Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced to the readers of the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
The sound of voices and laughter, the front door closing, and a car driving off broke LJ’s concentration. He went downstairs to investigate and found Annie surrounded by bushels of plums. They ranged from rich gold to the deepest purple, and their smell was terrific. What a visual, he thought. “Where did these plums come from?” Annie smiled, “George and Lisa had a bumper crop this year and decided to share. I think we should have a plum party.”
“In light of our pandemic circumstances, a party is probably not a good idea. How about making plum wine? More friends could share in this bounty, and we would use all of these plums.”
“That’s a good idea. There’s a website: HOMEMADE PLUM WINE that has easy, simple instructions, so I’m game.”
A few days later, as they were preparing the plums, Annie read the recipe and remarked, “Wow, three pounds of sugar!”
“Hold on, Annie, five pounds of plums usually require that amount of sugar, but because these sweet plums have a higher concentration of sugar and juice, we can probably get away with 2 pounds. This is different from wines made from flowers and herbs, which do not contain sugar – they would need three pounds. The reality is that without sugar, there is no wine. Sugar is converted into alcohol via fermentation. The more sugar, the higher the alcohol content. For example, two pounds of sugar in one gallon of water will yield about 12% alcohol by volume in our wine. While we are on the subject of what is good for you, what is the nutritional value of plums and is it better to eat plums or prunes?”
“Well, they are a healthy low glycemic snack with only about 30 calories per plum, and less than 1 gram of fat. A medium-size plum has about 7.5 grams of carbs, but they are a good source of vitamin C, (healthy aging), and small amounts of potassium, copper, and manganese. The rich color of plums represents phytonutrients, antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent cell damage. So, while making this wine will take several months before its ready to drink, it will be worth the effort due to its health benefits. And, by-the-way, eating prunes is healthy. They are a naturally sweet treat and owing to their fiber content are beneficial in treating constipation. Be careful though; too many can cause bloating and diarrhea.”
Several weeks later, they tasted the wine. “What do you think?”
LJ thoughtfully paused, “This is a good start. The longer we wait to drink it, the better, so let’s leave it in the demijohn to ferment longer, and then bottle it for a couple of months. That should bring us up to the holidays, and we will have gifts to share. Good things come to those who wait, right?”
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.