I’m a big fan of fruit in the abstract – it looks beautiful, it’s nutritious, it comes in an almost infinite variety – but in the particular, not so much.
There was an unfortunate episode with a squished banana when I was five or six that made even the smell anathema, and not long after that I heard someone describe the white lace that covers an orange’s flesh as a membrane, which my young mind misheard as brain and, well, there was no way I wanted to eat that….
Unfortunately, these things wormed (and there’s another term you don’t want to associate with fruit) deeply into my subconscious and I’ve never recovered. However, I signed on to do this program so by gum I’m going to do it.
No matter how determined I am, though, I simply cannot eat vegetables for breakfast every morning. I had to resort to fruit and now I am, in my own limited way, a fan.
Rachel’s faux compote
I call this a compote just to have a name for it besides stewed fruit, which doesn’t sound very appealing. Real compote is fruit cooked in syrup (that is, sugar) and as you might expect, sugar, syrup, and all other sweetnesses of that ilk are forbidden in this program. Besides, I’ve discovered they’re not necessary. Really.
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup of blueberries (frozen or fresh)
While I’m preparing the apple or pear (whichever is the crunchiest and will need the longest cooking time), I put an enameled cast-iron saucepan on the stove and turn the heat on low to warm it up. When the first piece of fruit is prepped I toss it into the pot, stir, and then prepare the other fruit. I toss that in, stir.
I turn the heat up a bit at that point but not too much, because the Saint gets annoyed if the fruit sticks to the bottom of the pot (it’s harder for him to clean). A slow, gentle cook is all it takes to soften the fruit and blend the juices a bit.
The fruit can vary – use whatever you enjoy that does not need added sugar. The pot also can be whatever you’ve got. I have a gas stove so I like the heaviness of cast iron, but if you use a lighter or thinner-bottomed saucepan, simply stir more often to keep the fruit from sticking.
A tiny bit of allspice is nice when I use a lot of blueberries. If the compote is more apple-y, cinnamon is delightful.
I eat about half of this compote with plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or alongside eggs. It would also be great served with some chunks of Brie or sharp cheddar. Perhaps pork sausages, if you like them. Or anything really. It’s delicious.