When storing unripe plums, it’s important to follow some simple guidelines. This will allow you to keep your plums at their freshest for longer. It’s also good to remember that plums don’t store well in the fridge, so if you’re planning to store them for a long time, it’s best to keep them at room temperature.
Ripe plums will last up to three days on the counter unless you freeze them. They can also be stored in a refrigerator, but you’ll need to put them in an airtight container. You can also use a paper or brown bag to speed up the ripening process. The paper bag captures the ethylene gas that helps plums ripen faster.
What are Plums?
The Prunus genus of plants and shrubs includes a variety of fruit called plums. They are linked to almonds, peaches, and apricots. Plums can be red, purple, yellow, or green and are often round or oval. Their flesh is delicious and juicy, and their skin is silky and shining. Plums are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They can make jams, jellies, preserves, and baked items and are frequently consumed fresh. Depending on the variety, they are in season from May through October.
How to Store Plums?
Plums should be kept until they are completely ripe at room temperature. When they are ripe, you can store them in the fridge to delay ripening and increase their shelf life.
Here are some suggestions about how to store plums:
- Unripe plums should be stored at room temperature in a single layer, out of the sun, on a plate or tray.
- Before putting plums in the refrigerator, let them mature at room temperature for one or two days.
- When plums are completely ripe, please put them in a plastic bag with tiny holes or a container with a lid and keep them in the fridge.
- To prevent other plums from spoiling more quickly, remove any ruined or overripe plums from the container or bag.
- Plums can be kept for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- You can also freeze plums if you have a lot of them and don’t think you’ll be able to consume them all before they go bad. After splitting them in half and removing the pit, put them in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container. They can last up to six months.
- Plums should only be handled lightly because they are delicate and easily bruised.
- You can keep your plums fresh and savor their sweet, juicy flavor for longer by adhering to these storage suggestions.
What is the Correct Method of Freezing Plums?
The simplest and most practical way to store plums for later use is to freeze them.
This is how you do it:
- Choose plums that are ripe and spotless first. Dry them off by rinsing them in cold water.
- Remove the pit from the plums and cut them in half. Depending on how you intend to use them later, you can slice them or leave them whole.
- Put the plums on a baking sheet prepared with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Verify that the plums are not in contact with one another.
- The baking sheet should be put in the freezer. Give the plums time to freeze thoroughly; it will take about two hours.
- Transfer the frozen plums to an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag after they have frozen. Seal the bag or container after releasing as much air as you can.
- After writing the date and the type of fruit on the container or bag, put it back in the freezer.
- Plums can be stored frozen for up to six months.
- Remove the frozen plums from the freezer and let them defrost at room temperature before use. They could get a little mushy when thawed, but they can still be used in many recipes, including jams, sauces, smoothies, and baking. If you want to consume them immediately, they will be a bit solid and frosty but still tasty if you choose to utilize them fresh.
What is the Right Way to Defrost Frozen Plums?
Depending on how you intend to utilize the frozen plums, there are a few alternative ways to thaw them:
- Thawing at room temperature: Remove the frozen plums from the freezer and set them at room temperature in a bowl or on a platter. Depending on the size and number of plums, they should thaw in a few hours. The plums will work best using this method if you’re making a sauce or smoothie that doesn’t call for entirely thawed plums.
- Place the frozen plums in a bowl or platter and cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to defrost in the refrigerator. The plums should defrost overnight in the refrigerator after being placed in the dish or plate. This approach is ideal if you want to use the plums in a recipe that calls for a complete thaw, such as a pie or a cobbler.
- Place the frozen plums in a microwave-safe dish and cover them with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe lid to defrost in the microwave. The plums should be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on the defrost setting, checking them every 30 seconds to ensure they don’t start to cook.
- The plums will thaw the fastest with this method, but you should be mindful that microwaving will alter the texture of the fruit.
Whatever method you choose, it’s critical to slowly thaw frozen plums because they risk becoming mushy or losing their shape if you do so.
What are the Different Varieties of Plums?
There are numerous plums, each with distinctive taste, texture, color, and ripening characteristics.
The following are some of the most popular kinds:
- American plums: The most popular variety is European plums, which have a deep, sweet flavor. They have yellow or red flesh with dark purple or blue skin. Late summer and early fall are the normal times for harvesting them. Damson, Greengage, and Victoria are varieties.
- Japanese plums: Japanese plums are larger and rounder than European plums and are renowned for having sweeter, juicier flesh. They have yellow or red meat and red or yellow skin. Typically, they are picked in the middle to end of the summer. Santa Rosa, Shiro, and Satsuma are a few varieties.
- American plums are often smaller and tastier than European plums because they are native to North America. They have yellow or red meat and red or yellow skin. In the late summer and early fall, they are typically harvested. The Beach, Chickasaw, and Wild Goose are other varieties.
- Hybrid plums: These plums combine the firmness of European and Japanese varieties with the sweetness of Japanese varieties. They come in a wide variety of hues, forms, and sizes. Black amber, Elephant Heart, and Flavor are among the varieties. Supreme
- Prunes are also referred to as dried plums produced by drying. They have leathery skin that is black and wrinkled. They are frequently used in baking and cooking and are a wonderful source of fiber.
It’s a good idea to sample numerous varieties of plum to determine which one you like the best because each variety has a distinctive flavor and texture.
How to Include Plums in the Diet?
Plums are a tasty and adaptable fruit that may be consumed in various ways.
Here are a few ideas for including plums in your diet:
- Ripe plums can be consumed fresh as a dessert or a nutritious snack.
- Baked: Pitted, sugared, and sprinkled with cinnamon, plums can be cut in half and baked. They are fantastic as a topping for pancakes or oatmeal.
- Grilled: Halve the plums, scoop out the pit, then brush with olive oil and salt. To give them a smokey, caramelized flavor, grill them for a few minutes on each side.
- Salads: To create a sweet and juicy contrast to the greens in a salad, slice some plums and add them.
- Smoothies: To make a tasty and nutritious smoothie, combine plums with other fruits, yogurt, and milk.
- Plums can be turned into jams or jellies, delicious spreads for toast or baking.
- Prunes, a rich source of fiber that may be eaten as a snack or added to oatmeal or yogurt, can be made from dried plums.
- Sauces: A sweet and savory sauce produced from plums can be used as a dipping sauce or to accompany meat meals or grilled vegetables.
By incorporating them into your diet, you can benefit from the numerous health advantages, wonderful flavor, and adaptability of plums.
How to Identify Plums are Gone Bad?
To tell if plums have gone rotten, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Smell: A strong, sour, or fermented aroma indicates that the plums have gone rotten.
- Physical characteristics: Spoilt plums frequently feature soft patches, wrinkles, or discoloration on the flesh and mold on the skin.
- Texture: Overripe plums have a mushy or squishy texture and should give modest pressure rather than be somewhat hard.
- Taste: If plums have a sour, fermented, or odd flavor, they should not be consumed.
- Expiration date: Always look at the packaging or container’s expiration date to determine whether the plums are safe to eat.
Any rotten plums should be thrown away as soon as you discover them since they can hasten the deterioration of other products in the same container. Before eating the plums, make sure to look for any symptoms of rotting.
What are the Side Effects of Consuming Spoiled Plums?
Consuming rotten plums can result in food poisoning and have some negative repercussions, including:
- Consuming rotten plums may result in nausea and an upset stomach.
- Salmonella and E. coli are two dangerous bacteria that can cause diarrhea and are present in sour plums.
- Vomiting: Eating rotting plums might also make you throw up since your body attempts to eliminate the dangerous germs.
- Stomach cramps: Because of the germs they contain, sour plums might result in stomach cramps and discomfort.
- Migraines: The body’s response to the toxins in ruined fruit, such as rotten plums, can result in headaches after consumption.
- Weariness: The body’s attempts to combat the harmful germs after consuming rotting plums might result in fatigue and weakness.
It’s crucial to get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms after eating damaged plums. Food poisoning can occasionally be severe and even fatal, especially for those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and young children.
Reference: Factors in fresh market stone fruit quality
The damage vulnerability of different nectarine, peach, and plum cultivars increased in recent investigations (Mitchell et al., 1989; Mitchell et al., 1990; Mitchell et al., 1991) at flesh firmness below roughly 3.5 kg-force.
Plums were more resistant to bruising than nectarines or peaches at the same firmness. Nectarines and peaches that transit over conventional packing lines in California should probably have an average flesh firmness of at least 4.5 to 5.5 due to their greater vulnerability and normal flesh firmness fluctuation at harvest. To advance harvest maturity, improving the performance of these packaging lines would be desired.
During the summer, plums can be found at almost all food outlets. However, plums are only in season for a short period. As the season ends, the supply of fruit begins to deplete. So be sure to purchase your plums soon.
Ripe plums can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Once you have cut them into small pieces, you can place them in an airtight plastic or freezer bag. Remove the pits from the plums. If there are any insects or worms, throw the plums away. Be sure to wash them before putting them in the refrigerator.