Fresh or dried plums are everyone’s favorite summer fruit. Since they can be eaten raw or as salads, pastry, jams, smoothies, and sauces, there is no wrong with buying them in bulk.
Also, they have exceptional taste, so you like won’t get bored of having them. It has excellent skin and health benefits, so why not. But things don’t always go as planned.
So whether you bought plums to make pastries or jam and all of a sudden got a call for a work tour or you got it thinking your kid would love it just like last summer but didn’t, it is obvious to get confused about how to deal with those extra plums.
It is important to note that the shelf life of plums can either be short or long. This largely depends on when, where, and how you store them.
Along with weather conditions in your town and how old they are, whether they are ripe or unripe as well matters the most.
Well, this article is all about plums. We have got for you everything you should know about ways to store plums, signs when they go bad, the risk of consuming old plums, and a lot more.
But before that, let’s first know if plums really go bad or it’s just a mere misconception.
Can plums go bad?
Just like any other fruit, plums can go bad too. And that largely depends on what type of plums you got from the market.
Plums generally look fresh since they have a pretty long shelf-life. They do not go bad soon after you purchase them unless you got overripe plums.
So there is no denying the fact that you can enjoy plums for a longer duration if you get fresh ones from the market. Also, the way you store them also matters the matters.
Heat or direct sunlight often accelerates the ripping process, so it is important that you know how to store them.
There are various signs that plums start showing once they start to go bad, and here’s what you should know about them.
How do you know if plums have gone bad?
There are various signs you would notice when the plums start to age or aren’t fresh anymore. That obviously does not mean they have gone bad, but it’s an indication that you should consume them sooner.
So the task is to find plums that have glossy skin and firm texture. Plums are perfectly fine to consume until then, and this indicates they will last longer.
But if you notice any kind of discoloration, it can indicate that plums will soon go bad. Blue plums change from green to greenish-blue, soon turning into dark blue.
That’s how plums slowly go bad and not all of a sudden. The same happens with purple plums.
Apart from a change in colors, when plums go bad, their texture changes as well. When plums change from firm texture to soft and mushy, that’s when they start to age. And this indicates spoilage.
You will notice softer tips first when plums start going bad, and so it is advisable to consume them sooner.
Plums are sweet in taste and hence can easily attract worms, pests, and insects. So it is always better to cut plums before eating if you have had them for a long.
Even if there is no sign of discoloration or change in its texture, it might have had worms, and so better to discard it even if it’s just one.
When plums start rotting, you will notice tiny greyish spots on them, which eventually grow larger with time.
So if you notice tiny ones, either consume them ASAP or just get rid of them, as one can spoil the rest as well.
These are the few ways that tell if plums have gone bad or are perfectly safe to consume. However, it is always a good idea to know how long do plums last when stored appropriately.
How long do plums last (Shelf-life)?
Plums can last as long as a week, or just for 2 to 3 days. This largely depends on what kind of plums you got.
Generally, plums ripe pretty soon, and so if you plan to consume them a bit later, it is advisable to get unripe plums.
Unripe plums will ripe within 1 or 2 days, depending on the firmness of the plums. And once they do, plums will stay fresh until 3 to 5 days, which sometimes can even be a week as well.
After that, it will slowly start deteriorating if you have stored them at room temperature. Fluctuating temperature can accelerate this process. So make sure you store them accurately, which you will know in the next subtopic.
So basically, if you get unripe plums, they will last for 2 to 3 days, ripe plums will last more than 3 to 5 days. However, when frozen, plums can last for six months.
They soon will start showing signs of rotting, like change in texture, small dark spots, etc.
How to Store Plums?
First thing first, make sure you are storing your ripped plums differently from the unripped ones. Yes, you read that right; it is extremely important.
Keep your unripened plums anywhere on the open surface at room temperature to ripen. But you also have to make sure that they are not left under direct sunlight. Also, keep checking them frequently.
Plums ripe pretty quickly, so it is important to check one of them twice or thrice a day. This is because as soon as they are ripe, you will have to keep them in a refrigerator.
When riped plums are left in the open, they start to deteriorate sooner, and that’s exactly what we want to avoid.
So as soon as you feel plums are perfectly ripening, transfer them into the refrigerator. Put the plums into a plastic bag inside a drawer.
Also, it important that you keep your plums away from smelly foods like sauces, curries, etc. Plums generally absorb odor quickly, and so you won’t enjoy them thoroughly if they start smelling like a tomato or miso paste sitting next to it.
So yes, storing plums is just this easy. Just wash them properly before you eat them.
Tip: If you want your plums to ripen quickly, put your plums in a paper bag.
Can you Freeze Plums?
Craving fresh juicy plums in winter is normal, but that demands freezing them for the season.
Yes, you read that right. You can freeze plums, and they can last for six months or so when you do it right.
So the plums that you want to freeze should be perfectly ripe. You will need to cut the plums into tiny pieces and remove the pits as well. Place your plums on a baking sheet, away from each other.
Freeze your plums for an hour so until they are hard. Now take the plums and transfer them into a freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly, with no air trapped inside the bag.
And that’s all you need to do to freeze your plums and enjoy them for the next six months.
Risk of consuming rotten or old plums
Health is our most significant wealth, and there is no point in risking it just for the sake of food.
When consumed rotten, most fruits can have an adverse effect on health, so it is crucial you don’t do that.
Plums are no exception. Consuming rotten or over ripped plums having spots or molds can make you sick.
Not everyone, but people with sensitive digestive tract and kids are at risk. Some people are more sensitive than others.
It causes temporary illness or nausea for some. You can also develop food poising in some cases.
So it is essential that you avoid consuming rotten or bad plums. Enjoy your plums till they are ripped and enjoy their benefits.
How to know if plums are ripe?
Picking up juicy and perfectly ripe plums is a tricky task. But not anymore since we have tips that will help you shop for the right one.
Shopkeepers can often fool you into buying over ripped plums that soon start deteriorating. So you have lesser time to enjoy them.
Well, here’s how you can pick the right plums.
So when you go shopping for plums, pick ones that are heavy and avoid ones that are soft. This indicates that plums are yet to ripe, and you can thus enjoy them for the next 5 to 7 days.
Hard plums eventually become soft when you store them in a brown paper bag at room temperature.
If you are planning to eat plums in a day or two, get plums that have a deep, even color. Light-colored plums are yet to ripe and darker ones are completely ready to eat.
Plums should have a sweet fruity aroma. Anything that has no smell simply means lack or no taste. The skin of the plums should be smooth and wrinkle-free.
FAQs About Plums
How do you thaw frozen plums?
To thaw frozen plums, simply take out the freezing bag from the freezer and thaw it overnight in the fridge. Plums tend to be watery after being fixed, so drain the extra water.
If you want to cook those plums, you can also use the same water as it will make your dish more flavourful.
How many plums can I eat in a day?
Eating plums regularly has a lot of benefits but makes you don’t overdo that. Eating approximately one to five plums of medium to the small size is completely healthy and fine.
You can either eat them raw or cooked since they are pretty easy to make a part of your diet.
Are plums good for anxiety?
Yes, if you are ever anxious, plums can be your saviors. This is because plums are rich are in antioxidants. When your body lacks antioxidants, anxiety can be frequent.
Plums will likely keep your anxiety away.
What are the health benefits of plums?
Plums have exceptional health benefits that include improved heart health, relieves constipation, cancer protection, improved blood circulation, lower cholesterol, healthy skin, and bones.
These are the health benefits of plums.
What variety of plums is the sweetest in taste?
Mirabelle plums are one of the sweetest types of plums in the world. These are small, slightly reddish plums. They are high in anti-oxidants and are even used in making eau-de-vie in France.
Whether you are getting plums to make pastries and jams or to have them frozen, this was everything you should know to make the most out of it.
If you have got plums that are yet to ripe, leave them at room temperature for a day or two. Once the skin darkens a bit and is less firm than they were, they are likely ready to eat.
Ripe plums would last 3 to 5 days when stored in a refrigerator and 2 to 3 days when stored in a pantry. However, if you notice dark spots, discolorations over the plums, they might just not be safe to consume.
But it is no bad in giving it a try. If the taste and texture seem normal, go ahead.
We always recommend enjoying fresh plums as rotten or spoiled plums can often give you health issues. You will miss out on its excellent health benefits as well.
Hope this article helped you know everything about your favorite juicy plums.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.