Spiced Plums with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Oats
A deliciously warming breakfast or snack option, rich in fibre, minerals and all important plant compounds to support digestion and feed our gut microbes.
Plums are such versatile fruits, delicious roasted with vanilla and enjoyed with ice-cream, blended and mixed with chia seeds for a "jam" or an accompany to apples and pears for a delicious crumble. There are over 40 different species of plums with certain varieties originating from Eastern Europe and others from China. It is thought that plums were the first fruits to be grown domestically alongside figs, olives and grapes.
In my garden we have a beautiful Victoria Plum tree. It seems to bear fruit every second year and has offered abundance when it does fruit. I find plum blossom one of the most exquisite little flowers- each one holding such promise for this delicious stone fruit. Victoria plums are a soft vintage pink on the outside with a sweet delectable yellowy flesh on the inside- perfect for stewing for a compote, jamming or simply eating off the tree.
Nutritionally plums are a wonderful source of pectin, a type of fibre known for its therapeutic value for our digestive system, healthy cholesterol, and supportive of balancing our blood glucose levels. Pectin is also known to be loved by our beneficial gut microbes which digest this soluble fibre and produce therapeutic compounds known as short chain fatty acids that support the integrity of our gut lining.
When plums are cooked, the pectin is released from the fruit of which we can increase this by stirring whilst cooking. In this recipes I've added lots of spices such as star anise, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. Research is clearly showing us that increasing the diversity of our plant-food intake is supportive of our health due to their rich and diverse polyphenol content. I find spices offer not only these nutritional benefits but, as so many of our World cultures inherently know, also bring depth and complexity of flavour that we can get really creative with.
To further nutritionally boost this recipe I love adding Greek yogurt, rich in minerals and protein with that silky texture. If you don't consume dairy, there are some delicious creamy plant-based yogurts available such as Coconut Collaborative. To add some crunch and sustenance, a generous helping of lightly toasted oats with fennel seeds and pecans makes this a delicious breakfast or simple dessert that you could layer in repurposed glass jars and bring to work or a family picnic. Whichever way, I do hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think.
8 plums, pitted and quartered
1 star anise
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2tsp freshly grated ginger
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 tsp fennel seed (optional)
80g of oats
40g of pecans roughly chopped
Greek yogurt to serve
Simply place the pitted and quartered plums in a pan with the juice of the orange, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and grated ginger. Put on a low heat to bring to a gentle simmer and breakdown the fruit stirring regularly- it will only take 5-10minutes. Meanwhile in a dry frying pan place in the whole fennel seeds (if using) and the oats to toast lightly for a few minutes. take the toasted oats aside and use the same pan to toast the pecans till slightly golden.
You can leave the plums to cool a little or scoop them in your bowl whilst still hot/warm (remembering to take out the star anise*) , adding a big dollop of Greek yogurt and finishing with the toasted oat and pecan topping.
I hope you enjoy xx
* To make further use of the star anise spice you can make a delicious tea with it by putting it in a mug/flask and leaving it to infuse in hot water for 5 minutes with slices of fresh ginger and a couple of bruised cardamom pods. Strain before drinking.