How To Freeze Fruit: Plums

In fall we harvest plums

Kamloops' hot sunny location at the confluence of the Thompson Rivers makes it easy to grow fruit trees, and in late summer, friends' and neighbours' yards are loaded with apricots, peaches, plums, ripening apples and grapes. Each family enjoys what they can, then invites friends over to share the bounty, help clear the windfalls from the lawn beneath the trees, and strip the branches of the last fruit lest it draw bears to the properties. Bears are common in the region, and in September they are gorging steadily to build up body fat to sustain their approaching hibernation.

We enjoy what we can while it is fresh, but one way to preserve the surplus is to freeze it. Freezing plums is easy and fast, so we have a supply we can enjoy all winter long. This method also works for freezing apricots, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and other small fruit.

Plums Ready to Pick

These plums are ready to pick.  If we leave them, bears will come to the yard.
These plums are ready to pick. If we leave them, bears will come to the yard. | Source

Ladder to Harvest Plums

The ladder is waiting under the plum tree.
The ladder is waiting under the plum tree. | Source

Wash the plums

Wash the plums and drain them. Even if they have not been sprayed with pesticides, the plums are dusty and birds and animals have been walking on them. Washing them before freezing means they are ready to use right out of the freezer.

Washed Plums Draining

Wash the plums and drain the excess water.
Wash the plums and drain the excess water. | Source

Split, Pit and Spread the Plums

With a sharp paring knife, split the plums around the circumference, almost cutting them in half. Then the pit comes out easily, and the plum is ready to spread, cut side up, on foil-lined baking sheet. Lining the sheet with foil makes it easy to lift the frozen plums off in an hour or so to bag them. After that, put the sheet flat in the freezer to let the plums freeze individually.

This method lets the plums freeze quickly and evenly, and ensures that they won't be stuck together when you are ready to use them.

Ready to Freeze

Split plums, pit them, and spread them cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Split plums, pit them, and spread them cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. | Source

Bag the Plums and Freeze

In about an hour, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and bag the frozen split plums in medium-sized freezer bags. Label, date and seal them, and put them in the freezer to store. Plums keep frozen for up to six months, but they will probably be eaten by then, and you will be eager for the next harvest.

Freeze!

Bag the frozen plums, label, date, and seal the bags, and put them in the deep freeze.
Bag the frozen plums, label, date, and seal the bags, and put them in the deep freeze. | Source

Nutritional Information for Raw Plums

Serving Size: 1 cup (165 grams)
Vitamins
Minerals
calories: 76
A: 569 IU 11% of daily value
Calcium 9.9 mg 1%
fat: 0 g
C: 15.7 mg 26% of daily value
Iron 0.3 mg 2%
carbohydrate: 19 g
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 0.4 mg 2%
Magnesium 11.6 mg 3%
protein: 1g
Vitamin K 10.6 mcg 13%
Phosphorus 26.4 mg 3%
 
Niacin 0.7 mg 3%
Potassium 259 mg 7%
 
Folate 8.3 mcg 2%
Sodium 0.0 mg 0%
 
Pantothenic Acid 0.2 mg 2%
Zinc 0.2 mg 1%
 
Choline 3.1 mg
Copper 0.1 mg 5%
 
 
Manganese 0.1 mg 4%
 
 
Selenium 0.0 mcg 0%
 
 
Fluoride 3.3 mcg
source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2032/2

Ready to Use the Plums

When you are ready to use the plums, take out the bag and use the frozen fruit in your recipe. Don't thaw it. My favourite way to use these frozen plums is to stew them, adding a quarter cup of water with a freezer bag of plums to a covered sauce pan, and bringing them to a boil. Then keep the stewed plums in the fridge for use on cereal, in shakes, or in a bowl. Or if you like fruit cobbler, try the plums in this quick cobbler recipe.

I never enjoyed plums growing up, probably from tasting sour ones, but since I have come to Kamloops, these purple kings of September, rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, have become a harvest I look forward to all year long.

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Comments 1 comment

cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Hi Janis:) Freezing on the cookie sheet before combining in the bag is brilliant! No more sticking in a big clump. Simple tips like this are the best. Thank you!

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