A plum is a drupe or in other words, a stone fruit. These are fruits that have rock like pits. Plums belong to species prunus and belong in the same family as apricots, tangerines and peaches. Plums can be of various sizes and it can be green, yellow, orange, red or purple with the inside can be yellow, orange or pink. Prunes are dried forms of plums.
Fun fact- the word ‘plum’ comes from the Old English word ‘plume’ which was derived from Latin ‘prunum’ and this was derived from Greek which came from Asia. Hence, the word plum has been borrowed from various civilizations and has a long history behind it!
Plums have been traced back to China which then travelled to Japan, other parts of Asia, parts of Europe and America. According to researchers, different types of plums have been traced back to different regions.
Plum trees are usually around 16 – 20 feet while the fruits are usually around 2 – 7 cm. The outside of the fruit is smooth and waxy and the inside is fleshy.
Nutritional Content of Plums
Plums are known to have nutrients that our body needs but what exactly is present in plums? Let’s find out.
- Calories: 30
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 7 grams
- Vitamin A: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 3% of the RDI
- Copper: 2% of the RDI
- Manganese: 2% of the RDI
These are all the nutrients present in one plum. Additionally, they also happen to contain some phosphorus, vitamin B and magnesium.
Health benefits of eating plums/prunes
Both plums and prunes have antioxidants which are required for your body to reduce inflammation and protect your cells. They are also known to reduce inflammatory diseases.
If you are someone who is looking to go on a diet or try to lose some weight, eating a plum is a very good option as they are filling and they contain a very small amount of calories.
Plums are rich in potassium which are said to reduce strokes and control blood pressure. This contributes in the overall heart health of a person.
Plums have a low glycaemic index which controls blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Plums contain vitamin C which helps with the heart. It is also important for repairing the cells and supporting the immune system. Since plums contain antioxidants, this is also useful in preventing cell damage.
Health Benefits of Consuming Plums When Pregnant
Plums and prunes are high in fibre. Pregnant women experience constipation due to the movement and position of their baby. Eating foods that are rich in fibre can help in the smooth functioning of your digestive system.
- Reduces the risk of anaemia
The risk of being anaemic is much higher when you are pregnant. This can lead to low birth weight of the baby or a premature birth. This can be resolved by eating foods that are rich in iron and plums are a good source of iron.
Since plums are rich in potassium, it helps to regulate your blood pressure levels and make sure you get the adequate fiber required by your body. This reduces the risk of preeclampsia.
These are some of the health benefits of eating plums when you are pregnant. It is also important to note that all bodies are different and there is a chance that you could be allergic to plums or prunes so, it is best to consult your doctor to get professional advice.
Plums can be eaten as it is or juiced. You can also be creative with it and make dishes that your family will enjoy. A good example of this is to make a plum tart.
- 280 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- pinch of salt
- 120 g confectioners' sugar
- 240 g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 egg yolks
- 120 g unsalted butter, softened
- 130 g golden castor sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g ground almonds (almond meal - the grainy kind - not the flour)
- 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large ripe plums
- 1 ½ tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Confectioners' sugar
- First make the pastry. Mix together the flour, salt and confectioners' sugar. Add in the softened butter and egg yolks. Mix together until just combined (I like to use my hands for this). Roll into a log (it will be sticky) and wrap in clingfilm. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
- For the frangipane, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat it together with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes – until it goes paler. Stir in the eggs until mixed, then stir in the ground almonds, flour, almond extract and vanilla extract. Cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
- Now it's time to assemble. Preheat the oven to 160c/320f and have a 30cm flan tin - with removable base- ready. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into ½cm slices. Arrange over the bottom and sides of the tin, then squash the pastry together so there are no gaps. Make sure you squash the pastry into the ridges on the sides of the tin. You may have a little leftover pastry.
- Trim the edges until they’re flush with the edge of the pan and place back in the fridge for 10 minutes whilst you slice the plums.
- Slice the plums in half and remove the stone, then cut each half into 6 slices - so you should get 12 slices per plum. If you can't remove the stone, just carefully cut around it.
- Take the pastry and frangipane out of the fridge. Dot the frangipane over the base of the uncooked pastry. Roughly level with a spoon so there are no gaps, then arrange the plums on top. I like to start from the outside, creating one large circle by very slightly overlapping the plums. Then a small circle inside and finally arrange a few extra slices in the middle.
- Sprinkle on the brown sugar and place in the oven to cook for 45-55 minutes – until the pastry is brown and the plums are slightly caramelised. You need at least 45 minutes in the oven to ensure the pastry is cooked, so if it starts to look too brown, place some foil on top (try not to let it touch the plums too much or it may stick).
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving with a dusting of confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, let it cool completely before serving.
Recipe from https://www.kitchensanctuary.com/plum-and-almond-tart-with-homemade-pastry/