Plums benefit our body. They contain many nutrients, are a good source of fiber and also antioxidants.
They are consumed in various forms, either raw or in the form of jams or alcoholic beverages.
What else should you know about them? Find out in the following article!
Plum, drupe very beneficial for health
Plums, Prunus in Latin, are one of the first fruits cultivated by humans. They first began to grow in China more than a thousand years ago. After that, plums made their way to Japan, parts of Europe and America. Today, more than 2,000 varieties grow around the world.
Plums, also called plum trees, belong to the same family as peaches, nectarines and apricots. But plums are much more diverse than other stone fruits. They can be large or small, with red, purple, green, yellow or orange skin and pink, yellow or orange flesh.
Plum trees can grow 6 to 12 meters tall. The fruits are 2-7 cm in diameter, the flesh is firm and juicy. The skin of the plum is smooth, attached to the pulp.
Plums add a delicate and sweet taste to dishes and desserts, and they also bring a number of health benefits for the body.
Why consume plums?
Plums can be eaten fresh or used in making jams or other recipes. In addition, they also contain a number of nutrients and vitamins beneficial for health.
Plums are full of plant compounds that have antioxidant properties, meaning they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and damaging cells and tissues.
The protective plant compounds in plums appear to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent diseases including cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Vitamin C, found in plums, helps your body heal, build muscle, and support proper blood vessel function.
Eating plums fights heart disease. Phytochemicals and nutrients in plums reduce the inflammation that triggers heart disease.
They are especially rich in a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid, a compound also found in coffee that appears to help balance blood sugar and regulate appetite.
Plums are low in fat, plus there is research showing that plums can help a person feel fuller. Plums also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which aids in the absorption of nutrients and the removal of toxins.
Plums are a rich source of calcium, magnesium and vitamins C and B3. You can see other values in the following table:
|Nutritional values||Raw plums 100 g|
|Vitamin B3||0.417 mg|
|Vitamin C||9.5 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.26 mg|
Types of plums
Plums come in many varieties. Now we will introduce the most commonly grown and used for consumption and further processing.
Plum tree, Latin Prunus domestica, also known as European plum. The shape of this plum is longer and oval.
You can eat them raw or cooked. They are ideal fruits for baking pies and cakes, also for making jams.
The taste of this variety is very sweet.
Damson, in Latin Prunus domestica insititia, belongs to European varieties. It has a dark skin with a sour yellow-green flesh.
Although Damson fruits are high in sugar, they taste a bit bitter and sour. It goes well with both sweet and savory dishes.
Damson plums are usually harvested from late August to October.
This variety has a light yellow-green to bright lime color with red spots on the surface. It is its natural color even after ripening, so don’t be fooled.
Greengage plums have the most sugar of any type of plum. Fruits are small to medium in size. They have thick and juicy flesh.
This plum variety is versatile and is used in making cakes, ice creams and jams. Greengage can also be paired with spicy foods such as chili.
The Mirabelle variety (Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca) is one of the rarest plum species and is not found in many parts of the world.
They are usually grown in parts of France and are well known for their use in jams, jellies, fruit brandies and some pastries. The fruits are small but surprisingly sweet.
Japanese plums, Prunus salicina in Latin, are large and juicy fruits. They have bright yellow flesh and deep purple-red skin.
It must be eaten fresh. The best way to tell which ones are fresh is to gently squeeze the fruit and see if it is slightly soft. If the plum is hard and unripe, store it at room temperature and let it ripen.
Latin called Prunus cerasifera. The name cherry is due to the fact that its fruits are small, round, red or yellow, resembling cherries in appearance.
They can taste sweet and sour. They are delicious if you get them fresh, but they are also used in baking and making jellies.
Cherry plum trees are also grown as ornamental fruit trees.
Growing plums is not too difficult. They require full sun and well-drained, sandy soil to thrive.
After planting a plum tree, do not forget to care for it. In March of the first and second year, apply 0.5 kg of organic fertilizer, in May of the first and second year of cultivation, additionally add 240 ml of calcium nitrate.
Provide sufficient water for newly planted trees. Place mulch around the tree to help retain water, but be careful not to let it touch the trunk.
Pruning is also important. Prune just above healthy buds as well as remove dead wood.
They are great raw, baked, grilled or sautéed. Of course, they are one of the ingredients when baking cakes.
Its sour taste makes meat dishes special, it goes well with duck, lamb or pork belly.
You can add plums to recipes like:
- plum pudding
- roasted duck breast with plum sauce
- roasted beets, plums and pecan salad
- granola with prunes
- plum raw bar
You can dry the fruits of the plum tree, they will retain their sweet taste. If you want to dry fruit in a dehydrator and don’t know which is the best, read our fruit dehydrator review .
Processing plums into jam is very popular in the Czech Republic. You can add them to buns or sweet pastries. For production you will need:
- crystal Sugar
- lemon juice
- Wash the fruit and remove any defects.
- Split the fruit, remove the stone and split the pieces again.
- Add the chopped plums and water to a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and stir occasionally.
- Cook covered until the fruit is soft.
- Then add the sugar and lemon juice and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the fruit to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Leave to stand after 5 minutes of cooking.
- Pour the finished plum jam into sterilized jars and close the lids.
- Leave to cool.
You can also pickle plums, get inspired by several recipes for pickled plums .
Plum wine – fermented plum juice, a popular drink in China and Japan.
Slivovice – an alcoholic drink made from fermented plums.
Plum oil – plum kernel oil is made from the pulpy inner part of the plum stone.
Plum jerkum – an alcoholic drink known in England.
Plums bring a number of health benefits to your body. By eating them, you reduce the risk of diabetes, some types of cancer and high cholesterol. Include them in your diet if you want to reduce your weight and support proper bowel function. Plums also improve bone quality.