Tag Archives: strawberry

Celebrating Spring with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

26 May

Spring has sprung!  I think.  The past month has been cold then warm, followed by a snow storm, and then freezing rain on Mother’s Day.  We’ve been blessed with sunshine the past two weekends, which makes me hopeful that spring has arrived for good.

My favourite part about spring is the long days.  Sunshine at 8pm can’t be beat.  Besides this, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of locally grown produce.  We’re talking more than just greenhouse-grown peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Or carrots from last winter.  Humble Ontario grows everything from bok choy and snow peas to cherries and watermelon.  (For a list of the fruits and vegetables grown in Ontario and when they are available, click here)

Rhubarb and asparagus mark the start of a glorious 5 months of unbeatably fresh, delicious, and often inexpensive produce.  My food box returned this week and I was hardly surprised to see a couple stalks of rhubarb poking out.  What does one do with rhubarb when you don’t feel like baking?  Compote!

RhubarbStrawberries

DSC_0697

My box also came with a gorgeous basil bunch, so I decided to be just a tad adventurous and try a basil-scented strawberry rhubarb compote.  Feel free to omit the basil if you don’t have any kicking around.  It added a subtle earthiness, but maybe I’m just telling myself that because I know it was thrown in.  The addition of chopped, uncooked strawberries at the end gives this compote a great texture.  I like things on the tart side, but add a bit more sugar if you prefer a sweeter compote.  Unlike white or brown sugar, honey and maple syrup don’t need to dissolve so you can add more at the end as needed.

DSC_0698

If you’ve never purchased or cooked rhubarb before, this website has a bunch of great tips.  It also links to a very interesting-sounding recipe for roasted rhubarb salad.  Rhubarb in a salad?  Who knew!  Excuse me while I pop over to the grocery store to pick up another bunch.

DSC_0703

Basil-Scented Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
(from MyBakingAddiction.com)

If you’re feeling extra adventurous and have a bit of time on your hands, try pairing this with the meringue nests that accompany the original recipe, above.  They look divine!

½ lb (225 grams) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered
½ cup of strawberries, rinsed, hulled and chopped
½ lb of rhubarb (approximately 2-3 stalks), sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup or honey (or more to taste)
1 Tablespoon of water
3-4 whole basil leaves

  1. Set chopped strawberries aside.  Place rhubarb, quartered strawberries, water, basil, and maple syrup/honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Allow mixture to cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and syrupy, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat and discard basil leaves. Stir in the reserved ½ cup of chopped strawberries and allow mixture to cool.  Can be served over yogurt, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, or eaten as is.

Makes approximately 2 cups.  Per ⅓ cup: 52 kcal, 12 g CHO, 2.4 g fibre, 0 g fat, 1 g protein.

Advertisements

Saturday Morning Special: 100% Whole Wheat Pancakes

24 Sep

Saturday mornings.  Full of hope and ambition, an entire weekend ahead for errands/laundry/chores/work, etc.  Totally different from Sunday mornings.  If you’re anything like me, on Sunday you find yourself wondering “where did my weekend go?”   And then you proceed to sulk around miserably for the rest of the day, in denial that the weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

I love to make pancakes when I’m feeling particularly ambitious on a Saturday morning.  I came across this recipe for whole wheat pancakes a couple of years ago and it has been my go-to recipe since.  Fluffy and light, you would never guess that they are healthy and 100% whole wheat.  If you’re hesitant to make a batch of pancakes for one or two people, fret not:  these pancakes freeze wonderfully.  Stack the pancakes between squares of wax paper and freeze in a ziplock bag or airtight container.  Next time you’re looking for a snack (or a quick breakfast), pop a pancake or two in the toaster, top with your favourite spread, and voila!  Trust me, peanut butter is waaaaay better on a pancake than on toast.

Pile O' Pancakes... waiting to be eaten!

I decided to make pancakes a couple of weekends ago but quickly realized that I didn’t have any maple syrup kicking around.  Instead, I had a lovely container of strawberries sitting in the fridge… so I decided to whip up a super simple strawberry sauce (how’s that for alliteration?).  I loosely followed a recipe but made a few modifications.  I wanted to use less sugar so I reduced the amount called for by half.  And I didn’t have any orange juice on hand so I just used water.

The resulting strawberry sauce was sweet enough for me but E needed to add a drizzle of honey on top.  Even still, much healthier than Aunt Jemima (although I’ll admit that I do love Aunt Jemima, high fructose corn syrup and all… just don’t tell anyone).

Wholesome Pancake with Super Simple Strawberry Sauce

 

100% Whole Wheat Pancakes (adapted from CanadianLiving.com)

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1-1/2 cup milk
(I usually add a little more before I pour the batter as I find it a bit too thick)
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Do not overmix! Optional: add extra milk to reach desired consistency (I like my pancake batter a bit more runny).
  2. Heat large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake; cook until bubbles break on top but do not fill in and bottoms are golden, 1.5 to 2 minutes.  Flip and cook for another minute or so, until golden on bottom.  Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven until ready to serve.  Pancakes can be layered between waxed paper and frozen in a Ziplock bag or airtight container.

Makes 12 pancakes.  Per pancake: 98 kcal, 3 g fat, 1.4 g fibre, 180 mg sodium

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Strawberry Sauce (from Crazy Plates)

2 cups diced strawberries
1/3 cup orange juice (or water) mixed with 1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar (I used 2 tbsp)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until liquid has thickened and strawberries have softened, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.  May be refrigerated for up to one week.