Winter Season Warmers - Polish Fruit Compote

During the colder months of the year, it is particularly important to look after yourself, in order to stave off colds and flus, when your body is at its most vulnerable. This can be achieved by wrapping up warm, eating nutritious food, getting plenty of fluids and sleep (a holiday in the sun always helps too, if possible).

Stinting on any of these can quickly lead to a runny nose, tiredness and congestion. Approaching winter nutrition in a fun way, means perhaps that cooking doesn't feel like such a chore. So here is a fun recipe for a tasty winter drink, that can be enjoyed by adults and kids equally.

Polish Dried Fruit Compote - this is a very tasty drink that traditionally, is made with 12 different fruits to represent the twelve apostles. Modern interpretations are made with different fruits, including fresh fruits but here's a recipe that I particularly enjoy, which uses a combination of fresh and dried ingredients. It can be served hot, cold, or lukewarm,  depending on preference.

You will need:

1) 500 grams of dried apricots
2) 2 sticks of fresh cinnamon
3) 1 Cardamom pod, 1 Clove
4) 150 grams of sugar or honey added to sweeten, to taste
5) 8 fresh apples, peeled and cored
6) 1 Vanilla pod, whole
7) Lemon or orange zest.
8) A few prunes (for body)
9) Raisins for sweetness.
10) 2 litres of pure drinking water

Simply combine the ingredients in a large saucepan and boil for approximately an hour. If you boil away too much water simply add more. After an hour, taste the compote and evaporate more water or add more water until the flavour is to taste. This will make a fine, restorative and warming drink for you and your family, during the winter months.

For a sneaky adult version, add a shot of vodka to a hot or cold glass of compote. Absolutely delicious. No prune intended. Alternatively, try a shot of apricot brandy. If you want to be good, instead of alcohol, try experimenting with various fresh and dried fruits to alter the flavour of the compote. You can use any or all of the following suggestions; strawberries, blackcurrants, peaches, grapes, pineapple, mango, gooseberries, pears, raspberries e.t.c.

Still not convinced? Did we mention that this drink has a high fiber content, making it extra handy during the season of excess.

Have a great festive season.

The Bushgear Team

 Image:Biso, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons