By: Leanne Ely
You probably already know that plums are related to peaches and nectarines but did you know they are also a relative of the almond? It’s true! Plums are small-stone fruits with a tart, sweet taste. This family of fruits are considered “drupes,” and they all have one thing in common: they have hard stone pits surrounding their seeds.
There are over 100 plum varieties available in the United States. And that’s nothing when you consider there are more than 2,000 varieties of plums in existence! Plums can range in size and shape, coming in round, oval and heart-shaped varieties, and they also range in color from blue-black and red to yellow or amber.
Plums are wonderful themselves or sliced into a salad. I also love eating dried plums, which, of course, are known as prunes.
These fruits are delicious and healthy, being low in carbs and also low on the glycemic index. Plums are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. They also contain copper, fiber, potassium and Vitamin K. Plums and prunes are both rich in a special type of phenols, which function as antioxidants.
You can find fresh plums at most markets this time of year, with their growing season stretching from May through early fall.
When shopping for plums, choose fruits that give a little when you gently press them. When you bring your plums home, leave them at room temperature to speed up their ripening process.
And use your imagination when serving these fruits!
For something a little different, try a broiled plum, goat cheese and walnut pizza. Or for dessert, stew or poach plums and top with Greek yogurt and honey.
Note: If you have gallbladder or kidney issues, you might want to avoid eating plums. Plums contain oxalates, which may become concentrated in body fluids, crystallizing and causing problems for folks with existing kidney and gallbladder problems.