Did you know that plums are one of the first fruits to have been domesticated by humans? Aside from eating them as they are, not many know how much or what to do with many plums.
The following article will guide you on what to do with overripe plums, plums that are going bad, what to do with ripe plums and mushy plums, and what to do with canned, frozen plums.
What are Plums?
Plums are usually covered in reddish-blue skin and taste sweet and tangy. At the same time, they also come in various colors like green, red, purple, or yellow, depending on the variety.
Native to China, the Americas, and Europe, plums are fruits produced from trees in the Prunus genus, a member of the rose family. Matured plums fruits have these dusty-white waxy coating that gives their glaucous appearance.
The fruit’s skin is usually smooth in appearance and can range up to two to seven centimeters in size, either spherical or oval. The plum is considered a drupe, which means that its fleshy fruit surrounds a single hard fruit stone encloses its seed. Prunes are usually dried plums with a dark and wrinkled appearance.
Fun fact: In 2019, 56% of the global production of plums amounting to 12.6 million tonnes came from China.
Benefits of Plums
Plums are a great source of Vitamin A, essential for eye health, immune system, reproduction, heart, lung, and kidney health. It is also rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant, helping the body produce its needed collagen.
Plums are low in fat, which means there’s no problem snacking on them and worrying about gaining weight. At the same, research has shown that by eating plums and prunes, a person can feel fuller, having less desire to eat very often during the day.
Being a good source of potassium, plums can reduce the risk for heart diseases like high blood pressure or stroke. A 2017 research showed that lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, was reported among people who regularly drank prune juice. They also increased the level of their HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Plums are a great source of antioxidants, which can help prevent free radical damage to cells in our bodies. Because of these antioxidants, there are no risks of oxidative stress in the body, thereby reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.
What to Do with Ripe Plums
You might be wondering what to do with ripe plums now that you have them on your table. These delectable delights can be eaten in more than one way when ripe, and here’s how:
Eating Plums Raw
Like your regular fruit, plums are deliciously eaten raw, or as it is. As freshly picked plums, or even plums bought from a store, do remember to always wash your plums before eating to remove any dirt and pesticides.
Dry them thoroughly before eating them. Like a healthy snack, you can slice or bite on them, but remember not to eat the pit. And yes, the skin is good to eat too!
You can also slice the plums to eat together as a snack or as a breakfast addition, as well as for salads and smoothies.
To create a plum smoothie, simply mix plum with orange juice, plain yogurt, a banana, or ginger. You can throw in any fruit you want, to be honest.
Smoothies are all about mixing and matching whatever fruits you find in your kitchen and hope they taste the best when combined. So why not try them with plums?
Cooking With Plums
Making plums as the plum sauce is your go-to recipe for your favorite plums. For a roasted duck breast plum sauce, fry the shallot in the oil for five minutes or until softened.
Then, add plums and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add red wine and stock, and simmer for 15 minutes while occasionally stirring until thickened.
This prepared sauce is best served drizzled on your roasted duck breast with a spoon of creamed potatoes.
What To Do With Overripe Plums
The best thing to do with overripe plums, or any overripe fruits for this matter, is to make them into a jam.
To make plum jam, get 3 ½ lbs of overripe plums and cut them in half, remove the pit, and cut them smaller.
Place the cut plums and 1 cup of water and 1 ¼ cup sugar into a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil.
Then, lower the heat and cook until the fruit is soft. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Afterward, place it in the blender and puree carefully.
Clean the used saucepan in bring the pureed plum back in together with ¾ teaspoon of cardamom and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon over low heat for 2-3 hours until it reaches a jammy consistency.
Keep them in glass jars and let them cool. You can keep these plum jams for a month or six months if frozen.
What To Do With Mushy Plums
Wondering what to do with plums that are too mushy? Don’t throw them into the garbage bin just yet!
While plums can be mushy, that doesn’t mean they are bad. Their flavors are more decadent during this time that you can throw them on a variety of desserts.
You can use mushy plums to make a sorbet, in crumbles, crisps and cobblers, and most especially pies! Because mushy plums lose their shape, the fruit softens, and you can add them to your favorite pies.
What To Do With Canned Plums
After canning plums or buying canned plums, you can enjoy canned plums and eat them as they are. But you can also enjoy them as follows:
- Oatmeal toppings
- Served with yogurts
- Topping for pancakes and waffles
- To make cakes
You can preserve canned plums for year-round use and can be canned in wholes or halves using your preferred choice of water, juice, or syrup. Because this method is used to preserve the plums, you can now make any food, dish, or dessert of your choice, even if it’s not the plum season, with these canned plums.
What To Do With Frozen Plums
Freezing plums isn’t as hard as you think, but there’s a method for doing it so that your plums don’t annoyingly stick to each other if you just throw them in the freezer.
Cut the plums into wedges and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, separately, so that they don’t stick together when they’re set on the freezer. Place them in the freezer until they’re frozen throughout, and transfer them to resealable plastic bags.
You can use frozen plums as your usual plum tarts, pies, or jams, or you can try using them as ice cubes in an ice tea, lemonade, or cocktail for that surprising twist. You can also drop frozen plums into a blender to make a quick plum smoothie.
These frozen plums will last for about six months to one year in the fridge, although using them quicker would always be the better option.