Thank you for your email. Here are my answers to your questions:
1. Is there a specific brand of prunes you recommend so that I know I’m not getting ones with preservatives?
The prunes I'm using I buy at the Whole Foods Market in bins where you scoop out the prunes yourself. The bin label says the only ingredient is organic, pitted prunes (no preservatives) and no brand name is mentioned.
I've also bought prunes that are not organic from another health food store where the bin label says the only ingredient is pitted prunes (no preservatives) and again, no brand name is mentioned.
2. When you make four days worth at a time, are you using 12 prunes and pouring boiling water over them first?
I stopped using boiling water. I decided I wanted to try to prevent the enzymes in the prunes from being destroyed by the heat. I was using boiling water before as I wanted the jar lids to seal tightly as the bottles cooled, but since I drink the pureed prunes within three days it's not necessary for them to be air tight. So, now I'm using ice water and some ice cubes to keep the prunes from ever getting hot (from the boiling water or getting hot in the Vita-Mix after being pureed for 2-3 minutes). I can't tell any difference in how I feel after drinking them, but at least I know I'm keeping them from getting hot (they just get warm).
3. If so, how much water are you using with 12 prunes and how long do you let them sit?
I make one quart of prune-puree at a time. First I put 12 prunes (they weigh about four ounces on my kitchen scale) into a one quart Mason jar and add three cups of ice water and put the lid on and put the jar in the refrigerator for an hour (or sometimes overnight) and, right before I puree them, I add one cup of ice cubes with ice water around them.
You don't have to let them sit in the water very long -- Dale says I don't have to let them soak at all -- I can puree them in the Vita-Mix right away (the only reason to let them soak in the water for awhile is to soften them so the Vita-Mix doesn't have to work so hard).
4. Then you just throw the soaked prunes and water into the VitaMix and store the resulting mixture in the refrigerator?
Yes. After they are pureed I pour one cup into a cup to drink right away and pour the rest back into the Mason jar and store it in the refrigerator. Every cup contains about three prunes and by using the Vita-Mix you're sure to get all the nutrients out of them.
By the way, I've learned to cut the prunes in half with scissors as I put them in the jar because, if you don't you might grind up a pit (the prunes are mechanically pitted and sometimes a pit gets missed) and, even though the Vita-Mix grinds it up, there will be little bits of pit in the puree and I hate it when that happens. Even if you strain the puree, there will still be some little tiny pieces of pit in the puree.
5. Are you still drinking this or did you stop as soon as your inflammation went down?
I'm still drinking a cup of pureed prunes every morning. I love the energy it gives me and that my crooked little finger joint never hurts any more.
As long as I keep eating the acid-forming foods that I eat every day (eggs, cheese, chicken, beef, bread) I believe I'll have to keep drinking the prunes in order to keep the inflammation under control.
This is no problem as I love the taste of the prune puree and the increased energy I feel after drinking it. Also, I love the idea of the prunes protecting my bones. Exercise is not my favorite thing to do, so, in my opinion, a delicious, energizing, alkalizing drink that helps keep my bones healthy is worth the extra effort.
Note: I always wait an hour after drinking the prune puree before I eat protein (eggs, cheese, chicken, beef), because waiting an hour allows my stomach to go back to it's normal state, which is the "able-to-digest-protein state."
Also, since I can digest protein easily, but I do not digest carbohydrates easily, I'm taking two 500 mg capsules of Amylase, the enzyme that digests carbohydrates, with every cup of pureed prunes I drink, which keeps me from having undigested prunes fermenting in my large intestine, which causes gas. The Vita-Mix helps by breaking the prunes down, but by taking the Amylase capsules with the prunes I've eliminated my gas problem completely -- my saliva must not contain very much amylase, maybe that's another reason why I am a "meat eater" according to Dr. Kelley's Metabolic Test for the Different Metabolic Types and not just because I have excellent stomach acid, which is needed for digesting meat.
Thank you again for your email. And thank you very much for your appreciation of my newsletter.
Here is a link to the Vitamix Training
Original Prune Story