My friend asked me what I thought about someone asking her the following, "I'm okay with adjusting my meal for someone who has a diagnosed food allergy from the doctor. But, I don't see why I should for the person who simply "chooses" to eat the way they eat."
Honestly, I could see a little of my younger self in this inquirer. Lacking grace and understanding and feel they were making hospitality more difficult. Man, I'm glad for grace.
My answer was something like this, "I guess I would say that our tables are to represent or model that of Jesus' table as much as possible. So even if we don't agree with, or hold the same values as someone else in regards to food, we can still ensure our tables are always welcoming. If we make our tables inaccessible, due to our own hardness of heart or willingness to change for the sake of the other, then I would go as far to say that it's sinful. Sinful, because it puts up a barrier just because they don't feel like it."
I went on to quote Paul from Corinthians about everything being permissible but not beneficial if it causes someone else to not come to Christ. I like the Message translation.
Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. --I Corinthians 10:23-24 (The Message)
This translated is welcoming a non-meat eater into my home and cooking to their specifications. It means I am willing to lay aside myself, in order to serve the other. It means this gathering around the table is a symbol of hospitality & welcome. It means it's not about me, but them.
Naturally, I found a way to make a rather food friendly dessert. It's a blueberry crisp by first glance. However, it's also for vegan friends, gluten, nut, and dairy-free friends, those avoiding refined sugars. It is not grain-free as I use quick oats. And, it's also incredibly delicious.
I have taken quite a few liberties in refining the blueberry crisp from Bread & Wine, and dare I say, it's better. My blueberry crisp boasts of sweetness from the blueberry itself as they come alive with fresh lemon zest & juice and only slightly sweetened with real maple syrup. The crisp part is nut & gluten-free, so I've given some to Caprice (she gives it a blueberry stained mouth smile).
Vegan & Gluten-free Blueberry Crisp (printable recipe)
It’s currently not blueberry season, which is why I use frozen ones from last season. They taste just as good. So be sure to throw the berry layer into the oven as it warms up while you make the crisp. That way, you’ll have blueberries with juices flowing out from the get go. Also, I have done both 1 Tb & 2 Tb of real maple syrup with the berries. If you like things slightly sweeter, go for 2 Tb.
3 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
Zest of one lemon
Juice from one lemon
1-2 Tb real maple syrup
1 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oats, quick
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut butter
3/4 tsp salt
Light sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 cup + 1 Tb real maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Using an 8x8 pan (I use a pyrex), place all the berry layer ingredients in it (blueberries, zest & juice of one lemon & real maple syrup. Mix it around to coat. If you are using frozen berries, then place it in the oven as it warms up to allow the blueberries to defrost and get some juices flowing.
In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup, add all the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spoon to incorporate all the coconut butter throughout, and to allow all the dry ingredients to become wet.
Remove your blueberries from the oven. Take your wet crisp layer and dump it on top of the blueberries, trying to cover them all.
Put back into the oven, bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden across the top.
Serve warm and if you’re like me with some full fat whole milk yogurt.