This warmly spiced, intensely flavored compote is one of my favorite ways to zhuzh up pancakes, waffles, toast, smoothies, or a simple bowl of Greek yogurt. Not only does it add a touch of sweetness, tartness, juiciness, and subtle floral notes to these dishes, but it’s highly nutritious, too!

Plums are mostly associated with constipation relief, but they have so much more to offer! They are packed with nutrients associated with a wide range of health benefits:

  1. Fiber: Plums are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Fiber is important for digestive health as it helps regulate bowel movements, prevents constipation, nourishes our gut flora, and is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer.
  2. Vitamins: Plums contain several vitamins, including vitamins C, A, K, and various B vitamins such as vitamin B6 and vitamin B3. These play important roles in immune function, vision, blood clotting, and energy metabolism.
  3. Antioxidants: Plums are rich in antioxidants, including phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, associated with aging and various diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
  4. Minerals: Plums contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Potassium is important for regulating blood pressure and maintaining proper heart function, while magnesium is involved in muscle function, nerve transmission, and bone health.
  5. Heart Health: The fiber, antioxidants, and potassium found in plums may contribute to heart health by helping to optimize blood lipids, reduce blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular function.
  6. Bone Health: Plums contain vitamin K, which plays a role in bone metabolism and thus may support bone health.
  7. Blood Sugar Control: Despite being fairly high in carbs, plums and prunes do not appear to cause a substantial rise in blood sugar levels after they’re eaten. This is attributed to their potential to increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in blood sugar regulation.

Other stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots share many of these benefits, though some studies have shown that plums contain more than twice the amount of polyphenol antioxidants as other popular fruits, such as nectarines and peaches.

The word “compote” has its origins in French. It derives from the Old French word “composte,” which originally referred to a mixture or combination. Over time, the meaning evolved to specifically describe a dish made by stewing fruits in syrup. “Compote” entered the English language in the 17th century, primarily used to describe a dessert or side dish made by cooking fruit with sugar. Today, it is commonly used in English to refer to this fruit preserve or dessert type.

Because of their high water content, all stone fruits are suitable for compote-making. I always keep a jar of one or the other in my fridge (and more in my freezer — often in the form of ice cubes that I can quickly defrost in the microwave before use), especially during the summer months when compote is a great way to make the season last a little longer.

Roasted Plum Compote

Keyword: Breakfasts, Dairy-Free (or can be), Desserts & Treats, Dips, Sauces & Dressings, Gluten-Free (or can be), Sides, Vegan (or can be), Vegetarian (or can be)
Servings: 16 servings (2 tbsp per serving)
Calories: 36kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • lbs purple plums about 8-10 plums; stoned and vut into eighths. My favorites are Italian/European plums (a.k.a. prune plums -- slightly elongated, with thicker skins and higher sugar content), but they are hard to find in U.S. supermarkets, so most of the year I use the larger, rounder Japanese plums.
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup hibiscus tea freshly brewed, or a dark juice (cherry, pomegranate; since these contain sugar, reduce added sugar)
  • 1 medium cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 star anise or 4-5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract alcohol-free

Instructions

  • Place the stoned, cubed plums in a microwave- and ovenproof dish. Add sugar and lemon juice and toss until the plums are evenly coated. If you have time, let them sit for 1 hour to draw out some of the plums' natural juice. If not, go straight to step 2.
  • Add the hibiscus tea or juice (whichever using), cinnamon stick, and star anise to the plums and stir again. Cover with an upturned plate or spatter guard, and place in the microwave oven. Cook on HIGH for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Retrieve the dish from the microwave, stir the plums and juices around, and place it in the preheated oven (uncovered). Bake to the desired degree of softness. For instance, if you want relatively firm pieces of fruit swimming in a generous pool of fragrant juice, you may wish to retrieve the plums after 20 minutes' roasting time. If, on the other hand, you want more concentrated flavors and softer plums, bake them for another 10-20 minutes.
  • Once your plums have reached the desired degree of doneness, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Feel free to add a little extra sugar or maple syrup to sweeten them to your liking (tarter plums may need more sweetener).
  • If you want your plums to have a jam-like texture (great as a topping for breakfast toast), mash them with a potato masher.
  • Spoon into a dry, clean glass jar and seal tightly. Should keep in the fridge for at least one week, usually longer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg