We often hear about the importance of incorporating variety into our diet in order to maximize both nutritional intake and our overall enjoyment of meals. But, if you are anything like me, every trip to the grocery store is the same. Particularly as someone who is on an incredibly tight budget, I have little room to make extraneous purchases beyond what I NEED. And for all of us Type A personalities out there who also happen to be athletes, we fall into a comfortable and soothing pattern of eating the same thing day after day for breakfast, for snacks, before, during and after workouts, and for lunch and dinner. Consistency provides a sort of mindless comfort and means one less thing for us to stress about.
But, patterns like this aren’t always good. Whether active or not, eating the same things day in day out can mean missing out on vital stuff our bodies need, which can lead to unruly and unwanted cravings, and ultimately complete breakdown and diet implosion (and then a serious guilty complex).
In my life overhaul this year and in my own attempt to bring variety into my diet, I decided to sign up for a farm share program here in Los Angeles. I’m thrilled with this decision because I get to support local farmers in the area, all while receiving fresh, in-season, organic produce. It is forcing me to try new recipes and expand outside of my comfort zone.
As eating is such a core part of my training, I have really enjoyed coming up with different takes on some of my favorite meals and snacks. As a result, I’ve decided to start “Little Red’s Weekly Treats”. Everything will be simple and easy to prepare. Some things may not require preparation at all, but just a reminder of the wonderful fruits and veggies that are in season and for which we all should be taking advantage.
So without further ado, This week’s treat: Fruit compote
A few weeks ago I received 4 huge beautiful stalks of rhubarb in my farm delivery. I honestly wasn’t really sure what to do with them. The only way I ever really eat rhubarb is in pie (YUMM!)….but let’s face it, as much as a freshly baked pie was calling my name, I was trying not to go down that route. I spoke with my mom and her amazing genius-self had the perfect solution: Compote!
Fruit compote is such a great treat. It is ridiculously easy to make, can be made with all kinds of fruits, and you can always have a supply in your fridge to dollop in your oatmeal, smear on a rice cake with almond butter, or just eat on its own. And, it is nutritious and low calorie, made only with fruit and a touch of sweetener.
Slice up your favorite fruit into smaller chunks. Throw the fruit with a bit of water into a bread tin and stick in the oven at 350 degrees. Let the fruit bake until soft. Then add any berries, continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, then remove and mash. For added sweetness you can stir in a dollop of raw honey, maple syrup or Agave nectar.
Here are a few of my favorite combos:
- Strawberry Rhubarb compote
- Pluot/ plum blackberry compote
- Rhubard nectarine compote
One word on sweeteners: I try, whenever possible, to use unprocessed sweeteners. For me the go to’s are raw honey, maple syrup or organic agave syrup. Using spreads with processed sugar can spike your glycogen levels and leave you craving more sweets!
Enjoy this week’s treat!
Until next time
Don’t dream it. Be it.