*no relation to that unctuous, ochre tinted, replete-with-chemical-ingredients-and-refined-sugar gel you get in little packets next to your egg rolls.
[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]
[Seen here spooned over a breakfast of cooked millet and brown rice with walnuts. Just look at that brilliant magenta!]
Now that it appears I’m basically on the ACD for life, I’ve had to let certain habits fall by the wayside (and no, I’m not talking about “keeping my desk organized”; “working out regularly”; “clearing my email box daily” or even “cooking dinner every night”–though I’ve pretty much abandoned most of those, too).
No, I’m talking about fruit negligence.
You see, I am a fruit lover. And what’s not to love? Most fruits are sweet, juicy, packed with nutritional benefits, and even contain a goodly amount of fiber so that you don’t experience untoward spikes in blood sugar. In fact, I was accustomed to eating two or three fruits per day, back before I was diagnosed with candida.
Now, the gravy train (or would that be “guava train”?) has pulled out of the station–gone. The ACD permits no fruit for the first while, then relents and doles out only one per day for the next long while. In addition, that singular daily fix must be “non-sweet”; that is, apples, pears, most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums) or berries. And while all of those are delicious in their own right, some of the best and most flavorful fruits are excluded. No beloved bananas. No marvelous mangoes. No perfect persimmons.
I tell you, I am bereft.
Ah, okay, I’m over it. After all, I can eat fruit again! What the heck am I whingeing about? It’s fruit! Sweet, juicy, packed with nutritional benefits. . . you get the idea. And precisely because I eat only one fruit a day, I have come to cherish that one, to savor it, to relish every dripping, sugary, fiber-packed mouthful.
Which brings me back to my negligent ways. For some reason, I still find myself overlooking plums. It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating a good plum. . . but when they first arrive in their plain brown bags (in our organic produce box), they don’t hum to me. They huddle together in the dark at the bottom of the bag and refuse to let their charms be known. And far too often, I simply close that bag and set it on the counter–and then forget it.
The other evening, I noticed an untouched brown bag on the counter and knew immediately that it was our plums. Inside, one of them had already gone to the big compost bin in the sky–far too ripe, mushy, and completely unsalvageable. I was determined to save the remainder of the lot.
But what to make? I could re-create my recent pear and cranberry cake using plums, for a gluten free version of this one. Or, I could come up with something entirely new, to showcase plums’ unique charisma.
As it turns out, I’ve been craving something to pour over pancakes on Sunday mornings (since I’m not allowed maple syrup, évidement). So I decided to create a lovely fresh plum sauce!
The texture of this sauce is midway between plum butter and coulis. It has enough body to spoon over puddings or layer in parfaits, yet is light enough to use as a slow, gliding syrup over pancakes or waffles. The flavor is crisp and fresh and bursting with crimson brightness from the plum skins. I thoroughly enjoyed it several times over the past week.
Plums, I hope you can forgive me. You are every bit as juicy as your peachy cousins, every bit as sweet as your blackberry cohorts, every bit as enticing as your Granny Smith ancestors. And now that I know the depth of your potential, I promise I’ll never abandon you on that counter again.
And in the “Excited to the Extreme” Department: I just found out yesterday that my cookbook, Sweet Freedom, has been shortlisted for a Cuisine Canada Culinary Award! I almost fainted!! It’s an indescribable honor to be listed among such Canadian Culinary luminaries as Anna Olson, Michael Smith, Tony Aspler and Laura Calder, among others. Thank you, Cuisine Canada, for recognizing my little tome!
Stay tuned for the third of four “Back-to-School-Swag” giveaways next time. . . you won’t want to miss these last two!
[Total pancake satisfaction!]
Quick, Fresh Plum Sauce or Topping
This is almost too easy for a recipe. But since it does require a bit of cooking, here’s how I made it.
4-6 large plums, washed and pitted (don’t peel)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to taste (I used 15-20 drops)
Cut the plums into chunks and process in a food processor with the lemon juice until as smooth as possible (you may still see tiny flecks of skin; this is fine).
Pour the mixture into a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture deepens in color and thickens somewhat. Remove from heat, add stevia to taste, and pour into a clean, dry glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes 4 servings.
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Last Year at this Time: Dèjà Vu Blondies
Two Years Ago: Banana-Berry Breakfast Cakes
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The sauce looks fantastic! Although, I’m not sure I could bring myself to do anything with a plum other than just eat it raw. Love plums!
I don’t mind them raw but discovered I LOVE them cooked! 🙂
The Voracious Vegan says
YUM YUM YUM! This looks bright and so fresh, the absolutely perfect topping. I love how you describe the texture, I’m going to have to make this for sure. 🙂
I loved the color, too–I think that’s half the reason I enjoyed it so much.
Isn’t it frustrating to have to explain to people why you don’t eat much fruit when they’re like, “but fruit is good for you!” At least, that’s how I feel. I am not required to be on any specific diet, but I feel better with less carbs – and you and I know fruits have plenty of those.
And I have often overlooked the plums as well, but I actually threw some in my oatmeal last week (only because we were out of every other fruit, and I felt bad for the plums not getting eaten!) along with some vanilla protein powder and a good shake of cinnamon. It was surprisingly tasty!
Mmm–I bet it would be great in oatmeal! I spooned some over my cereal and it was delicious.
I’ve recently bought some local(ish) plums, and though I’ve enjoyed them all raw, I was thinking that they would be perfect for some sort of plum sauce or butter. Just like this one! Your timing is perfect! I’ll head back to the farmers’ market tomorrow and I’ll get some more in order to make this sauce. Yum!
Hope you like it! Let me know if you do try it out. 🙂
First of all–congrats on the shortlist for the award! Of course you were nominated…your cookbook is amazing and full of delicious recipes. They would be crazy not to shortlist you (and crazier still not to give you the award) 🙂
Second of all, you are my hero for being able to give up all fruit like that. I have tried ACD so many times, but the fruit kills me. I am fine giving up pasta, bread, grains etc., but fruit?!? I can’t go more than a day without some sort of fruit! Sigh. You are amazing, that is for sure.
That plum sauce sounds fantastic. I like plums, but like you, I often forget about them. But they have been showing up at the farmers market lately, so tomorrow I am going to pick up a few and give your plum sauce a try!
Aw, thanks! I am still floating! 🙂 And yes, it was really hard for me to give up fruit for so long, too. But given the choice between eating fruit and not feeling sick. . . it was a no-brainer.
I like you, Ricki. 🙂
Thanks so much. Hope you like the sauce, too. 🙂
Alisa - Frugal Foodie says
I really have never cooked with plums, but what a marvelous idea! Right now we are getting two gigantic melons a week in our box … every week … and I don’t really love melon. To be honest, after the summer fruit share CSA I could go fruit-free!
This would be a great way to use them. Now, for melons. . . not so sure. 😉
I am the same with plums – when I eat them I love them but they do tend to get neglected – I think this sauce would be wonderful on a rice pudding – because I initially thought the top photo was rice pudding!
Congrats on your award – it is well deserved
Oh, rice pudding would be great, you are absolutely right! Now I feel like going and making some rice pudding. . . ! And thanks re: the award nomination–still reeling! 🙂
Michelle @ Find Your Balance says
Cooked fruit is awesome! Especially over pancakes. I’ve never tried plums either, but when I’m jonesing for dessert sometimes I’ll do apples or bananas or peaches. Why not plums?
It’s funny, I don’t often think of cooked fruit, but when I make it, I do really enjoy it. This was one of my favorites.
jodye @ 'scend food says
Plums are often hard for me to get into, as well, but once I actually think about it I remember just how delicious they are. This sauce sounds like it would go wonderfully with my overnight oats. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe soon!
I think plums are perfectly suited to sauce, and this one looks deliciously thick and rich. When they’re cooked, plums taste surprisingly buttery, don’t you think? (Or has it been too long since I’ve had butter.)
Alicia (Vegan Epicurean) says
What a GORGEOUS color on that sauce! Now I wish had had picked up those plums I saw at the farmers’ market today.
I don’t eat a lot of fruit but I know I would crave it as soon as someone told me I couldn’t have it. Why are forbidden things always sweeter? No pun intended. 😉
Congratulations again on your nomination. Fingers crossed for you!
River (Wing-It Vegan) says
I’m not surprised at all – Sweet Freedom is a fantastic cookbook! Congratulations! *HUGS*
Yum, that sauce is calling my name!
Mmm I love plums. And even though I don’t like fruit sauces, I must admit that this one looks and sounds really good!