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Pruning …

Sun-drenched plums, anyone? Okay, not so sexy.

But you know what’s really unsexy? Constipation.

My mate Colonel Prune is packed with soluble and insoluble fibre, giving them the nifty ability to samba along our canals. These wrinkled fruits are what Californian jedi flag as a BF (best friend). Prunes works by spring-cleaning the gut with a fervour normally reserved for a visit from the president.

Here’s the latest scoop on our BF, the prune …



Grand so. Except what’s this got to do with our skin? Here’s the theory. If we’re not eliminating waste from our pipes, our skin can inevitably become an elimination route for the build up of toxins. The skin is one of our body’s largest excretory organs. Frightening, right?

If the image in the mirror startles you every morning, then maybe it’s time to give these underrated fruits a go. Aside from their seismic fibre content, prunes contain modest amounts of beautifying vitamins C and A. Vitamin C is an important anti-aging ally, with a star role in the creation of collagen.


And if spots are interfering with kissable skin, then Ian Marber tells us that Vitamin A can help reduce excess sebum on the surface of the skin. One for the teens.

Prunes also carry a consignment of anthocyanins. These are useful compounds shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which sounds good to me. Especially on a Sunday morning.

Here’s a breakfast to get your glow on.


nut milk demo


Cardamom & orange prunes with vanilla cream

Every trendy restaurant in Copenhagen is flirting with prunes on their dessert menu. These reincarnated plums are the new superfood. Your gran was spot on.


Makes 8 servings

250g dried prunes, pitted

about 200ml water or red wine

2 oranges

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

2 cardamom pods


For the vanilla ‘cream’:

800g Greek yoghurt (or here’s how you make DIY coconut yoghurt)

1 vanilla pod



Find a small saucepan for the prunes. Fill enough water to just below the level of the prunes – about 200ml. Of course you can always use red wine, like bone fide prunologists. Squeeze in the juice of two oranges.

Coax the tiny seeds out of the cardamom shells and add to the prune liquid. Discard the papery pod.

Sprinkle in your coconut or other sugar, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame to a gentle putter for 10 minutes. Normally prunes are cooked for a lot longer, but I find this unnecessary.

Leave them to cool in their cooking liquid for 1 hour. You’ll notice they plump up beautifully while they absorb the myriad of gorgeous flavours.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days, and tuck in whenever the calling comes.

To make the ‘cream’, carefully split the vanilla pod lengthways into two long strips. Using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds inside. Mix into your Greek yoghurt. Chill until relatively ‘clotted’. Some folk like to sweeten Greek yoghurt, but I prefer the contrast of sticky sweet prunes against cold and calm cream.

Serve great clouds of this vanilla ‘cream’ or DIY coconut yoghurt beside a sticky tower of cardamom prunes. You’ll hardly need to set your alarm clock tonight when you know what’s waiting for you in the morning.


prunes boys snacks




In other, non-dermal or duodenal news …. The Extra Virgin Kitchen is now available in paperback.

It’s half the price, but twice as good (given the fresh armory of back cover quotes from public figures and tastefully deranged friends).

My favourite is from actress Daisy Wood-Davies “Susan Jane White is Caitlin Moran, Nigella and Jesus put through a Vitamix and left to rest until chilled.” Yes. I am never going to let my husband forget that one.

And if you enjoyed either cookbook, I would be eternally grateful to receive your feedback on Amazon in exchange for a lifetime of telepathic highfives. Pray, tell! 

xxx SJ


Cover image EV softcopy


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  • Reply Joanne October 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Love this. I used to force myself to eat prunes. Now I love them thanks to this recipe!

    • Reply Susan Jane October 21, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Brill! That’s a result!

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