    A sensible step when it comes to weight management is – wherever possible - removing temptation. Having your favourite comfort foods on tap is just asking for trouble. Stock up on fresh fruit and veg. Replace biscuits and crisps with dried fruit and nuts. Swap fizzy drinks for juices with no-added sugar. A few simple switches could make a world of difference.

    How can Prunes Help with Weight Loss?

    Prunes are sweet, really tasty and versatile – whether eaten straight from the pack or as a flavourful addition to a favourite recipe. But you might be surprised to read that, according to research by the University of Liverpool, eating prunes can actively help to boost weight loss.

    The University’s study of 100 people (men and women) tested whether, over a 3-month period, eating the fruit - as part of a weight loss diet - helped or hindered weight control. The results were interesting, discovering that the prune eaters experienced greater weight loss than the control group during the last four weeks of the study and - after week eight – experienced greater satiety. They felt fuller. Dr Jo Harrold, who led the research, said: "Prunes may be beneficial to dieters by tackling hunger and satisfying appetite; a major challenge when you are trying to maintain weight loss."

    Be Prepared!

    With a well-stocked fruit bowl, a selection of dried fruits and some natural juices to hand, a healthy snack is never too far away. Smoothies are sweet and satisfying and can be whizzed up in seconds. And a handful of prunes – enjoyed on their own – couldn’t be more convenient. You can check out our recipe pages too, for lots of healthy inspiration!

    PS: Did you know that prunes can be included in a wide range of special diets? Whether you are gluten intolerant, diabetic, a vegan or a vegetarian, you can find out more about the health benefits of prunes, here on our FAQ pages

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Summery Roll

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Kiss goodbye to the boring ham sandwich and packet of crisps combo. Elevate your packed lunches and picnics to a whole new level of healthiness and flavour with our Summery Rolls. At less than 100 calories per serving, our Summery Rolls make a light and super tasty appetiser, too.

    Ingredients

    60 g glass noodles (Asian supermarket) 

    1 ripe mango 

    2 carrots 

    150 g California prunes 

    1-2 bunches of Thai basil 

    1 bunch of mint 

    1 small romaine lettuce heart 

    12 round rice paper sheets (approx. ø 20 cm)

    4 tbsp. lime juice 

    Salt & pepper

    2 chillies, finely chopped  

    Instructions

    1. Soak glass noodles according to package directions. Peel, core, and slice mango. Peel carrots and cut into slivers. Cut prunes in halves. Remove basil and mint leaves from stems. Wash lettuce and divide into large pieces.
    2. Soak rice paper sheets one by one for about 2 minutes in cold water and place on a kitchen towel, drain slightly. Drain the glass noodles and season with lime juice, salt, and chilli. Arrange 2 basil leaves and 3 mint leaves with some salad in the centre of each rice sheet. Place glass noodles, mango, carrots, and prunes on top. Fold sides a bit over filling, and then roll up.

    Tip: serve with a dip of red and green chilli slices, chopped prunes, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

  • The top three nutritional reasons to keep loving prunes this season

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Did you know that there are lots of compelling reasons why prunes should be top of the class, and not just at back-to-school time? Not convinced? Well, here are our top three seasonal reasons why you – and your family - should be making friends with prunes!

    Understandably, you may be reluctant to kiss goodbye to the summer. But, no matter what your life stage, the autumn is an excellent opportunity to embrace that back-to-school feeling, in whatever way you and yours can this year. September is the perfect time of the year to get back to basics, from a health and fitness point-of-view. And, guess what, prunes are a great place to start!

    The top three seasonal reasons to love prunes

    1. You can give your immune system a fighting chance to keep all of those annoying autumnal bugs at bay … with prunes! The dried fruit is a rich source of vitamin B6 and copper, both nutrients are able to help to support a healthy immune system.
    2. The holiday suitcase is back on top of the wardrobe for another year, the nights are getting longer, darker and colder so it’s not uncommon - or indeed surprising - for your energy and motivation levels to start to take a downward turn. But did you know that prunes can help? Vitamin B6 - which we mentioned above - can help you to feel less tired, it also supports the normal release of energy from foods and the transportation of iron in the body. Copper and manganese – both of which are found in prunes – assist in some of these functions too.
    3. Prunes have lots of heart health benefits. They’re naturally saturated fat free and reducing the consumption of saturated fat helps to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. They’re naturally salt-free, too, and reducing the intake of salt helps to maintain normal blood pressure.

    There really is a lot to love about prunes!

    Want to find out more? Take a look at our online guide to the health-boosting properties of prunes or check out our FAQ

    On a more serious note…

    Scientific research has been undertaken into the role that prunes can play in potentially helping to prevent serious illness. And a recent study found that eating prunes regularly, may help to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.

    Professor Dr Nancy Turner Texas A&M University said: “Through our research, we were able to show that dried plums promote retention of beneficial bacteria throughout the colon, and by doing so they may reduce the risk of colon cancer.”

    According to the NHS, bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK.

    That back-to-school feeling

    The daily ‘little break’ and ‘big break’ for kids, and adults, are always a challenge but don’t overlook the snacking potential of prunes. With no added sugar, prunes are naturally sweet. And, let’s face it, which child isn’t on the hunt for something sweet the second they walk in the door?! Negotiating playground and office politics is hungry work after all!

    Enjoyed straight from the pack, included in the family’s favourite bakes or whizzed into a smoothie, prunes make the perfect lunchbox filler or healthy after-school treat.

    You can check out our delicious smoothie recipe suggestions, here:

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Prune and Chocolate Macaroons

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Wow your guests with these super stylish teatime treats. Piled high on your prettiest serving plate, these Prune and Chocolate Macaroons won’t last for long. They are beyond delicious so make sure that you keep a few reserve Macaroons in the kitchen, just for you … it’s the cook’s privilege, after all!

    Ingredients

    180g Icing sugar 

    180g Ground almonds 

    180g Caster sugar 

    4 egg whites 

    3 tblsp water 

    Drop of lemon juice 

    20 prunes 

    100g good quality dark chocolate 

    Purple food colouring

    Instructions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180 
    2. Mix the icing sugar, almonds and 2 of the egg whites into a paste. 
    3. In a small pan bring to the boil the caster sugar and water. 
    4. Whisk the remaining 2 egg whites on medium to high speed to a stiff peak. 
    5. Once the sugar and water mixture has boiled and become syrupy add this to the egg whites – add food colouring at this stage until you have desired colour. 
    6. Whisk on a high speed for 1-2 minutes. 
    7. Gently fold this into the paste mixture and put into a piping bag. 
    8. Line 2 large trays with greaseproof paper and pipe small circles of the mixture – try to make similar in size. 
    9. Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes until cooked and remove and cool on a wire rack. 
    10. Melt the chocolate on a bain marie – meanwhile in a food processor whizz up the prunes to form a paste. 
    11. Combine the prune paste with the melted chocolate – allow to cool slightly. 
    12. Once the macaroons and the paste have cooled sandwich together 2 macaroons by piping the chocolate and prune ganache in the middle. 
  • Sweet Potato Ragout with Prunes

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Sweet potato, prunes and accents of warming chili, this is a dish that everyone will love. But did you know that prunes contain nutrients like vitamin K and manganese that can help to maintain healthy bones. Research suggests that - because of the nutrients that they provide - the fruits may well have bone health boosting benefits. So tuck in!

    Ingredients

    300 g sweet potatoes

    2 onions

    ½ bunch of sage

    5 parsley sprigs

    2 red chilli peppers

    50 g almonds, sliced

    350 g Capellini (angel hair pasta (thinner) OR vermicelli (thicker) )

    3 tbsp. olive oil

    200 ml vegetable stock

    250 g ricotta cheese

    150 g California prunes

    Nutmeg

    3 tbsp. lime juice

    Salt, pepper

    Instructions

    1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 cm cubes. Peel and dice onions. Finely chop sage and parsley. Cut chilli into rings. Roast almonds in a pan without oil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
    2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the potato cubes and sauté over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Add onions and herbs and sauté for 2 more minutes. Deglaze with vegetable stock. Add ricotta and prunes and simmer 1 minute longer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
    3. Add pasta and lime juice. Serve sprinkled with almonds.

    Tip: Sauté sage leaves in a little bit of oil until crispy and serve with the pasta.

  • Exotic Lentil Soup with Prunes

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    You can never have too many soup recipes in your repertoire. And our Exotic Lentil Soup with Prunes is a wonderful addition, just perfect for the autumn. Colourful to look at and warming to sip – it’s a hug in a bowl! With crusty bread, it makes a satisfying supper. And, popped into a flask, it makes a healthy, on-the-go meal.

    Ingredients

    3 carrots

    200 g celeriac 

    2 red onions 

    1 leek 

    1 sweet potato (approx. 350 g) 

    1 bunch flat parsley 

    2 tbsp. oil

    300 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

    300 g pre-soaked and cooked lentils 

    300 g Sunsweet prunes

    4 tbsp. apple vinegar 

    Salt, pepper  

    Instructions

    1. Peel carrots and slice. Dice celeriac, peel onions and cut into strips. Clean leek, cut into slices and wash. Peel potato and cut into pieces. Pull parsley leaves from the stems and chop coarsely.
    2. Heat oil in a pot. Add potato, onions, carrots and celeriac and steam for 5 minutes at medium heat. Add leek and steam for 2 more minutes. Deglaze with stock. Add lentils and simmer for 20 minutes at a medium heat. Add prunes and parsley.
    3. Season to taste with apple vinegar, salt and pepper.

    Tip: Roast some almond slivers and add as topping to the soup. Serve with toasted rye bread.

  • The Benefits of Exercise and Bone Strength

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Osteoporosis is a global issue, affecting up to one in three women and one in five men. Genetic factors have a role to play in determining an individual’s likelihood of developing osteoporosis but lifestyle factors also have an influence. Simple steps can be taken – like a routine of weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise - to help improve bone-health.


    But how prevalent is osteoporosis?

    The condition causes bones to weaken so that they break more easily. According to the IOF, up to one in three women and one in five men (aged 50+) will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. These fractures can prove painful, cause long-term disability or even be life-threatening.

    Can anything be done, to help prevent osteoporosis?

    Although genetic factors do have a role to play in determining an individual’s likelihood of developing osteoporosis, lifestyle factors can also have an influence. And fortunately there are some simple steps that can be taken, to improve bone-health no matter what your gender, life-stage or bone-health status. These steps include:

    • A routine of weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise
    • A balanced diet, rich in nutrients like calcium, protein and vitamin D
    • Cutting out the cigarettes and limiting alcohol consumption

    The role of exercise

    Building and maintaining bone health is essential for both genders and at all life-stages. And exercise really is an excellent starting point, to build and maintain bone and muscle strength. Adults who get insufficient exercise lose bone density more quickly than their fit-as-a-fiddle counterparts. And sedentary older people are far more likely to suffer fractures. According to the IOF, this is because bones respond and strengthen when they are 'stressed' and the best way to achieve this? By getting plenty of weight bearing exercise.

    What is weight-bearing exercise?

    Weight-bearing exercise – the kind that’s good for your bones – is any form of exercise that requires you to work against gravity. Swimming and cycling, for example, would not be weight-bearing but good examples of weight-bearing activities include:

    • Weight training
    • Hiking
    • Running
    • Tennis
    • Dancing

    So, what are you waiting for? Your bones - not to mention the rest of your body - will thank you for a good-old workout.

    And why are Sunsweet involved with the campaign?

    Plenty of fruit and veg, as part of a nutritious diet, simple things that are bound to have a positive impact on overall health. And bone health is no exception. Did you know that prunes can be an ally when it comes to bone health management? Research suggests that the nutrients in them – things like vitamin K and manganese – can help to maintain normal bones. Yet more reasons to stock up on these tiny – and scrummy – nutritional power-houses!

    More info:

    If you’d like to find out more about bone health, please do take a look at the Prunes and Bone Health section of our website. Or visit our dedicated Bone Health library where you can download informative and yet simple-to-read whitepapers including the following:

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • 4-Ingredient Prune Cookies

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Quick to make, super-yummy and with no added sugar. What's not to love about these 4 Ingredient Prune Cookies? But would it surprise you to discover that these delicious cookies are bone friendly too? Research suggests that - because of the nutrients that they provide - the fruits may well have bone health boosting benefits. So tuck in!

    View our collection of delicious Bone Friendly Recipes

    Ingredients

    16 SUNSWEET prunes

    2 tablespoons hot water

    1 cup rolled oats

    1/4 cup chopped walnuts

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. In a food processor, pulse SUNSWEET prunes and hot water until smooth. Pulse in oats and walnuts until a sticky dough forms.
    3. Roll dough into 12 balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    4. Bake for 15 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, tap each of them down with a glass to form a cookie shape and let cool.
  • Make friends with technology

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    In the last decade, our use of the internet has skyrocketed. It’s been blamed for many things including our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. And yet it remains a significant part of our everyday lives despite all of the negative and downright fear-mongering headlines. But can technology actually have a role to play, in helping us to create balanced, happy and healthy lives?

    Despite being a huge part of modern lives, the online world often gets a bad rap. If you believe what you read in the press, we’ve replaced couch potato habits for mouse potato habits – equally sedentary and unhealthy - and spend every spare moment surfing the net. Social media – in all its iterations - has been blamed for poor body image and low self-esteem across the entire range of demographic groups. And there seems to be a grain of truth behind the fear.

    In England alone, according to the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, people now spend twice as much time online compared with 10 years ago and it would be safe to assume that it is a similar story all across Europe. Much of that time, of course, is spent immobile. And stats from the medical journal, The Lancet, suggest that inadequate exercise is responsible for more than 5 million deaths globally each year. Sobering stuff.

    But is there a silver lining to the techno cloud?

    At its very best, the internet offers a diverse resource of up-to-date, educational material that is both entertainingly written and accessible. Much of it is absolutely free. And our blog, of course, is an excellent example! Whether you choose apps or websites, social media or online newsletters, there’s lots of content out there to support you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle. Check out our top 3 techno tips, be selective and get informed.

    1. Newsletters – Choose reputable sources

      Sign up to a couple of lifestyle-related online newsletters. Choose ones from trusted sources, that cover topics that interest you – info overload is not our goal, here – and get inspired with everything from recipes for healthy and speedy mid-week dinners to tips on keeping active, whatever the time of year.

    2. Workout Videos Online

      Don't let good habits around physical activity slip. It’s far better to maintain an exercise programme throughout the year so that it becomes just another part of your daily routine, something that’s as automatic as brushing your teeth. And this is another area where technology can be your ally. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy – from boxercise to yogalates – you’ll be sure to find an online workout that floats your boat. Bung a one-pot-wonder into the oven – remember to keep things healthy! – and, while it cooks, pop on your workout video of choice and get moving.

    3. Monitoring Fitness Progress

      Whether it’s monitoring your daily calorie intake with sophisticated food diaries, tracking your levels of physical activity, learning relaxation techniques like mindfulness or even keeping an eye on your menstrual cycle, there’s an app for that! Speaking to Fox News, Scott Snyder – an innovator in the field – said, “The ultimate goal of most of these apps is to change behaviour. Small changes are a big overall win for health.” We couldn’t agree more!

    As with most things, getting a good balance is crucially important. Everything in moderation – including technology – and you won’t go far wrong!

    Looking for more inspiration? Why not check out our Healthy Living Guide?

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Chicken filled with Prunes

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    You can never have too many chicken dish recipes in your family’s repertoire. So why not make friends with our Chicken filled with Prunes? Stylish enough to be a dinner party main and simple enough to be a mid-week meal, this recipe is super-versatile. Sage, prunes and gouda cheese add a tasty twist. And a side of your family’s favourite veggies – we suggest carrots and kohlrabi - make for a scrummy, complete meal.

    Ingredients

    4 chicken breast fillets (approx. 250 g)

    Salt and pepper

    4 stems of sage 

    80 g of medium-aged gouda cheese

    150 g Sunsweet prunes

    Small wooden skewers

    2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

    200 ml chicken stock 

    400 g carrots

    1 large kohlrabi

    30 g Butter

    Instructions

    1. Rinse chicken breast fillets and blot them dry. Cut a slit lengthways in each chicken breast. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place 2 sage leaves in each of the slits. Cut the gouda cheese into 4 thin pieces. Place a piece of gouda cheese and 2 prunes in each slit. Use the small wooden skewers to pin the slits closed.
    2. Heat the vegetable oil and fry the chicken breast fillets until they are brown on all sides. Pour chicken stock onto the fried meat. Cover the chicken breast fillets with a lid and braise them for approx. 18-20 minutes. In the last few minutes put the remaining prunes and the rest of the sage leaves in the stock and braise them with the other ingredients. Season the meat stock with salt and pepper.
    3. Peel, clean and rinse the carrots, and cut them into slices. Peel the kohlrabi and finely dice it. Simmer the carrots and kohlrabi in salt water for approx. 10-12 minutes. Strain the vegetables. Melt the butter in the pan and stir the vegetables in it. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Cut the chicken breast fillets and arrange them together with the vegetable stock, prunes and vegetables. 
  • An unlikely store cupboard super-star: prunes!

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Prunes can make a fruity and flavourful addition to a range of recipes, both sweet and savoury.  And prunes can be equally delicious enjoyed straight from the pack, as a healthy and convenient snack. As a store-cupboard staple – one that’s both tasty and nutritious - prunes punch way above their weight.

    Whether you…

    • Are pregnant and trying to combat constipation and nausea, naturally 
    • Have a baby to whom you’re trying to introduce new flavours and textures 
    • Are attempting to feed - healthily - a houseful of constantly snacking kids 
    • Are relentlessly busy and looking for super-speedy, mid-week meal solutions but want to avoid fat-laden takeaways or nutrition-poor ready-meals 
    • Are retired and have the time – and the interest - to experiment with sophisticated dishes … 

    Read on, get inspired and - next time you’re out shopping - grab yourself a couple of packs of prunes

    Scrummy Snacks

    When it comes to speedy snacks, there’s nothing quicker than grabbing a handful of super-sweet prunes to munch on - pureeing the fruit and spreading it on to warm toast makes for a slightly more substantial snack, Yum! But when you have a little more time, prunes have a delicious depth that can enhance a whole host of smoothie flavour combos. For dark berry fruitiness, whizz a handful of blueberries, blackberries, prunes and prune juice for a jewel-coloured treat. For dessert-flavoured yumminess, bananas, chocolate milk and prunes are sublime. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

    Did you know that just three prunes count for one of your 5-a-day fruit and veg portions?

    Healthier Bakes

    For home-baking, adding prunes to family favourites - like flapjacks and muffins – to up your fruit and veg intake and to boost nutrition is pretty straightforward. But did you know that prune puree can be used as a replacement for butter, too? The fruit’s rich flavour - with its notes of caramel and vanilla - lends itself particularly well to chocolate recipes. Just swap the butter for prune puree - weight for weight - and enjoy! 

    Mealtime Magic

    And at mealtimes, whether you’re looking for a super-quick snack, an elaborate feast, or something in-between, prunes make a good starting point. They can add depth to the flavour of soups, interest to the texture of salads, and their rich, dark colour adds a wonderful contrast in stir fries. They make a fruity addition to a range of meat dishes, too, their flavour working particularly well with pork and game. And if you’re feeling just a little naughty? Check out our wonderfully indulgent choccy recipes.

    Feeling inspired? Check out our guide to cooking with prunes and download our smoothie recipes booklet and breathe some delicious new life into your repertoire of recipes.

    A note on nutrition

    Dried fruits do have some nutrition benefits, compared with their fresh counterparts, not least that their goodness is condensed into a tiny package! A report from the European Food Information Council found that dried fruits, including prunes, contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Dried fruits are a good source of fibre too, essential for a healthily functioning digestive system. Dried fruit trumps fresh when it comes to convenience, too. Sunsweet prunes will last for 18 months from their date of production. And with no need for refrigeration, they’re so portable, making them perfect for munching on-the-go.

    So don’t forget to add convenient, versatile, natural – and most importantly, delicious - prunes to your shopping list.

    They really do deserve a starring role!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Christmas Cake with Apples, Prunes and Walnuts

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Our Christmas Cake with Apples, Prunes and Walnuts is a lighter, more contemporary twist on heavier, more traditional versions. Plentiful fruits – both fresh and dried - and delicious nuts make for a wonderfully flavourful bake. Our Christmas Cake will keep for several days, stored in an air-tight tin but it freezes well, too. Fill your home with the scent of Christmas – and enjoy!

    Ingredients

    250 g butter 

    250 g sugar 

    3 egg size M / L 

    2.5 cups milk 

    300 g of wheat flour 

    1 sachet baking powder brown 

    1 large apple cut into small cubes

    100 g Sunsweet Prunes chopped

    50 g of walnut

    1 large cake tin approx. 23 cm diameter /4 cm high

    Instructions

    1. Stir butter and sugar until soft.
    2. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat each egg for at least 2 minutes.
    3. Add wheat flour and baking powder into the batter and stir together with milk.
    4. Finally, stir in the, apple, coarsely chopped prunes and walnuts.
    5. Put the dough in the greased sponge cake tin.
    6. Bake at 175 ° C for approx. 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.  Put a fork into the cake and if it comes out clean, without any mixture on it, the cake is done.  
    7. Let the cake cool completely before serving. it keeps well in a sealed container up to 5 days. 

    Tip! Serve with sour cream.

  • Delicious Christmas gifts for the Foodie in your life

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    We hate to have to break it to you, but Christmas is just around the corner! So what do you reckon, could this be the year that – with a little forward planning - you manage to minimise the stress, maximise the joy and makes lots of happy, family memories along the way?

    In the age of technology, the pressure to create a flawless and fashionable family Christmas can start to mount. Social media is awash with sumptuous and stylish images that are far beyond the reaches of most of us. But before you get swept away and dispirited by unattainable standards, why not take a little time to get to the bottom of what the spirit of Christmas actually means for your family? If you’re anything like us, family and friends, festive foods and fun will certainly come close to the top of the list!

    So this year, why not get organised ahead of time and set aside a day or so to rustle up some delicious foodie gifts for your nearest and dearest? Get the whole family involved because kids of all ages really do have a part to play. Even the tiniest of tots can help to decorate the labels for bottles and jars, for example. And what a wonderfully creative way to spend a gloomy autumnal weekend; filling your own home with aromas that will conjure up the festive season while creating unique and scrumptious gifts that have a truly personal touch!

    The positive psychology behind homemade gifts

    According to Allison Pugh, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, gift-giving is “an expression of truly seeing the other person and knowing what they want." And who wouldn’t want a festive spiced Christmas cake, jewel-coloured jars of chutneys and preserves or – for the more decadent people on your gift list – bottles of alcohol-marinated fruits? Home-made foodie treats make for Christmas gifts that go on giving long into the New Year. A study published in the Journal of Marketing discovered that people felt that homemade items showed more love and that – generally speaking - love is the message that people wanted to express. The study’s authors found that handmade products were perceived to be, “literally imbued with love." And Allison Pugh is in agreement, “If gifts are about expressing and forging love, one of the best ways to do that is with your own time. That will always be a really powerful gift." We couldn’t agree more!

    Delicious edible gifts

    Our easy-to-make Prune and Orange Marmalade and fragrant Prune Chutney are excellent places to start. Why not make a double batch and pop a jar of each into everybody’s stocking? If you fancy trying your hand at something a little more challenging, our Prune Biscotti with White Chocolate and Prune Stollen are well worth the effort! Although biscotti are best eaten within 4 weeks, they can be stored in a sealed container for up to 8 weeks. And stollen will last for several weeks if covered and kept in a cool, dry place. In fact, the loaves actually become more moist and flavourful as they age. Decant your bakes into pretty bags or boxes just before gifting. Getting your little ones to create hand-written labels with serving suggestions is a lovely finishing touch. The Prune Stollen, for example, is delicious toasted and served warm with a generous dollop of our Prune and Orange Marmalade.

    Enjoy!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Rediscovering the joys of festive entertaining

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Why not see if you can make this Christmas the one where you actually get to enjoy your festive entertaining with family and friends? We’ll let you into a little secret... With a trick or two up your sleeve – and just a little help from Sunsweet - it might just be possible!

    Christmas. A time of wall-to-wall joy and gratitude and good will to all men. Hmmm. According to stats reported in Psychology Today, a sense of dread and even depression can be more prevalent during the festive season. The reasons behind seasonal doom and gloom can be myriad. Things like Seasonal Affective Disorder. Feeling under pressure – from an emotional point of view – to have everything just-so. Financial strain. The prospect of yet another commercially-focused Christmas that’s going to leave us feeling like we have lost sight of its true meaning…

    If you’re feeling really down, it’s certainly worth chatting things over with a health-care professional. But if yours is more a case of seasonal overwhelm, then read on. The stresses and strains of the season – especially when it comes to entertaining - can be alleviated by having a trick or two up your sleeve and with just a little forward planning. It is the season to be jolly, after all!

    Expect the unexpected

    Make friends with advance preparation over the Christmas period. Rustle up soups and stews in large batches, ahead of time, but then freeze them as individual portions. Then, if you have unexpected lunch or supper guests, you can simply defrost as many portions as you need. You’ll have a hot meal ready in super-quick time and with precisely zero fuss. Leaving you free to enjoy the company of your impromptu guests. Because life’s too short to spend it hidden away in the kitchen when there’s fun to be had!

    Store-cupboard super-stars

    A well-stocked fridge and a carefully-planned store-cupboard can also be useful allies in the battle against seasonal stress. Most of us usually have plenty of staple ingredients like bacon, cheese, dried fruit and nuts in the house. In little more than the time it takes to warm through some mulled wine, bacon - of any sort - and a packet of prunes can be transformed into Devils on Horseback. And if you have even less time – or you’re short of space in the oven - how about this no-cook variation? Slice prunes lengthwise and fill them with soft cheese – a combination of goats’ cheese and gorgonzola works really well - and add a walnut. Wrap the stuffed prunes with prosciutto, secure them with a cocktail stick, pile onto a pretty serving dish and enjoy!

    Be inspired!

    Whether it’s a fun family get together or something more formal, our “Let’s Party!” guide is super-inspiring. From indulgent baked cheeses to crisp, fresh salads. From flavourful savoury tarts to scrumptious chocolate mousses. Our ideas are both deceptively simple and downright delicious. A winning combination when it comes to festive entertaining! Lots of the recipes can be prepped beforehand and many of them can be eaten with the fingers – cutting down on the dreaded washing-up!

    What better way to spend a wintry evening than by gathering your friends and family around your fireside and serving them a festive feast? Follow our tips and maybe – just maybe – you’ll get to enjoy the party, too!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Hygge: Taking home comforts to a whole new level!

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Have you heard of Hygge? Pronounced hoo-guh, it is the Danish one word phenomenon that has taken the entire world by storm. Despite it having previously been deemed untranslatable, it was voted as one of 2016’s words of the year by both the Oxford Dictionary and the Collins Dictionary. But what exactly does it mean?

    The definition of hygge

    Well, descriptions of hygge vary. Some people would describe it as a feeling of comfort, indulgence, contentment and cosiness. Others would describe it as transforming those regular, everyday moments into something more meaningful; creating a sense of ceremony around your after-work cookie and cuppa, for example, by digging out your best china, lighting a pretty candle and getting your feet up. And still others would describe hygge as something close to a philosophy, a way of slowing things down and taking some time out of a relentlessly hectic schedule to unwind.

    Susanne Nilsson, a Danish lecturer at London's Morley College, attempted to explain the etymology of hygge to the BBC, "We have long, cold winters in Denmark. That influences things. Hygge doesn't have to be a winter-only thing, but the weather isn't that good for much of the year. Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed, or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book. It works best when there's not too large an empty space around the person or people."

    Making hygge your own

    Danish winters may be long and dark and cold but that’s a reality that many of us can relate to! And part of the essence of hygge - creating a warm and inviting environment, gathering friends and family together and sharing food and drink with them, by candlelight – might just be the perfect antidote. So, this winter, why not try making hygge your own? Give yourself the time and the space to do… nothing! Stock up on the tealights, the comforting throws and the super-warm socks and revel in cosy.

    But the really good news?  Hygge and a healthy balanced lifestyle don’t have to be contradictions in terms. Think gentle exercise routines at home – yoga, pilates and tai chi are all excellent options. Think comfort foods – like hearty soups and warming stews – that are nutritionally-balanced and nourishing. Think warming, fruit-based drinks with a mulled-wine vibe. Think deep and meaningful rather than fast and furious. We don’t know about you but we could really get used to this hyggelig way of life!

    Recipes with added hygge

    PS: Why not check out the following super-scrummy, super-comforting and yet super-healthy ideas from our recipe pages? A lovely – and tasty – way to get that hygge-feeling!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Mulled Wine

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Because January just seems too early to kiss goodbye to mulled wine, our flavour-packed recipe adds a few lovely twists to ring the changes. Flaked almonds and chopped prunes add texture and rum, schnapps or port – the choice is yours! - add a kick. Cheers!

    Ingredients

    75 g Sunsweet prunes - chopped 

    1 cup rum, schnapps or port 

    50g flaked almonds 

    1 liter of finished mulled wine


    Instructions

    1. Soak, chopped prunes in rum overnight.
    2. Heat rum with prunes, to boiling point together with flaked almonds and mulled wine. Do not boil.

    Tip! Serve mulled wine with prunes and blue cheese


  • It’s never too late for a fresh start!

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    With spring time not a million miles away, February can actually be a great time of the year to breathe fresh, new and healthy life into those daily routines of ours. Check out our tips that’ll help you switch from a fixed to a growth mindset and give your wellbeing goals the very best chance of success!

    So, February is here. And – for many of us – the resolutions with which we kicked-off the New Year will already be a hazy memory. Perhaps even a guilty one. Many of us have the desire to be fitter, healthier, happier. Many of us struggle to muster the motivation to achieve that. And many of us feel bad about that!

    But the Christmas craziness has long gone. And Spring is just around the corner. This can actually be the perfect time of the year to clean up your act and kick-start some excellent lifestyle routines. So this month, why not be inspired by St Valentine? Ditch the negative self-talk, get into the health and fitness habit and show yourself some love!

    Mindset Theory

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.” Henry Ford was, perhaps unwittingly, an early exponent of mindset theory. But modern psychologists, like Carol Dweck, are now proving the truth behind such sentiments: our beliefs have a strong influence on our behaviour and contribute to our success - or otherwise - in many aspects of our lives.

    • “I’m not interested in cooking and, anyway, ready-meals are just so much more convenient.”
    • “I don’t have the time to exercise, during the week. I guess it’ll just have to wait till the kids have grown up a bit.”
    • “In the middle of a busy week, I just snack and run. Healthy food goes out of the window.”

    We all have stories that we tell ourselves, that we use as excuses. But when eating healthily and taking regular exercise have proven health benefits, can we really afford not to make them a priority – no matter how busy our lives are?

    Reserving the right to change our minds

    Our beliefs and our behaviour can become ingrained over the years. But they don’t have to define us forever. According to writer and orator Dr. Tim Elmore by following just a handful of steps, significant changes can be made:

    1. Believe that your brain works like a muscle: This can help us to stop making excuses and to get brutally honest with ourselves about the decisions that we’re making.
    2. Use the word “yet.”: This can go a long way towards helping us to see life as a series of growth opportunities. “I haven’t run a marathon. Yet.”
    3. Affirm variables that are in our control: “I worked really hard to run that 3K” rather than “I’m naturally athletic”.
    4. Surround yourself with “growth mindset” people: We tend to become the people that we spend the most time with so choose wisely!

    So now that you have the theory down, about switching to a growth mindset, it's time to arm yourself with some practical tips to achieve those goals. We've pulled together a 32-page Healthy Living Guide to help you do just that. Take the first step towards changing your mindset and download the guide, today!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Do your bit on World Cancer Day: Because the fight against cancer isn’t over

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    The experts reckon that up to a third of the most common types of cancer could be prevented by taking two very simple steps. Can you really afford not to find out more? Get informed and do your bit to improve your lifestyle and reduce the risk for you and your family.

    World Cancer Day

    Established at the World Summit Against Cancer, in Paris, on 4 February 2000, World Cancer Day has become a truly global movement. And the main aims of the day are simple:

    • To unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer.
    • To save millions of preventable deaths, annually.
    • To raise awareness about cancer both in the media and in people’s minds.
    • To share up-to-date information about the disease, its causes and the steps that can be taken to help to prevent it.
    • To inspire individuals, health organisations and governments around the world to take action.

    Cancer: The Stats

    The stats on cancer make for pretty sobering reading. Worldwide, more than 8 million people die of the disease each year. Half of those – some 4 million people - are the premature deaths of people aged between 30 and 69. The number of cases of cancer is only expected to rise in the years to come.

    Doing our bit

    And yet despite all the stats, there are still plenty of reasons for us all to feel positive and hopeful. Research published by the organisers of World Cancer Day suggests that up to a third of the most common types of cancer could be prevented by taking two very simple steps:

    1. By having a balanced and nutritious diet thus maintaining a healthy weight.
    2. By taking regular exercise.

    The role of 5-a-day

    The five-a-day fruit and veg guidelines were based on World Health Organisation recommendations and introduced in 1990 with the aim of improving the health of the global population. Many of us already struggle to achieve five-a-day. And yet a study by University College London found that there could be health benefits from doubling that target. Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, the study’s author, says, “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. My advice would be however much you are eating now, eat more.”

    The good news is that whether your fruit and veg intake is tinned, fresh, frozen or dried – like scrummy Sunsweet prunes – it all counts towards your five-a-day. And our recipe pages are chock-full of fruit and veggie-based inspiration!

    Keeping active

    An active lifestyle – with lots of movement throughout the day - is really important and adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise during an average week. But with busy lifestyles – where every moment of our week is accounted for - this can sometimes be easier said than done. With a little bit of planning, though, it doesn’t have to be impossible.

    Rather than “a coffee and cake catch-up” with a friend, arrange to have a weekly “walk and talk” instead.

    Make friends with one-pot meals: while they’re cooking, the entire family can get outside for a walk around the block, a spot of gardening or a high-energy kick-around. Or better still, all three!

    Get-together with family and friends and book some activities that will drag you out of your comfort zone. Climbing walls, indoor skiing, jiving classes… There’s so much out there, for you to try!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

  • Spicy Squash Soup with Chorizo

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    The very best soups fill the house with tempting aromas as they cook: our Spicy Squash Soup with Chorizo is no exception! Ginger, rosemary and smoked paprika combine to tempt the taste-buds. With squash, chorizo and scrummy Sunsweet prunes, this is a hearty and flavourful recipe just perfect for still-chilly February.

    Ingredients

    600 g butternut squash

    30 g ginger root 2 onions

    3 tbsp. oil

    2 tbsp. smoked paprika powder

    300 ml white wine

    400 ml chicken stock  

    4 chorizo sausages (Spanish paprika sausage)

    200 g Sunsweet prunes

    30 g pumpkin seeds

    2 sprigs of rosemary

    3 tbsp. sour cream

    Salt, pepper


    Instructions

    1. Peel squash and ginger and dice finely. Dice the onions into large pieces. Heat oil in a pot, add squash, onions, paprika powder and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and stock and boil at a medium heat for 15 minutes. Cut chorizo sausage into slices. Cut prunes into large pieces. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry pan.
    2. Grind squash in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add prunes and keep hot. Fry chorizo slices in a dry pan for 5 minutes on each side at a medium heat. Chop rosemary and sprinkle onto the sausage.
    3. Pour soup into a bowl. Serve with sausage, sour cream and pumpkin seeds.

    Tip: Optionally sprinkle some of the chorizo oil from the pan onto the soup.


  • It’s Spring – and there’s a sense of celebration in the air!

    Posted Fri, Jun 11, 21 by Sunsweet

    Don’t forget that the clocks change on the 26th March. What better excuse is there to burst out of hibernation, to shake off the very last dregs of winter sluggishness and to spring forward with confidence and positivity and gratitude?

    There really is something so special about the beginning of the spring. It just seems to feel like the perfect season to take a fresh look at our daily routines, to make the small adjustments that are needed to get our health and our wellbeing goals back on track and to take the time out to really celebrate the results.

    Life is for living, after all. It’s certainly way too short and too precious to get hung up on counting every calorie or to beat yourself up for skipping a session at the gym. At the end of the day, if our diets are generally healthy with just the occasional well-earned treat and our lifestyles are generally active with just the occasional couch-potato day, we’re actually not doing too badly. And being able to enjoy a busy and vibrant life – fuelled by a varied and nutritious diet – is something to celebrate!

    In California – the home of Sunsweet’s extensive prune plum orchards – the spring is a particularly beautiful time of the year. In early March, the orchards become covered in a fragrant blanket of pretty, white blossoms. It’s a truly magical sight! But the beauty is as short-lived as it is spectacular. After just a week or so, the blossoms gently drift to the ground and the orchards’ palette shifts to a deep chartreuse as new fruit forms and tender leaf buds burst.

    And that leads us neatly on to new beginnings… It’s hard to believe that it’s one hundred years since the Sunsweet Growers Association was founded making this year a really special one for us, as we’ll be celebrating our centenary! The original Sunsweet farmers were passionate about delivering delicious and nourishing prunes of the very highest quality. And we think that they would be very proud of the fact that the Sunsweet brand is now enjoyed in more than 45 countries and that their legacy - of delivering the best possible prunes to customers – continues. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can watch the fascinating Sunsweet story.  Let the festivities begin!

    And last – but by no means least - March offers us two opportunities to celebrate the special women in our lives. The 8th March is International Women’s Day followed by Mother’s Day on the 26th March. Our recipe pages are packed with yummy ideas for starters and mains, puddings and treats. We hope that they’ll prove inspirational for you, as you plan all those special, celebratory meals. Bon appetit!

    And Happy Spring!

    Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

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