Homemade plum juice is one of summer’s simple pleasures. Learn how to make this refreshingly sweet and tangy drink in just a few minutes when plums are in season.
In an effort to give some attention to stone fruit other than peaches and nectarines — which totally have my heart — I’ve been buying plums on repeat this season.
While I still stand firmly by the fact that nothing can compare with a perfectly ripe white nectarine, I must say, plums have grown on me this year.
I always liked them but for some reason, along with apricots, they just weren’t a staple in my summer fruit buying routine.
What I’ve come to love about plums is their tangy sweetness. No other stone fruit really has the zippy tartness of plums. And when it comes to both food and people, I always appreciate a little zip.
That attribute is what made me think how delicious they’d be turned into a refreshing summer drink. The resulting plum juice is the perfect summer sipper. It’s sweet, just a tiny bit tart and brightened up with fresh lime juice and a touch of raw honey.
You can make it in a blender, there’s no juicer required, and it’s the perfect way to use up an overzealous market buy when you just can’t stop yourself from buying all the fruit right now.
Ingredients to make plum juice
- fresh lime juice
- raw honey
- filtered water
Overripe plums are the key ingredient to this juice. They should be soft and borderline mushy. If you’re not using ripe plums, you’ll likely want to add a touch more honey to the recipe to make up for the sweetness.
The type of plum doesn’t matter so much. Shown here are black amber plums which have a dark skin and light flesh interior. Elephant heart plums feature a reddish pink flesh and can also be used.
Water is also a key ingredient in making this a juice and not a smoothie or homemade V8 juice. It creates a more drinkable consistency. The texture of this recipe is somewhere between pure juice and smoothie. If you want it thinner, simply add more water.
If you don’t eat honey, regular cane sugar or maple syrup can also be used.
Limes or lemons help brighten up the juice. They’re interchangeable in the plum juice.
Can I use pluouts?
Pluouts are a cross between plums and apricots but unlike, apriums — the same type of cross — they’re more plum than apricot. You can definitely swap them out or mix them with plums for this juice recipe.
How to make homemade plum juice
Wash the plums well. There’s no need to peel them before making this juice so it’s important to wash well and remove any dirt, debris or potential pesticides. Choosing organic plums is a good option if you can find them.
Slice the plums in half. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate and remove the pit. This should happen effortlessly with overripe plums. Cut into quarters then add to a high-powered blender along with the lime juice, honey and filtered water.
I'm partial to my Vitamix, I've had this blender for 10 years and it's still kicking. It gets almost daily use with my breakfast smoothies and there's pretty much nothing it can't blend. Seriously, it once pulverized a rogue stone in my coffee beans.
Blend until well combined and smooth. Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain the plum juice to get rid any pieces of skin and some of the pulp of the juice.
The plum juice can be enjoyed immediately or chilled in the refrigerator first. Serve with a lime garnish.
My Pro Tip
Try adding some warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger or nutmeg. These spices go really well with plums as featured in this five spice plum jam.
What are the health benefits of plum juice?
Plums are rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Their deep reddish purple color indicates the presence of anthocyanins, a specific type of polyphenol found in other red/purple foods like red cabbage, tart cherries and beets. According to studies in PubMed, they’re thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Blackberries have a lot of the same properties which is why this blackberry smoothie is such a vibrant color also.
How long will the juice last?
Stored in the refrigerator, plum juice will last up to four to five days. Make sure to keep it in a sealed, air-tight container to maintain its freshness.
The juice can also be frozen. A great way to do this is in large ice cube trays. Plum juice can also be turned into popsicles like these peach pops by using your favorite ice pop mold.
Can I use frozen plums?
Freezing plums in the summer for use later on in the year is a great way to enjoy plum juice all year round. Thaw frozen plums and then proceed with the recipe as written. Sweetness levels may have to be adjusted depending on how ripe the plums were when frozen.
Why you’ll love this juice
- Quick and easy with just four ingredients.
- No juicer required, just like this vibrant homemade pomegranate juice.
- Refreshing and perfectly balanced between sweet and tart.
- All natural without any preservatives, chemicals, artificial flavors or extras!
Looking for more ways to enjoy summer plums?
Goat cheese stuffed plums drizzled in honey make a great small bite. Pair them with your favorite cold glass of white wine for a summer weekend indulgence.
Plum salsa is another way to make use of their tart sweetness. It goes well with seafood, meat and chicken and can even be used as a fun twist to pico de gallo in a taco.
If you prefer prunes to plums, this green prune smoothie is a healthy option.
- 4 large overripe plums, pitted and quartered (about 530 grams)
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups filtered water
- Combine plums, lime juice, honey and water in a high-powered blender.
- Blend on high speed until fully blended.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl or container to remove any pieces of skin and some of the pulp.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill or enjoy immediately.
- Serve with lime garnish.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.