Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Plum Crazy!

One of the things I love about this time of year is the bounty of garden-fresh fruits and veggies available. During my weekly visit to our local farmer’s market, I can’t seem to buy enough of the ripe tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, succulent squash and tangy peppers. And those are just the vegetables I’m trying to juggle in one arm while I ogle the assortment of just-picked fruit: apples (yes, the season has already started here), peaches, nectarines, and plums.

If there is a more colorful fruit than the plum I’d like to see it. Did you know that there are over a thousand varieties of plums in the world? With colors ranging from deep purple (insert favorite guitar solo here) and ink black, to bright oranges, vivid greens, and cheery yellows…name a color and, if you search hard enough, you will find a plum sporting that hue.

But I’m not crazy about plums just because they offer a rainbow of colors. No, I’m plum crazy because plums taste amazing and are good for you, too. Hey, you didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post about a fruit, even one as tasty and pretty as the plum, if it didn’t offer nutritional benefits worthy of some of my past fruit and veggie posts. Like these popular articles:

I Smell Asparagus
What Is Jicama?
Viva Avocado!
Fruit or Vegetable? Who Cares, Just Eat Tomatoes Every Day!
I Cannot Tell A Lie, Cherries Are Good For You

Okay, enough about all those other wonderful fruits and veggies, let’s talk plums…or better yet, how about a video?

Plum Crazy!

Plums are part of the drupe family: fruits that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. Other members of this tasty family: nectarines and peaches, two fruits, by the way, that I love as much as plums.

Loaded with phenols, which function as powerful antioxidants, plums offer a multitude of health benefits:

* a very good source of vitamin C
* better absorption of iron into the system
* reduction of bad cholesterol
* may fight some cancers, arthritis, asthma
* strengthens the immune system
* lowers the risk of vision loss related to age
* good source of fiber, vitamin A, B2, and potassium

Maybe the best benefit of all, when consuming plums in their dried form as prunes, is their amazing effectiveness in assisting with regularity. Simply put: if you’re a tad bit backed up, have a heaping helping of prunes and your worries will soon be a thing of the past.

Quiz time!

Q: What do you get when you cross a plum with an apricot?
A: A pluot

What is a pluot? Glad you asked.

What Is a Pluot?

Sweet and juicy or tart and chewy, plums (and pluots), along with all those other delicious members of the drupe family, are ripe and ready for picking right now. And the best part is they are low in calories and surprisingly healthy for you.

Maybe that’s why I get a little plum crazy this time of year. You should too.

Until next time…




Redkathy said...

Never tried a Plout but I enjoy both plums and apricots. Have to search the neighborhood produce, now I want to try one. They sound delicious! Thanks for the info.

Susan Blake said...

Your blog is just plum delicious! :) Grandma used to back Plum Kuchen - a yummy coffee cake with plums and streusel topping - to die for! We had many plum trees in the orchard on the farm - it was wonderful! Thanks for showcasing a superb, tho often overlooked, fruit.

p.s. Love the new kitchen - betcha you do too!

Faisal Admar said...

we don't get plum everyday here but it's one of my favorite fruits :)

this is the first time i heard about pluot.

thanks for sharing :)

Robin said...

I love plums, Mike - thanks for the reminder. I like to eat seasonally where I can, and as it is the end of winter here (yippee), I've a while to go before the new ones hit the shops.

WellnessPartners said...

Interesting, useful, poetical, funny... you've got it all in one post!

vicy said...

Thank you so much Mike for visiting me back and for leaving a comment. You really have interesting post here. You take care always and God Bless!!

Unknown said...

redkathy: they are sweet and juicy...try one

suzen: thanks for noticing the new digs...and that streusel sounds sweet

faisal: pluots are not that well known, but they taste awesome...

robin: seems i'm always bragging about our produce here in the states when they aren't in season out there yet, but you're used to that, i guess...

wellness: gracias!

vicy: always enjoy visiting your blog...



Maude Lynn said...

So that's what a pluot is!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

I like plums too by prunes even better because they aren't as messy to eat. Finally, something I like that is healthy for me!

Sagan said...

Yum! Plums are tasty. When they're perfectly ripe. It's hard to find a good plum in my city...

Kelly said...

Until you have tasted home grown tomatoes, you haven't tasted real vegetables. Having an organic garden is one of the best ways to stay on a tasty diet.

Unknown said...

mama zen: they taste sweeter than plums, give em a try...

karen: there are so many tasty and healthy foods out there, just gotta know which ones to eat...glad you found one that you like

sagan: here's hoping that you find one soon...

kelly: agreed, tomatoes bought in the grocery are not even of the same family...



John @ Family, Fitness and Finances said...

Thanks for introducing us to the Pluot Mike. They sound delicious! I have checked 3 local grocers, but with no luck. I am going to run out to the farmers market this weekend and see if I can get my hands on some of these little gems.