September is the peak of plum season in North Idaho, so stock up on these nutrition gems while you can! Although plums may be picked from August through the end of September, they tend to taste best during the month of September.
The rich, purplish red hue of plums delivers a hefty dose of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that protect the body’s cells against damage from oxidation that occurs over time from exposure to toxins and the effects of aging. Plums are also a good source of vitamin C (that aids in better iron absorption and serves as an antioxidant), potassium (helps maintain normal blood pressure), and copper.
There are two main types of plums grown in the United States – European plums and Asian plums. European plums are more oval shaped and have a dark blue color as opposed to their red or yellow Asian counterparts, and they tend to be the hardier fruit tree. Plums are a member of the stone fruit family among nectarines, cherries, peaches and even almonds. Dried plums, also known as prunes, are a rich source of fiber and help to maintain a healthy bowel when eaten regularly.
Pick plums that are slightly soft to the touch and free of bruises. Hard plums will ripen quickly and may be left out on the counter for one or two days before they’re ready to eat. Plums make an excellent base for sauces and jams, and also serve well as a salad topper. Plums may also be grilled for a sweet treat or drizzled with balsamic reduction and fresh herbs such as sage and rosemary for a savory side dish.
Try this tasty twist on flat bread.
Plum, Brie, and Basil Flatbread
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
- 2 medium sized naan flatbreads, prebaked (try Stonefire brand, or if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own)!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ripened medium black plums, sliced and pitted
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 4 oz. brie cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
Directions: Preheat broiler to low or oven to 400 degrees. Place naans on a lightly greased sheet pan or pizza stone. Top each naan with 1 sliced plum, ¼ cup walnuts, and 2 oz. brie cheese. Drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey over each naan. Bake according to package directions (3-5 minutes at 400 degrees) or broil until cheese is melted and bubbling slightly.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh basil over each naan once removed from the oven. Cut each naan in half. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe by Natalie Colla.
Article by Natalie Colla, RDN, LDN. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Idaho and Registered Dietitian at Panhandle Health District. She takes a “whole person” approach to health and believes in utilizing a combination of behavioral counseling, stress reduction, exercise, functional foods, and individualized diet therapy to achieve total wellness for a variety of chronic diseases.