Monday, September 24, 2012

Dehydrating Plums

We helped pick my parents plum tree a few days ago. There are two things I love to do with their Italian Prunes (that's the plum variety they have) besides eating them fresh. I love the plum jam they make and I also love them dehydrated. They are so sweet and delicious. When my sweet tooth kicks in, I reach for a dried plum instead of a cookie or brownie. It fills the need for something sweet and is a healthy food choice. I have enough plum jam left over from last year so this year I dehydrated all the ones we didn't eat fresh.

I let the plums sit in the box a few days as we ate them fresh and waited for them to get a little soft. They are a lot sweeter when dried if you let them get really ripe.

Wash the plums. Split them open and throw the pit away. Some plums are not freestone varieties which means their pit is stuck inside and nearly impossible to remove without cutting away all of the fruit. Italian Prunes have a pit that comes out very easily which is another reason I love them. I will digress for a minute to discuss the difference between plums and prunes. They really are the same thing. A prune is a dried plum. They also name some varieties prunes because they dry better than other types of plums. That doesn't mean you can't dry the plums you have access to. I've dried other varieties and been just as happy. So don't worry about the name - just worry about weather the pit comes out easily or not.

Turn the plum half inside out. Just push up on it from behind. 
Lay these halves on your dehydrator tray.

Here is my tray full of them.

They shrink by about half after drying for about 24 hours. It usually takes that long to get them to fully dry. I like to get mine all the way dry so I can store them in a ziplock bag in the pantry. If you want to leave them a little more chewy, you can store your bag in the freezer. They look a little funny, but they sure are good and healthy - no sugar added - just sweet and delicious all on their own.

 There are positive health benefits to eating any fruit, but a recent study suggests that eating dried plums significantly increases bone mass and helps combat osteoporosis. For the full article click here. It's just another reason to grab some plums while they are still available at farmer's markets and fruit stands and get your dehydrator going.

No comments:

Post a Comment