If you are like me, I had a hard time figuring out what food I could make for the little toddler in our household. I wanted to make him food that was healthy and whole, but still reasonably easy. Thankfully, our little guy loves fruit. He will occasionally exhibit the toddler fickleness, but he always comes back to fruit. When he was getting comfortable with solids, we discovered that he loved apples in the puree form, but he didn’t have enough teeth to bite through even thinly sliced pieces of apple. Cooking the fruit helps to soften it, which enabled him to enjoy the real fruit instead of just the processed and pureed fruit!
I personally love plums, and they go so well with apples! I’ve tried making fruit compote with a variety of fruits and oils, but this apple and plum variety is my favorite! When I make this, I do not have a particular recipe or ratio of fruits that I use. I just know that nearly all cooked fruits will taste good with a cooking oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg, so I use what is available in our pantry.
A brief word on the cooking oils; olive oil will do, but avocado oil and coconut oil both have a sweeter flavor, which will help to bring out the sweetness of the fruit. My all time favorite to use with fruit is coconut oil. Avocado oil goes really well with things that need just a hint of added sweetness, like cooked squash or zucchini.
Here is what you will need for this basic, but super delicious concoction:
- fruits (today we will use apples and plums)
- cooking oil (I’m using coconut oil)
- nutmeg (I unknowingly ran out of nutmeg)
Start by cutting the fruit into very small pieces, as smaller pieces will reduce the cooking time and will be easier for a toddler to eat. Place these into a small skillet or frying pan, and turn to medium/high heat.
Put a dollop of coconut oil in the pan, and stir frequently until melted. Once the fruit mixture is well coated with the melted coconut oil, add the cinnamon and nutmeg, and don’t be shy. I usually try to have a 2:1 ratio of cinnamon to nutmeg, as the nutmeg has an assertive flavor. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the fruit has released its juices. You will be able to tell that this has happened, as the mixture will be very juicy, and the fruit will be soft. Be careful to not overcook it, otherwise, you will just be left with burned fruit skins. Not appealing.
Once it has cooked down sufficiently, remove it from the heat, and allow it to cool. This compote can be served hot or cold, and it is great for both adults and toddlers. I serve it as a side dish for any meal, breakfast through dinner. It can even go with ice cream if you want a sweet treat! With all natural ingredients, there is nothing to object to in this recipe. Cooking for yourself or your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate to be good!
What are some simple, healthy dishes that you make?