*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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