Celebrate Fruit Compote

fruit compote

serve in a pretty dish

canned pears


frozen strawberries


Fruit Compote has a day on the calendar to celebrate the rich tradition of blending different fruits together. The French would boil them in a syrup, but I have a much simpler version.
Note, compote is different from compost – the leftover garbage pile some folks have in their yards to shore up the garden soil. In compote, you want fruit that is succulent, not spoiled.

blueberries

craisins


It’s an appropriate dessert, especially during lent. It’s also a tradition for Jewish Passover, but then it’s made with all dried fruit.

coat with yogurt


I have a formula for making this that you might enjoy:
1 canned fruit
1 fresh fruit
1 dried fruit
1 frozen fruit
Topping of choice – usually low fat yogurt for me.

Tips:
Look for fruits with different colors and textures for the best result.
If you’re using fresh apples or bananas, make only enough for one meal, as the bananas will get mushy and the apples may turn brown.
Serve in a pretty dish, if you want to dress it up. This would be a fun dessert to put in a tall wine glass.

The possibilities are endless, but let me show you one example.
1 15 oz can pear slices – drained
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup dried craisins (You can use a full cup, if you like.)
1 6 oz cup of vanilla bean low fat yogurt. (Remember when yogurt was always 8 oz?)

Instead of yogurt, you may want to use pudding. For more topping ideas see this blog post:

http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2011/11/18/fruit-cup-dessert/

Play with your favorite fruits and combinations. Let me know what worked for you. There’s hardly any food more beautiful than fruit. Truly candy for the eyes and palate.
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Bumps on Logs Updated

celery snack ideas

Celery is one of those lowly vegetables that just isn’t sexy. Sure, we add it to bulk up soups and Asian cuisine, but most if it goes rubbery and gets thrown away. Am I right? I have a few ideas to remedy this.

Eat celery for a snack. Oh yeah. When it’s fresh, it’s crunchy, juicy and has a little cup-like area to hold yummy stuff.

Tip: If you don’t like the stringy stuff on the bottom, just use a potato peeler and give it a quick peel.

OK, 3 quick serving ideas;

stuffing ideas


Bump- on-a-log the traditional way – fill with peanut butter, top with raisins.
Sweetened-up-bumps – strawberry cream cheese with craisins on top. (Use low fat)
Power food bumps – Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt with blueberries.

Perfect for the kids after school snack.
Perfect for when you are starving, but you have to make dinner.
Perfect for your afternoon snackfest.
Perfect to take to a potluck as an appetizer.

Warning – this may even take away your chocolate craving. I said May.

chop ends off celery


store celery ready to eat

Finally, store celery ready to eat: Tupperware has these amazing fruit and vegetable containers. Chop the ends off the celery and wash each stalk and let them drain. Then chop each stalk into two or three pieces and store in the containers with the lid sealed. They’ll last much longer than wilting in the bag you purchased them in.

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Pumpkin Muffins with Whole Wheat Flour

pumpkin muffins


These pumpkin muffins are very moist and will stay that way for several days. The blend of flavors is delightful and the addition of craisins makes these extra good. However, when I made them, I made two batches, one without craisins for a grandchild who doesn’t care for craisins.
I was in a doctor’s waiting room a few years ago and I found this recipe. Sorry I cannot remember the magazine anymore. Of course, I rummaged through my purse and found a scrap of paper to copy this down. (Hey, at least I didn’t rip it from the magazine like many people do.)

Makes one dozen.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour, but either will do)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup oat bran or wheat germ
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup plain, low fat yogurt (no sugar or fruit)
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cup dried cranberries (craisins)

Directions
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees
• Grease standard muffin pan or prepare with muffin papers
• Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside.
• Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
• Add pumpkin, yogurt and oil.
• Blend in the dry ingredients
• Fold in the craisins
• Drop into muffin tins. Makes 12.
• Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in one comes out clean.

Ken said they were "delicious!"


Notes:
• The 15 oz cans of pumpkin hold 1 ¾ cups of pumpkin, so not quite enough for double this batch. However, I doubled the batch and just used one can of pumpkin and they were perfect.
• If you’re using mini muffin pans, decrease the cooking time.
• Nuts would be a great addition to these delicious pumpkin muffins..

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