Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rhubarb-fig Compote with Cinnamon Rice (and thoughts on sugar)

I was slightly dismayed when I realized that we would be on the full elimination during the peak of rhubarb season, but then I thought about my successes in sweetening muffins and cookies with only dried fruit.  Now that I've been off sugar for 5 weeks, I'm not sure that I even want to test it after the elimination period is completed.   There are so many flavors available in fresh, whole foods - why go back to wheat flour and sugar?  Not that they won't tempt me, as they've always done.  But now I know that neither of those is necessary for a satisfying day of food - including dessert.

The only sweetener here is the figs.  The cinnamon rice has a sweet flavor of its own from the rice - it's amazing how sweet foods begin to taste on their own once sugar is off the table.

Rhubarb-fig Compote with Cinnamon Rice

6-8 stalks rhubarb (more if you like it tart)
8 oz dried figs, quartered *

Cook rhubarb and figs together over low heat until the figs have mostly dissolved.  Test for sweetness and add more figs if needed.

* If you don't have, and don't wish to buy, dried figs, you could substitute about 5 oz dates or a larger amount of fresh fruit such as apples or strawberries.

Cinnamon Rice
2 c leftover rice, white or brown
3 c unsweetened almond milk
2 t cinnamon
1 t cardamom
1 t vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a pot, stir well, and heat slowly until the rice has expanded and thickened the almond milk to a pudding-like texture - about an hour or two on low heat.  This can also be done in a crockpot for about 4 hours on low.

Serve the rhubarb compote in a bowl topped with the cinnamon rice, warm or cold.   Chill leftovers in separate containers; both will thicken in the refrigerator.

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