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Homemade Fruit Compote with Warming Herbs and Spices

Fruit compote with carminative herbs and spices in a bowl surrounded by fall fruits and spices

Fruit compote might be the most flexible and versatile digestive support you’ll make this fall. It’s a mishmash of all sorts of delicious things and there aren’t many rules—all you need is some fruit you can cook and make squishy--and it’s the perfect vehicle for all sorts of herbs and spices.

I’m going to admit, my first experience with the venerable fruit compote was pretty funny. As a kiddo raised on whole foods and eating out of the garden, one of the most exciting treats we were allowed was a Friday evening TV dinner in those little paper trays that my parents, exhausted from a long work-week, would stick in the microwave and be done with it. I’m not sure what was in those TV dinners, but I clearly remember saving the tiny square of “fruit compote” for the very end as my dessert. It was warm, fruity, sweet, tangy, and delicious. I have no doubt that we can all outshine that microwaved little compartment by making our own.

A fruit compote is basically a chunky fruit sauce, similar to applesauce, but not pureed (or only partially pureed). It often has the addition of syrup, honey or sugar, but all of that is optional. There aren’t a lot of rules here: you can use fresh or dried fruits, a single fruit or a combination, any sweetener you want (or none) and whatever herbs and spices you think would make it delicious. Using a base of apple, peach, pear, plum, or prune will give it a base which has an ideal consistency.

Fresh apples, pears, and peaches surrounded by herbs and spices to support digestions and Bevin Clare's Spice Apothecary book

This compote is a balm for an irritated or unbalanced digestive system. The carminative herbs and spices can help ease discomfort from gas, and the cooked fruits in the compote offer pectin and other helpful food for your gut bacteria. It’s a great breakfast (or even a dessert!) and is good warm or cold, alone or with yogurt, or a smoothie, or on oatmeal, or on whatever you would like! Making a large batch and freezing some in smaller containers can make it an easy grab when you need a little support. For extra digestive support you can sprinkle in the contents of a probiotic capsule before eating.

Some options include (but are by no means limited to!):

Fruits (fresh or dried)

Herbs and spices










Maple syrup

Plums / prunes


Vanilla extract



Almond extract



Citrus peel / zest








Black pepper

Herbal extracts



Cacao powder


Mustard powder






Directions to Make Compote

  1. Place the chopped fruits in a small saucepan.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of water and any sweetener you desire, just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan. If you are using only or mostly dried fruits, you will need to add a little more water or tea to moisten.
  3. Sprinkle in your preferred spices and stir well.
  4. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until the fruit is softened but not completely mushy, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and cool.
  6. The compote will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two and can also be frozen.

In my book Spice Apothecary (Storey Publishing, 2020), I share recipes for tasty herb- and spice-rich kitchen concoctions, such as the “warming digestive blend” below, which you can add to your compote.

Warming Spice Blend for Digestion



  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Use immediately or store in an airtight jar for later use.


Text and recipe excerpted and slightly adapted from Spice Apothecary © by Bevin Clare.
All Rights Reserved. 


Want to find more ways to enjoy spices for everyday wellness?

Check Out My New Book Spice Apothecary!


You may also be interested in:

Fabulous Fruit Compote with Herbs and Spices Pinterest pin for Mountain Rose Herbs


Topics: Culinary, Recipes

Bevin- Guest Writer

Written by Bevin- Guest Writer on September 22, 2020

Bevin Clare is a clinical herbalist, nutritionist, mother, plant lover, and a professor of herbalism at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. An herbalist and educator, Bevin is the Program Director of the MS in Clinical Herbal Medicine at MUIH, and brings herbs into the lives of many students, clients, and practitioners with her national and international presentations. She holds a MSc in Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and has studied herbal medicine around the world through her global wanderings, blending her knowledge of traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies. She is a board member of the United Plant Savers, a group working to protect at-risk medicinal plants in North America. Bevin is the current President of the American Herbalists Guild where she works to promote clinical herbalism accessibility and professionalism.

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