Creative Use for Jams & Compotes to Make Room for the New Harvest

Do you have jars of jams or fruit compotes or syrups that you made or were given that are getting dusty on she shelf? Now’s the time to work through those so you can make room for the rhubarb, berries and stone fruits that will be here before we know it.

 

This week I added a jar of quince compote/jam to my batch of granola. It added a bit of sweetness and a subtle tang. You can still make this granola without the jam/compote. It’s delicious and just lightly sweet. 

Seed & Coconut Granola

 

If you’re not using any jam/compote, increase the oil to 1/2 cup and increase the honey to 1/4 cup.

 

5 cups  rolled oats
1 1/4 cups raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 1/4 cups raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 1/2 cups coconut chips (also called flaked coconut)
1/2 pint of jam or fruit compote/apple sauce (see headnote)
1/2 cup maple syrup or liquid sweetener
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt or kosher salt

 

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Mix honey, maple syrup, olive oil and jam/compote in another bowl or warm in a saucepan if your honey is very stiff, and then stir into dry ingredients. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until granola is toasted, about an hour. It should be nice and golden brown. Remove granola from oven and let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Simple Pleasures?

I shop at my neighborhood farmers market (and a few others too). The neighborhood one is small with only a few produce vendors right now. There will be more later in the season. There isn’t a wide variety of produce right now and I like it that way. It simplifies my life. I have fewer choices but all the choices are fresh, delicious and beautiful (and come in more shades of green than you can imagine). I have an easy time deciding what to teach in my classes and feed my family.

Now on to the trickier subject of how simple shopping like this is for the average Joe/Jane. Farmers markets have been popping up all over the country and the recent attention to food deserts (neighborhoods with little or no access to fresh produce and other food supplies) is helping. But many neighborhoods lack farmers markets (or even grocery stores with good produce) and the limited market hours don’t work for everyone. My neighborhood market does accept SNAP cards (formerly known as food stamps) and even gives shoppers using their SNAP card an extra $5 to use at the market.

But we have a long way to go to make the way I shop more prevalent. I’m headed to New York City later this week for a board meeting of Slow Food USA. And we’re going to be talking about just how we continue to build a movement in this country to make access to these simple, but pretty critical pleasures, a reality for many more people.

Spicy Spinach with Toasted Coconut.

One of my green-hued market purchases last week was a lovely bunch of spinach. And thanks to Heidi Swanson, it turned into a perfect lunch. There’s been a lot of love in the food blogosphere for Heidi and her new book Super Natural Everyday lately and I’ll happily add my accolades to the mix. This recipe is not from  her new book but from a recent post of hers. Enjoy!