The tinkling tune of the ice cream man evokes such nostalgia for me, especially when the thermometer creeps above 90 degrees. Frozen treats are the stuff of memories, can be the basis of an impromptu social gathering, and are the ultimate comfort food for maladies of heart and body alike. Yet as a vegan, it’s sometimes hard to find a summertime dessert on the run that will really hit the spot (a popsicle will never be the same as the butter pecan ice cream I favored as a non-vegan child). Likewise, sometimes you want something that a little more, well, sophisticated (there is a time and a place for Rocket Pops…).
In addition to an elevated palate, being a grown-up also comes with another little problem that not many like to discuss but, in my recent conversations with close friends, nearly every woman suffers at some point: bloating and general gut discomforts. From periods to stress, there are myriad reasons why bellies get upset these days, and there seem to be even more theories as to why that is. Regardless of the cause, though, when you’re bloated–especially on a hot summer day–all you want is relief. Now.
Kind of like this.
In just a few easy steps, this compote gives you relief from all your summertime ailments and can help your gut in the long run. The perhaps unexpected spices used to season the fruit base–fennel, cardamom, ginger, and cayenne–are a detox wonder, firing and grounding the digestive system (if you’re into Ayurveda, they help relieve a vata imbalance). And although the yogurt isn’t real dairy, it’s still chock full of probiotics, not to mention the texture as thick and satisfying as ice cream.
Although this is billed as “dessert,” the yogurt and compote can easily be enjoyed at breakfast–just add some granola, oats, or fluffy quinoa and some fresh fruit for a delicious morning parfait.
So the next time Mister Softee’s clarion call comes around the block, turn to your fridge instead and whip up this elegant vegan treat–no sticky wrapper included.
Gut-Friendly Fig and Berry Compote
- 4 large dry figs, quartered
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 1/2 tbsp. raw honey
- 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground or fresh (grated) ginger
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
1. In a dry medium skillet, heat the fennel seeds until they are fragrant and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
2. In the same skillet, add the spices, seeds, honey, and coconut oil, and heat on low until the spices are just toasted, 2-3 minutes. Watch this carefully as the honey will begin to caramelize quickly in the preheated pan, and you don’t want the spices to burn.
3. Add the fruit and some water, just to cover the fig pieces. Cover the pan and allow to simmer until the mixture is syrupy, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Divide yogurt into two bowls and sprinkle with the toasted fennel. Top each with half of the compote and allow it to melt and swirl together slightly. Garnish with any additional spices, more honey, or fresh mint leaves, as desired.
Also by Jen: Choco Granola Karma Bars
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Photo: Jennifer Kurdyla