Produce Spotlight on plums
Plums, a type of stone fruit with an inedible pit, are low in fat and calories and rich in vitamin C. This juicy, sweet fruit is usually eaten fresh. Prunes, the dehydrated form of some types of plums, are even richer in vitamin C. Prune juice is higher in fiber than other fruit juices.
Shopping for Plums
Choose plums that are firm, brightly colored, and free of cuts or discoloration. They can be found in many different colors, with red, purple, black, or yellow skins and yellow or amber-colored flesh. They are best eaten fresh when ripe and sweet. Massachusetts-grown plums are available at farmers’ markets between June and September.
Mirabelle – small, with yellow-green skin; very sweet. Santa Rosa – large, with red to purple skin and yellow flesh; deep, rich flavor.
Damson – popular dark purple plum with tart yellow-green flesh.
Plumcot– a 50/50 cross between an apricot and a plum, with the shape of an apricot but the taste of plums.
Prunes – dried plums, available with or without pits.
Storage and Preparation
- Ripen plums at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Store ripe plums in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, gently wash and thoroughly pat dry whole plums. Cut the fruit into smaller pieces (discard the stem and pit) and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. When firm, transfer to a container or freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and label and date. Use within 6 months.
- Store prunes in an airtight container or freeze them for up to 12 months.
- Use in a fruit salad with other stone fruits, such as peaches and apricots.
- Top low-fat yogurt and oatmeal with sliced plums for a tasty breakfast.
- Use in baked desserts such as tarts, cobblers, or turnovers.
3 medium or 2 large plum pieces =
1 cup plums 1 serving =
1 cup plums or ½ cup prunes
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.