Lemon Thyme and Ginger

A Hint of Summer on a Winter’s Day

I made a new discovery this past week. As I was walking around the produce department I spotted a fruit that I had never seen before, lemon plums. The color was what first grabbed my attention, a warm vibrant yellow with a thin smooth skin. Their shape is somewhat similar to a lemon and somewhat similar to a plum, but longer and a little larger. These days anything bright and warm looking will hold the attention of any skeptical winter weary person. The end of winter is here and we North easterners no longer see the virtue in the color grey. I stared at these lemon plums as if I was watching a long summer sunrise. Entranced, I collected some plums to buy and bring home.

Lemon Plums in season in winter.

My research informed me that lemon plums are in season now and from Chile. They are rare and I was instructed to snatch them up when I saw them. Lemon plums are picked when they are yellow and unripe. As they ripen they gradually turn the color of a reddish-orange, the darker they get the riper and sweeter they will become.

Ripening lemon plums

Ripening lemon plums

I ate one when I first brought them home and yes they were hard, bland, and definitely unripe. Three days later when the orange hue was beckoning me over to gaze upon their sunrise, I couldn’t resist and bit right into one. I was rewarded with a juicy sweetness that was energizing. In the past few days the plums developed their delicious fruitiness. Observing this transformation at the end of winter gave me a stronger anticipation of good things to come. These plums whispered, “Spring is almost here.”

Sliced lemon plums

I could have made a lemon plum galette and been completely satisfied with eating the sugared roasted plums, but tasting something so fresh at this time of year was an awakening from hibernation. I realized that these plums are best served just as nature intended – as is. Like all juicy ripe fruit the only requirement is to be eaten standing over the kitchen sink to catch the juices dripping down your chin.

Ripe lemon plums ready for eating.

If you want something to spruce up the fruit or to have a rounded out meal, serve lemon plums with yogurt and your favorite cereal or granola. If dessert is your fancy you can swap out the yogurt with vanilla ice cream. Ice cream, lemon plums and crunchy granola create a “crumble” with half the work.

Recipe for low fat granola to go with homemade yogurt with lemon plums. A healthy and nutritious breakfast that the whole family with love.

For a delicious treat to eat with lemon plums, try making homemade yogurt. Enjoy this recipe here at maureenabood.com. I love making this yogurt and her website.

Enjoy this low-fat granola recipe slightly adapted from Bob Green’s Best Life Diet. 

Low Fat Winter Fruit Granola

Serves 24, 1/2 cup servings
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
From book Bob Green's Best Life Diet
A delicious low fat granola lightly adapted from Bob Green's Best Life diet. Serve with breakfast, a healthy snack, or sprinkle on ice cream for extra crunch.


  • 4 cups rolled oats (not quick rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran
  • 2 Tbl canola oil (or other light tasting oil)
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 Tea almond extract
  • 1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice (ie: apricots, apples, pears- chopped into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried dates (chopped into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 2 Tbl crystallized ginger


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread the rolled oats and wheat bran onto a large baking sheet. Make sure the oats and wheat bran are thoroughly mixed together. The baking sheet should be large enough for the oats and bran to cover the whole sheet evenly. My sheet pan is roughly 12" x 16" long.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and almond extract. Stir until evenly mixed together. Heat the maple syrup mixture until it begins to bubble. Turn off the heat then pour the syrup mixture evenly over the oats and wheat bran. Using clean hands, mix the oats with the syrup until it is evenly coated.
Put the baking sheet with the syrup coated oats in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and add the almonds. Stir them into the rolled oats mixture with a wooden or large spoon, being careful not to burn your hands. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and continue to bake for about 5 minutes, stir the almond oat mixture again, and continue to bake until the almonds are lightly toasted. About 10 minutes total time.
Take the baking sheet out of the oven and stir in the chopped dried fruit, cranberries, and chopped dates. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and bake about 5 minutes more or until the dates are crisp.
Remove the pan from the oven and stir the mixture while still on the baking sheet. Let the granola cool for about 5 minutes then stir the mixture again. Let the granola rest on the baking sheet until it is completely cool.

Store the granola in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.


If you do not have crystallized ginger you can substitute with finely diced fresh ginger. Put the diced fresh ginger into the sauce pan with the syrup, oil, vanilla and almond extracts. Then heat to just before bubbly and continue with the recipe. The almond extract and the ginger are the secret ingredients in this granola. They add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of extra calories.

© 2016 – 2017, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.


  1. Erin

    March 14, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Can’t wait for the next blog?

    • Ginger

      March 15, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Thank you Erin.

  2. Cara Bowers

    March 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Luscious, Ginger! Your blog is very elegant – congrats!

    • Ginger

      March 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thank you Cara. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Cara Bowers

    March 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Luscious, Ginger! Your blog is very elegant – congrats!

  4. Ann Marie

    March 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    So succulent Ginger! I have never seen a lemon plum so that you for sharing this exotic fruit.

    • Ginger

      March 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      They are in the markets now, but probably for not much longer. I found mine at DeCicco’s.

  5. Perrin Smith

    May 23, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Hi Ginger, just shared this post with a friend of mine who is also, like you, a great cook! Thanks for the wonderful granola recipe.

    • Ginger

      May 26, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Thank you. I hope your friend likes the granola. There are so many ways to adapt the recipe to suit all diets.


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