How do all you gluten-freeers our there feel about oats? As I understand, it’s a sensitive (literally) topic for some, one which invokes a very mixed set of feelings. Though I am an oat lover, I can’t claim this to be much of an endorsement for others, as the grains on my sensitivity list extended only to wheat. That said, Bob’s Red Mill, Gifts of Nature, and Gluten Free Oats (duh!) all sell certified gluten-free oats, and many studies indicate that oats are safe for folks with celiac or a gluten-intolerance. Still, I understand why many are wary. Your body knows better than any study out there, so sit this one out if oats aren’t your thing.
I saw some very pretty organic plums at the market this morning. They were originally scheduled to make an appearance in another crisp trial. However, somewhat sick of making crisps, I thought I’d do things a little different here. Well, different for me. Grilled fruit is certainly not a novelty. In fact, it’s sort of the trend, it seems, these days. Nevertheless, I’d never done it. I guess you could call this a deconstructed crisp. It’s the perfect late summer post-dinner treat.
To sweeten the topping, I used NuNaturals NoCarbs Blend, which consists of a mixture of stevia and erithrytol, the latter being one of the most easily digested of all sugar alcohols (others include xylitol and maltitol). Erythritol is derived from corn, so be wary if you have a corn allergy.
After singing the praises of NuNaturals Vanilla Liquid Stevia for quite some time, the lovely folks at NuNaturals perhaps caught on to my enthusiasm, sending me some of their other products as well. I must say, I continue to be impressed. The topping is just the right amount of sweet, minus the stevia bitterness, which is conspicuously absent from NuNaturals’ products. I may be “paid off” so to speak, but I couldn’t be more sincere when I say that NuNaturals has made me a believer in stevia. After trying several other brands, I once feared I would never be able to break my agave habit. Now I can’t remember the last time I bought a bottle of the stuff.
4 ripe black plums, halved and pitted
Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted, for brushing
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup almond meal (you can find it at Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon NuNaturals NoCarbs Blend
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Prepare topping: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together all ingredients for the topping except for the buttery spread. When dry ingredients are well mixed, add buttery spread. Break into mixture with your fingers until evenly distributed. Lay topping mixture flat on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Make sure to watch the topping carefully during the second half of cooking, as it can quickly go from being perfectly browned to burned.
3. As topping cooks, prepare plums: Heat a grill pan (or grill) on high heat for 3-4 minutes until very hot. Brush with a light layer of melted buttery spread (if using an outdoor grill, you may want to brush plums with the buttery spread directly). When grill is hot, add plums flesh-side down. Cook, without turning or moving, for 3-4 minutes, pressing down gently on each one to get nice grill marks. Turn plums and grill on the skin-side for another 4-5 minutes (still on high or medium-high heat, time will depend on the ripeness of plums).
4. Remove plums to a plate or bowl and add crumble topping when it’s still a little warm.