Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vanilla Maple Rhubarb and Blueberry Compote

I've never used rhubarb for much except desserts paired with strawberries. You know, the classic strawberry rhubarb crisp or pie. But when I stumbled upon some cheap organic blueberries recently, my mind began dreaming of a compote. With tart rhubarb, sweet blueberries, and lots of vanilla bean. And with the crazy abundance of rhubarb available everywhere around here, you bet I got straight to work.
 
Rhubarb is a plant with very large poisonous leaves and that's why only the stems are sold. The rhubarb leaves are incredibly high in oxalic acid, so high that they are indeed inedible and will cause you harm if you do ingest. Rhubarb stems themselves are quite tart (okay, like crazy sour) and that makes it excellent paired with sweet fruit. Rhubarb is very high in vitamin K and C. The stems can range in color from green to pink to deep red and this color variation does not affect taste at all.
 
This compote comes together in no time. I had some organic vegan coconut ice cream on hand that you see pictured here and it was amazing. I also topped my bowl of oatmeal the following morning with it plus some extra blueberries and it really made my breakfast special. I'd imagine that the compote would be delicious over some whole grain waffles or pancakes, as well.
Vanilla Maple Rhubarb and Blueberry Compote

4 large stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbs coconut oil
4-6 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
1 vanilla bean, split down the center to expose the vanilla flecks
1 cup of blueberries

1. In a large pot or deep frying pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the rhubarb, maple syrup, and vanilla bean and stir to coat the rhubarb in oil and maple. Stir periodically to keep from sticking for about 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb breaks down and becomes silky and tender.

2. Add the blueberries and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Taste and add more maple syrup if desired. Remove the vanilla bean. Transfer the compote to a bowl and serve over ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, or whatever your heart desires!


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