Hello, lovely people! In today’s garlic free post I want to share my favourite childhood beverage recipe and, no, it is not coca-cola. I am talking about Polish kompot, which in the US would be probably described as a fresh fruit tea.
Kompot is different from compote. Compote is a French word describing a dessert made with a mixture of fruit cooked in sugar syrup, seasoning and spices. It is super sweet, rich and definitely tasty. Kompot in its basic form is a 2 ingredient (fruit and water only!), naturally sweet, healthy and also delicious, non alcoholic beverage I grew up on.
Don’t mistake kompot (or fresh fruit tea) with a common fruit tea, which contains actual tea leaves and a few pieces of dry fruit like berries.
Kompot, or fresh fruit tea, is made by simmering fresh fruit until soft, no tea leaves are added. It can be drunk hot, cold and anything in between without any loss in the quality of flavour.
Fresh fruit tea It is a brilliant, healthy drink for kids you can customise with fruits they like best
Sugary drinks, cordials, fruit punches and so on were simply not an option when I was a child; fizzy lemonade or coca-cola were rather rare treats. (This was due to the years of adjustment to a new market reality Eastern Europe needed after the end of food rationing in the 80’s.)
I remember that milk, water or kompot were the only beverages available to have with lunch throughout my early schooling years and kompot was very often the favorite choice. The reason for that was very simple: it was the most delicious, sweet and refreshing out of the three. That was it. And frankly, that was just fine for me.
Funny enough, after all these years I still sometimes crave a nice cup of fresh, fruity kompot. I always loved the strawberry and apple ones. Ah, childhood memories… So simple. So healthy. So delicious!
There is really no secret to making fresh fruit tea. You simply slice any fruit (the smaller the pieces the quicker your kompot will be ready), submerge it in water, bring up to boil and simmer under cover for as long as it takes for all your fruit to be completely cooked through and almost falling apart. The flavour and how long it takes to make depends on the fruit you choose. In Poland the most popular fruits to make fresh fruit tea with are apples, pears, plums and strawberries.
If your apples are on the sour side add a pear or two or maybe a handful of sweet plums to the pan. If your fresh fruit tea turns out too sweet, dilute it with a bit of water and add a squeeze of lemon juice. If you really have to, add a bit of honey, but avoid adding any sugar if you can.
- 2 apples
- 2 pears
- 3 plums
- 7 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Lemon juice to taste
- Quarter or halve washed fruits (don’t peel or core it), cover with cold water, (add cinnamon stick if you like) bring to boil and simmer for 40 min. Check if all the fruit is soft and if it is not cook it until it is.
- Using a colander strain the fruit. Reserve the liquid only. This is your fresh fruit tea. You can now adjust the flavour with lemon juice or a bit of water if it is too acidic. Use honey if you need to sweeten it up.
- Serve over ice, hot or at room temperature. Store refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Ps. Did you know that a 600ml bottle of coca-cola contains 15 teaspoons of sugar? This is more than twice the daily allowance of added sugar (which we don’t need in our diet anyway) for a grown up woman.