When dried, a fruit's flavor is deliciously concentrated into a convenient, tender-chewy and wonderfully portable little package. And especially when the fruits of summer have gone, dried fruits — a traditional winter staple — make welcome additions to your larder.
What we once knew as “prunes” are now officially called “dried plums,” according to the National Dried Plum Board successfully petitioned the FDA to rename the fruit to de-emphasize its connections to digestive regularity issues.
Plum trees were introduced to North America in 1856. They were first grown commercially by a Frenchman, wooed to California by the Gold Rush, who planted d’Agen plums. Any plum can be dried, but it’s the descendants of this variety that are used in 99% of today’s dried plum production, still centered in California. The d’Agen has a very high sugar content, firm flesh, and a small pit — all traits that make for a flavorful, meaty dried fruit.
How to store dried plums
Once opened, dried plums should be resealed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. If they become desiccated, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water over the fruit and seal the container; the fruit should plump up in a few hours.
Tips for using dried plums
Dried plums have an illustrious culinary history that dates back centuries in Northern European cuisine. They’re delicious in both sweet and savory recipes, and they’re perfect for the celebratory dishes of the holiday season.
To chop dried plums, lightly wipe your knife blade with vegetable oil to help prevent the fruit from sticking to it — or snip them with kitchen shears.
Delicious & nutritious
Earthbound Farm organic dried plums are a good source of fiber, which may help relieve constipation, lower blood cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Dried plums are also bursting with health promoting and protecting antioxidants and other compounds that, as part of a healthy diet, have been linked to a number of potential health benefits. The vitamin A in this dried fruit primarily comes from the conversion of an antioxidant called beta-carotene. Within the context of a healthy diet, beta-carotene may have a role in protecting against certain chronic diseases. Dried plums also pack plenty of energy — try a handful for an afternoon or pre-workout boost!
Why choose organic dried plums?
Imported plums are #22 and domestic plums #37 on the Environmental Working Group's “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides,” a list of produce that carries the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally. Choosing organic dried fruits is always a good idea, because most conventional dried fruits are fumigated with synthetic chemicals to retard spoilage.
Earthbound Farm organic plums are grown and dried without toxic synthetic chemicals, using sustainable methods that protect the environment and help keep pesticides out of our soil, air, water and food supply. Organic food is the healthiest choice for people and the planet — and we think organic dried plums taste better, too!
WhatsOnMyFood.org from the Pesticide Action Network shows you searchable results for dried plums and a wide range of other organic and conventional foods. It’s an easy-to-use and empowering tool for learning about pesticide residues and their health effects for all of us.
Moist, sweet and packed with great nutritional benefits, our organic dried plums are great in all kinds of recipes and even delicious on their own.