Fruit, fruit, fruit!

I love fruit, it’s probably a good thing although I have to stay away from certain fruits such as apricots and citrus fruits (so no Christmas clementine’s for me) which is a bit of a downer! But back to my point, since I’ve had to cut out refined sugar from my diet fruit is my new best friend whether it’s dried, fresh or cooked!

Raisins, dates and bananas are fab when you need a quick energy burst and are pretty versatile they can be added into so many dishes and snacks such as flapjacks, cakes or your morning bowl of cereal.

With the colder weather, I’m not so keen on cold fruit, plus I’m getting a bit tired of eating apples and pears so I’ve come up with a few alternatives that are full of natural goodness!

One of my favourite desserts is baked apple, it’s so easy to make – wash a few apples, cut the top off (and use as a ‘lid’ for the apple) and place on a baking tray for around 40 mins on 180. To shake it up a bit you could always core your apple and stuff it with cinnamon, raisins (or other dried fruits) and pop in the oven. It’s just delicious and naturally sweet too so no sugar needed.

I also love to make fruit compote, I never realised just how simple it is to make. I tend to make it with a mix of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries) and add in some plums. Now that it’s winter and berries seem to have become expensive I’ve found that the freezer section of most supermarkets have packs of frozen summer berries which are equally as good as the fresh and are a fraction of the price.

1. Place all of the berries in a saucepan (defrost if using frozen)

2. Halve the plums and remove the stones (make sure they are ripe or they can be a little tart) and add to the pan

3. Pour over some apple juice (I prefer the fresh one to concentrate) you only need enough to cover around 1/3 of the fruit

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4. Grate in some fresh ginger if you want it to have a bit of a kick or to make it Christmassy, you could always add in some mixed spice or cinnamon

5. Simmer gently for around 30-40 mins until the fruit is soft

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6. If it’s a bit tart, you could sprinkle over a little sweetener or add in some apple puree

I love to serve it over some fat free plain yoghurt as a snack or dessert alternatively you can serve warm with custard or ice-cream.

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Enjoy!