This fig and date compote is a delicious sweet topping for oatmeal or yogurt.
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.
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!
- 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
- 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).
- Serve over 2% plain Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds.
What are your thoughts on sugar?