Seasonal Stewed Fruit

MAKES: 1 1/4 cups • PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: 15 minutes

4 large apricots, pitted and quartered
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
10 cherries, stemmed and pitted
1 teaspoon maple syrup

A foodie friend of mine was in the hospital for leukemia treatments when his caregiver called me. Our buddy wasn’t having a great day, and it didn’t help that his doctors were saying he couldn’t have his favorite pick-me-up food, fruit. This is a guy who can eat a quart of strawberries at a sitting. In a sense, the docs were right; raw fruit can contain bacteria, a problem for people with low white blood cell counts that can leave them prone to infection. But I had a solution. I told his caregiver, “He can have fruit; you just have to cut it up and heat it thoroughly to kill off the germs.” The docs had no objections, the caregiver came in with a beautiful medley of stewed seasonal fruit, and my friend was thrilled. So if you’re concerned about raw fruits, this is the recipe for you. The heat, along with a little bit of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt, breaks down the fruit’s fiber, making it soft but not mushy. I used apricots and cherries here, but any fruit in season will do.

Combine the apricots, lemon juice, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cherries, cover, and cook, stirring often, until all of the fruit has softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

VARIATIONS: Make a yogurt parfait. Let the fruit cool to room temperature, then spoon 1⁄4 cup of plain organic yogurt into a glass, spoon in 1⁄4 cup of fruit, repeat with another layer of yogurt and then 

Substitute 2 cups of any seasonal fruit that is available at your local farmers’ market or grocery store. Some of my favorite duets are apples with pears, strawberries with rhubarb, and nectarines or peaches with blueberries. Cook firmer fruits first, and adjust the cooking time as needed.

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009, 2017 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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