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Prunes vs. Dates: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 12, 2023
Prunes are dried plums, known for their rich, sweet flavor and chewy texture, while dates are naturally sweet, tropical fruits from date palm trees, with a sticky texture.

Key Differences

Prunes are the dried version of European plums, typically the variety 'Prunus domestica'. They are known for their deep purple color and have a chewy texture and sweet flavor. Dates, in contrast, are the fruits of the date palm tree, 'Phoenix dactylifera'. They are smaller, range in color from golden brown to dark brown, and have a distinctly sweet, caramel-like flavor with a sticky texture.
Nutritionally, prunes are renowned for their high fiber content and are often recommended for digestive health. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium and vitamin K. Dates are energy-dense fruits, rich in natural sugars, and also contain significant amounts of fiber, vitamins, especially B vitamins, and essential minerals like potassium and magnesium.
In culinary uses, prunes are versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. They are often found in baked goods, stews, and sauces, or eaten as a snack. Dates are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, featured in desserts, stuffed with nuts or cheese, or used to sweeten dishes naturally.
The texture of prunes is distinctively chewy and they can be soaked to soften them further before use in cooking. Dates have a naturally sticky and soft texture, making them ideal for blending into pastes or date syrup, commonly used as natural sweeteners.
Both prunes and dates have long shelf lives when stored properly in a cool, dry place. Prunes, due to their dried nature, can last for several months. Dates, with their lower moisture content, can last even longer, often up to a year if stored correctly.

Comparison Chart

Origin Fruit

Dried European plums.
Fruits of the date palm tree.


Sticky and soft.


Sweet, with a hint of deep richness.
Very sweet, caramel-like.

Nutritional Content

High in fiber, potassium, vitamin K.
Rich in natural sugars, B vitamins, potassium.

Culinary Uses

Used in both sweet and savory dishes, baking, stews.
Common in desserts, natural sweetening, Middle Eastern cuisine.

Prunes and Dates Definitions


Dried plums with a sweet flavor and chewy texture.
I added prunes to my morning oatmeal for extra sweetness.


A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, known for their sticky texture.
Dates are often used in traditional Middle Eastern desserts.


A versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
Prunes in the stew added a unique depth of flavor.


Commonly used as a natural sweetener in various dishes.
I use dates to naturally sweeten my smoothies.


A dried fruit often used for its digestive benefits.
My doctor recommended eating prunes to improve digestion.


Sweet, tropical fruits from the date palm tree.
I love snacking on dates because of their natural sweetness.


Long-lasting dried fruit with a rich, deep color.
I always keep prunes in the pantry as they have a long shelf life.


Long-lasting when stored properly, with a caramel-like flavor.
I store dates in my kitchen as they last long and are versatile.


A nutrient-rich snack high in fiber and vitamins.
For a healthy snack, I often choose prunes.


Nutrient-rich fruits, high in natural sugars and fiber.
Dates are not only delicious but also a good source of energy.


The time stated in terms of the day, month, and year
What is the date of your birth?.


A statement of calendar time, as on a document.


Are prunes good for digestion?

Yes, prunes are high in fiber and are often recommended for digestive health.

Can dates be used in baking?

Yes, dates are great in baking, often used as a natural sweetener.

What are prunes?

Prunes are dried plums, known for their sweet flavor and chewy texture.

How long do prunes last?

Properly stored prunes can last several months.

Can prunes be used in baking?

Yes, prunes can be used in baking, adding sweetness and texture.

Can prunes be eaten raw?

Prunes are typically eaten dried, not raw, as they are dried plums.

What are dates?

Dates are sweet, sticky fruits from date palm trees.

Are prunes gluten-free?

Yes, prunes are naturally gluten-free.

Can I make juice from prunes?

Yes, prune juice is popular and known for its health benefits.

How should dates be stored?

Store dates in a cool, dry place, and they can last up to a year.

Do dates need to be refrigerated?

Refrigeration is not necessary but can extend their shelf life.

Are prunes high in sugar?

Prunes contain natural sugars but are also rich in nutrients.

Are dates a healthy snack?

Yes, dates are nutritious, high in natural sugars and fiber.

Do dates have a lot of calories?

Dates are energy-dense due to their natural sugar content.

Are all prunes made from the same type of plum?

Most prunes are made from 'Prunus domestica', but there are other varieties.

Is it okay to eat dates every day?

Yes, in moderation, dates are a healthy addition to your diet.

Can prunes help with weight loss?

Prunes can be part of a healthy diet, but moderation is key due to their sugar content.

Are dates suitable for diabetics?

Dates are high in sugars and should be consumed in moderation by diabetics.

Are dates good for athletes?

Yes, dates provide a quick source of energy, making them good for athletes.

Can prunes be added to smoothies?

Yes, prunes can be blended into smoothies for added nutrition.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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