Fig and Date Compote with Greek Yogurt

This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. 

This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Gluten free and made with no refined sugar!

This month I’m teaching a class on sugar.

Let’s talk about sugar for a minute. Society has a habit of demonizing one food at a time – and right now that’s sugar. Are these beliefs unfounded? Not totally. It’s true that sugar provides no nutritional benefits and can also contribute to risk of diabetes and high triglycerides. But… it also contributes flavour and pleasure.

As a member of the “all foods fit” camp, you definitely won’t ever hear me recommending that you go on a sugar free diet. But I think a lot of people could definitely do with less of the stuff in their diet. It’s not only crazy abundant in processed breakfast and snack foods, but it’s also snuck itself into products you wouldn’t even expect it to be in – like pasta sauce and salad dressings.

This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Gluten free and made with no refined sugar!

My opinion is that we just need be more moderate about our sugar intake and be more purposeful when we eat it. Leave it out where we don’t need it, which will leave more room to have sugar where we want it occasionally (such as a cookie after dinner or maple syrup on our pancakes).

You can also reduce the sugar you eat by modifying the recipes you make. I find a lot of baked good recipes like muffins and quick breads often call for a lot more sugar than they need. I usually cut down the sugar by 25% and they’re still plenty sweet for me! That’s what I did when I came across this Tyler Florence recipe that I wanted to adapt for one of my classes last month. In my first adaptation I cut down the honey by a half, but by the third time I taught the class I had cut it down to just 2-3 tbsp! And this fig and date compote was still a big hit since the figs and dates provide plenty of sweetness on their own. Served over plain 2% Greek yogurt it makes a delicious snack or light breakfast.

So have your sugar in moderation and with pupose, don’t overthink it, and just enjoy your damn food!

This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Gluten free and made with no refined sugar!

Fig and Date Compote with Greek Yogurt
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Gluten free and made with no refined sugar!
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 6 dried figs, chopped
  • 6 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup water
  • Scant ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • Toasted sliced almonds
  1. Combine the chopped figs and dates in a small pot with the honey, lemon juice, water, and cinnamon. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly (note: it will continue to thicken after you take it off the heat, so take it off when it's still runny).
  2. Serve over 2% plain Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds.

This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt. Gluten free and made with no refined sugar!

What are your thoughts on sugar?


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19 Responses to Fig and Date Compote with Greek Yogurt

  1. for this compote for example, I personally wouldn’t add any sugar because I always find dried fruits already plenty sweet. Some fruits like blackberries or rhubarb do need some kind of sweetener, but mostly just a few teaspoons are enough. I try to cut down my refined sugar intake to the few mandatory squares of chocolate per day. :D
    I do eat lots of fruit and I enjoy them a lot! In recipes I like to used dried fruit like chopped dried dates or figs. luckily there are more and more sugar conscious bloggers who provide me with mouthwatering recipes whenever I want a treat. I don’t see why I should eat something that’s bad for my body when I clearly don’t need to. and when I’m craving sugar, I’ll have some! however I’m not craving for sickeningly sweet store bought pastries but rather stuff like honey caramelized banana haha :D

    • Chelsea

      You could definitely leave out the honey altogether in this recipe, although I find it helps to give a more syrupy texture to the compote, which I like!

      I agree that a bit of chocolate each day is definitely necessary. ;)

  2. We share very similar thoughts and I have my post going up Thursday on it- After the WORST liner heard out for brunch.

    You couldn’t have said it better. Just enjoy the damn food. ;) I wouldn’t mind a fig now either!

  3. Dried figs and dates are my FAVORITE dried fruits! Love how you paired them with crunchy almonds! :)

  4. This is why I love you :) I’m not a fan of demonizing any foods either, and while sure — I think that people need to make better choices about their sugar intake — I wouldn’t recommend cutting it out entirely since it really does lead to so much pleasure and telling yourself you can’t have something might really just set you up for failure in the long run.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone going on a sugar free diet and sticking to it for life because it’s just not sustainable! And just not enjoyable lol.

  5. You pretty much took the words out of my mouth (or in this case, fingers), Chelsea. While it’s definitely easy to overdo it with sugar given how reliant our generation has become on processed foods, there’s absolutely no reason to go cold turkey on the stuff. You just need to be sensible with your intake and cut it back when possible (e.g. switching to oatmeal instead of cereal in the morning or opting for a dark variety of chocolate over milk). I personally noticed that the minute I started increasing of fats, my sugar cravings/intakes naturally went down- definitely something to consider for those who follow a low-fat diet.

    • Chelsea

      That’s an interesting observation! Perhaps it has something to do with how fat and sugar both activate parts of our brain that give us pleasure.

  6. Preach Chelsea, preach.

    I’m right there with you. I do try to keep my sugar consumption in check, and making the vast majority of my own meals helps with that, although I certainly won’t cut it from my diet. Life it too short to go without sugar, and at the end of the day, I’d take sugar over zero calorie, fake sweetener, chemical bombs any day of the week.

    • Chelsea

      Totally. I walked by the section of sugar free condiments (like that Walden Farms crap) at the grocery store the other day and wondered who even buys that stuff? At least sugar is real food!

  7. Sadly, I am intolerant to sugar :(
    But thankfully I can at least roast some winter squash, that’s as close to the good stuff as I can get! ha! But you know what, I ADORE IT!

  8. I completely agree- the standard American diet is way too high in sugar but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it in moderation and still maintain a healthy diet. I have to allow myself a little sugar (and alcohol!) here and there otherwise I will lose my mind!

    I love the sound of this compote though. It looks like a delicious way to get a little natural sugar!

    • Chelsea

      Exactly! Too many people think a healthy diet is about an all or nothing approach when really it’s just about moderation.

  9. I need to try this on top of oatmeal too! this sounds amazing!

    • Chelsea

      Yes! It’s great on top of oatmeal! I’ve made like 2 more batches since this post and had it on oatmeal for a week straight lol.

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  11. I was so happy to hear you bring up this subject, Chelsea. I am appalled at how sweet the SAD is. For me, eating a whole foods diet with very little processed foods (cheese is considered processed, right?) I feel like I can enjoy sugar in moderation. I typically reserve it for baked things like muffins, cake, ice cream or wine. But, like you, I use fruit! Dried fruit like dates and figs are fabulous and are especially tasty in smoothies and oatmeal or made into spreads with chocolate and nuts. This compote you made sounds fabulous and one I’m looking forward to trying! Thank you, Chelsea!

    • Chelsea

      It’s crazy isn’t it? When I see the large sized soft drinks at movie theatres and fast food outlets it shows just just how nuts the portion distortion is – like who needs 3 cups of soda in one sitting?! If people could cut that out, I think everyone would appreciate the occasional sweet treat so much more.

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