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  • Writer's picturePatricia Wu

RECIPE: Why do prunes (Prunus domestica) make you go number two?

It's plum season in Sunny Tsawwassen and my neighbour gave me a big bag from their garden! She told me not to eat too many at once or I'd be running to the bathroom. Usually, prunes are a common method to alleviate constipation. Here's why plums and prunes may make you go #2....

Prunes (Prunus domestica) contain both insoluble and soluble fibres. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fibre (cellulose and hemicellulose) attracts water into the stool to promote gastrointestinal movement. This means increased stool frequency and softer stools. Fibre that gets fermented by colonic bacteria turns into pectin. Prunes also contain sorbitol, a sugar compound that has been studied for mild laxative effects. While these components are present in plums, prunes have a higher fibre content by volume due to lower water content.

Fruit-based laxatives draw water into the intestines and thus increase stool frequency and softer bowel movements. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of dietary fibre is 25-30g per day. While 100 g of prunes provide 7g of fibre. In addition to regular hydration and dietary intake, prunes really do make a dent in your RDI! Other common fruit-based laxatives are mangos and kiwis but be warry that any sort of dried fruit has very high sugar content! For the occasional slow transit time, plums and prunes can be your first go to!

And here are two of my favourite recipes:

One for the fresh plums:

Upside - down Almond Plum Cake (adapted from London Bakes)


150g unsalted butter, softened (Dairy free, Melt Butter or Miyoko's)

55g brown sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

75 g buckwheat flour

75 g almond flour

2 tsp dried ground ginger

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

6 to 7 plums, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8 inch round cake pan.

  2. Arrange sliced plums, cut side down, along bottom of the pan, set aside.

  3. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time, continuously beating.

  4. Mix in dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, almond flour, ginger, baking soda, salt).

  5. Pour batter over plums. Bake for 35 minutes until firm. Cool for 10 minutes before flipping onto serving plate.

And one for the prunes.

Cardamom Prune Scones (adapted from EcoParent Winter 2019)


1 3/4 cup brown rice flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cardamom, ground

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter (non dairy substitute, Melt Butter)

4 tbsp plain non-dairy yogurt

1/2 cup non dairy milk (I like homemade flax milk)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp ure vanilla extract

Grated peel of one lemon

1 cup chopped prunes


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

  2. Mix together yogurt, milk, egg, sugar, vanilla

  3. In a bowel, mix together dry ingredients and add chopped prunes (coat in flour)

  4. Cut butter in with a pastry cutter or forks until pea-sized pieces.

  5. Add wet mixture to combine and form a sticky dough

  6. Using 1/3 cup measuring cup, drop dough on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until edges golden brown and firm to touch.

*Disclaimer* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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