Going Gluten-FreeJune 1, 2011

It’s Time to Eat

We’re in an unseasonal heat wave here in Virginia, with temperatures reaching into the high 90’s —and it’s just barely June. Time to dig out the shorts and flip-flops and surrender to summer. I say bring it on. Welcome fresh vegetables and fruit, especially the blueberries!

As Memorial Day weekend unfolds into the slow rhythm of summer, one glorious thing about living in my little neck of the woods, particularly at this time of year, is the pick-your-own blueberry farm down the street. The owner of this wonderful farm is named Rich, a retired guy from New Jersey who always wanted to be a farmer and now, in his senior years, is finally making his dream come true. That’s good for him—and good for me.

I had a houseful of guests this past weekend and on Saturday morning, I sent all ten of them over to Rich’s blueberry farm to scope out the place, seriously tackle those bushes and bring back the goods. And they did. They returned with buckets brimming with fresh-picked berries. We had blueberry crisp for dessert that evening and the next. Of the 12 people seated around my dinner table, three were gluten free. The recipe we used for the gluten-free, dairy-free blueberry crisp is below. It’s easy and scrumptious. Quite the treat.

My guests are gone now but fortunately a nice supply of blueberries remains. I’ve been munching on them the past few days and feeling grateful for the splendor of summer fruit and for my neighbor Rich. And it gets better. When my guests arrived at his farm eager to pick, his wife was making jelly (yes!) and she generously gave them several jars, along with her good wishes. What great neighbors. Am I lucky or what?


Easy Blueberry Crisp

SERVES 6

I adapted this simple crisp to make it gluten free and dairy free. (My thanks to an old recipe originally from Williams and Sonoma.) This was doubled to accommodate my crowd of houseguests. If you want a sweeter crisp or your blueberries are really tart, consider deleting the lemon juice. If you don’t have gluten-free oats, try quinoa flakes or a gluten-free multi-grain cereal instead.

4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I didn’t have any in the house so I used grapefruit juice—worked fine)
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (the brand I used doesn’t contain xanthan gum)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons coconut butter (you can use butter or dairy-free margarine)
¾ cups gluten-free rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 1½-quart baking dish.

2. Spread the blueberries in the prepared pan and sprinkle with lemon juice.

3. In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour blend, cinnamon, coconut butter and oats until combined. Sprinkle this topping over the blueberries.

4. Place crisp in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until blueberries are bubbling and top is golden. Serve warm with dairy-free vanilla ice cream. 

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