Making prune juice is easy. And it's the best natural laxative – gentle, but very effective.
You can buy it in bottles but I can tell you how to make it at home.
Simply soak a handful of prunes for at least four hours, or overnight. (If you’re in a hurry you can simmer them in a pan for about 30 minutes.)
Strain off the water into a glass and there's your prune juice. Easy!
Or you can puree the prunes with the water to make a range of interesting desserts and snacks.
Prunes are an effective laxative for all ages, even babies. For babies start with a few spoonfuls of the juice. If this doesn't quickly do the trick, try a little of the puree. Prunes are far safer for babies and small children than the laxatives available from pharmacists - and far more pleasant to taste.
To puree, first check for stones and remove any, then put the prunes and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. If you haven’t got a blender or food processor, push the prunes through a sieve with the back of a wooden spoon and stir the water in.
If you use less water, you’ll get a thicker mixture - a prune puree that makes a delicious dessert. My younger children like to dip pieces of apple in it. When my husband tried it, he thought it was a chocolate sauce! (Add cocoa powder to make it more chocolate-y.)
This puree is used in my
carob prune cake recipe.
You can add prune juice to many sweet recipes - cakes, cookies, desserts. Because of the dark colour it goes well in chocolate dishes.
Prune puree is even more versatile. I like to add cocoa powder and carob flour. Carob is another gentle, natural laxative. Add a little pinch of salt to balance the sweetness - salt brings out the flavours. A dash of vanilla essence always goes well with chocolate.
A favourite in our house is 'chocolate truffles'. Normally truffles are made with cream and chocolate - delicious, but not very healthy. These choclate truffles are dairy free and pretty much as tasty as the shop ones.
Start with prune puree and add enough carob and cocoa to make a fairly stiff mixture, stiff enough to form into balls a teaspoonful at a time. Roll each one in cocoa powder. You won't have any trouble getting kids to take this 'medicine'! If you're lucky, they'll leave some for you.
A variation popular with those who like coconut is coconut chocolate truffles. Use less carob and cocoa and add dessicated coconut. Form into balls as before and roll each ball in coconut.
To make the truffles richer and creamier you can add butter or coconut oil. Butter can be creamed with the cocoa powder and carob flour before adding the prunes, coconut oil is easiest to add by melting it gently and stirring it into the puree.
These dairy free truffles will keep a few days in the fridge, but honestly, they aren't likely to be around that long.
Another variation I've been meaning to try is orange flavoured truffles. I use a Vitamin C powder flavoured with orange essence (from Credence.org.) Adding some of this to the mixture would give a lovely chocolate-orange taste.
Constipation can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you suffer from it regularly it can cause headaches as toxins ar reabsorbed into your bloodstream. Chronic constipation is also linked with bowel cancer. So isn't it nice that there's such an easy, pleasant way to clear it?
This is the way with natural health - there are almost always simple, natural ways to relieve health problems. Most of them can form a regular part of a healthy diet, so with every meal, every snack, you can eat your way to better health.
Check out some of my other Healthy Food Recipes.