One of the unique things about plums is that there are so many varieties available and they come in such a panorama of colors.

Plums are relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond. They are all considered "drupes," fruits that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. Some have much firmer-fleshed than others and some have yellow, white, green or red flesh.

Look for plums that are ripe and ready to eat which are slightly soft at their tip. While you can also purchase plums that are firm and ripen them at home, avoid those that are excessively hard as they will be immature and will probably not develop a good taste and texture profile. Good quality plums will feature a rich color.

Plums that are not yet ripe can be left at room temperature. As this fruit tends to mature quickly, check on them in the next day or two to ensure that they do not become overripe. Once they are ripe, plums can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. While plums can be frozen, to ensure maximum taste remove their stone pits before placing them in the freezer.

Plums are delicious eaten as is. If the plums have been in the refrigerator, allow them to approach room temperature before eating them as this will help them attain the maximum juiciness and sweetness. If you want to first remove the pit before eating or cooking, cut the plum in half lengthwise, gently twist the halves in opposite directions and then carefully take out the pit.

Add plum slices to cold cereal.

Dried plums are known as prunes.

Nutritional Profile

Plums are a very good source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and potassium. In addition, plums are a good source of dietary fiber.

Plums and prunes are known for their laxative effect. Prunes and prune juice are often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system.

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