In Season: Plums

Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts!
Related To:

Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

What, Where, When

The plum ( Prunus domestica, Rosaceae) belongs to the rose family with cherries, peaches, and apricots. There are hundreds of plum varieties grown throughout the world. Common varieties include French, Italian, Imperial, Greengage, Long John, Castelton, and Fellenburg.

Plums grow on trees in clusters, have smooth skin and a pit in the center. Plums can be oval or round in shape. The skin can be deep purple, red, green, blue, or multicolored. The flesh can be orange, red, purple, yellow, or white. Plums also vary in taste—some are sweet while others are tart. They’re available from July through October.

Nutrition Facts

One medium plum contains 30 calories, 8 grams carbohydrates and is a good source of vitamin C. They also provide fiber, beta-carotene, and potassium. They’re bursting with the antioxidants neochlorogenic and chologenic acid. Dried plums (a.k.a prunes) contain triple double the antioxidants than the fresh varieties.

Studies have suggested that plums may play a role in helping lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol and may help protect against some forms of cancer (including colon cancer).

What To Do With Plums

Nothing beats sinking your teeth into a fresh, juicy plum, but there are so many other ways to enjoy this summer fruit. Raw plums can be added to salads, cereals or yogurt. Top pancakes, waffles, or French toast with sliced plums. They make amazing jams, sauces, and chutneys – perfect over pork or poultry. They can also be baked into muffins, pies, tarts and cakes.

Here is a quick conversion tip for cooking:

1 pound fresh plums = 6 to 8 whole plums = 2 ½ cups sliced = 2 cups cooked

Shopping Tip: Choose plums that are shiny, plump, and firm to the touch. Avoid moldy, soft, bruised or those with broken skin. A little brown discoloration on the skin indicates sunburn, but are safe to eat. Unripe plums continue to ripen after picked – place in a closed paper bag at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Recipes to try:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Coming This Summer: Food Network Star Season 9

Season 9 of Food Network Star is set to premiere on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm/8c on Food Network, with Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis as hosts.

Food Network Star, Season 11: The Search for Star Power Is On This Summer

You heard it here first: Food Network Star, Season 11 is set to kick off this June with judge-mentors Bobby and Giada at the helm.

In Season: Onions

We take onions for granted because you can find them in the supermarket year-round. Freshly picked, however, they're quite a flavorful treat. From shallots to Vidalias, there’s a variety for just about every savory dish you want to cook up. Plus, tips on stopping the tears.

Summer Fest: 6 Ways to Cook With Plums

Try grilling, pureeing, sauteing, baking or even drinking this juicy purple fruit.