By: Ashley Vangel
Guess what? It’s plum season! Plum season is pretty long, extending from May through October. So don’t worry, you’ll certainly have a chance to buy some plums over the next few months. They’re a perfect snack to have in the summer because they become super juicy when they ripen. Botanically, plums are in the “drupe” family because they have a stone-hard pit surrounding and protecting the seed. Other plants within the “drupe” family are peaches, nectarines, and even almonds.
Did you know prunes are actually the dried version of plums? Plums have a deep, sweet taste and a sticky, chewy texture. They’re not only delicious, but they’re also super nutritious. Although most of the vitamin C in plums is destroyed during the drying process, prunes contain much higher concentrations of most of the other nutrients found in the fresh fruit. Plus, they’re available all year round for a very low price.
Plums have a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. One cup of sliced plums offers about 26, 13, and 11 percent of vitamins C, K, and A. They also offer a high content of antioxidants, especially phenols, which can help protect our body from damaging free radicals. Prunes are known for their well-known ability to prevent constipation. They are a good source of fiber with 7 grams of fiber in 100 grams of prunes, that’s about 10 prunes. The fiber helps to delay the digestion and absorption of glucose (or sugar) into the bloodstream after a meal. It also helps by providing a food for the “good” bacteria in your gut, thus maintaining a healthy large intestine with happy bacteria. In addition, prune’s fiber may help to lower your cholesterol.
Now I don’t know about ya’ll, but I like to enjoy my plums fresh the best. However plums are delicious in their cooked form as well. Try prunes stewed with black pepper and rosemary for a Middle Eastern-inspired meal. Soak plums in orange juice and use that as a naturally sweet topper for pancakes and waffles. Dice some prunes with other dried fruits, nuts, and seeds to make a homemade trail mix. Add sliced prunes, sage, pecans, and goat cheese on top of a pizza for a sweeter take on the pie. Grill plum halves, drizzle with agave and top with some toasted walnuts for a grilled, sweet treat. The possibilities are endless.
What’s your favorite way to eat plums and prunes? Leave us a comment below!
Ashley is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian in the state of Texas. She graduated from Framingham State University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics and she completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut. (more)