Think before you eat during the holidays: Dried Fruit Compote with Yogurt

November 18, 2016

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

With the holidays upon us, I thought I might provide some suggestions for making it through the season of excess while staying healthy:

  1. Choose wisely – choose healthier options and eat less of the other stuff. Studies show that you eat more of the foods you eat first, so start with veggie appetizers.
  2. Pay attention to what you are doing. Try not to eat just because the food is there; make sure you are hungry. Pay attention while eating to the signals your body sends. Stop when you are full, not when everyone else stops.
  3. Control portions. Don't deprive yourself… it never works. Eat your favorite foods in moderation. Be mindful about the portion size.
  4. Take a walk after your holiday meal. Start a new holiday tradition: Get the family together and go for a stroll. Celebrate being together, not the eating!
  5. Think about either eating your calories or drinking your calories. We consume lots of calories in beverages, whether it is sweet tea or a glass of wine. Stick to an estimated 5-ounce serving of wine – you can save lots of calories using this rule.

Try this healthy beverage – and remember, you can reduce the calories by leaving out the yogurt, and perhaps the nuts and chocolate, too. I hope you have a wonderful and healthy holiday!

Dried Fruit Compote with Yogurt, Nuts and Shaved Chocolate


  • 1 cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried pears, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate*
  • 1/4 cup finely toasted walnuts (garnish)
  • Ginger snaps (garnish)


  • Place fruit in saucepan with juice.
  • Simmer over low heat, stirring often until fruit is tender – about 10 minutes.
  • Cool fruit to room temperature.
  • In individual, clear serving glasses or bowls, spread 1/2 cup fruit mixture evenly on bottom of each, followed by 1/4 cup layer on yogurt.
  • Repeat layers once, ending with yogurt on top.
  • Garnish with chocolate, nuts or gingersnaps.

* To shave chocolate, simply use a cheese slicer (not grater) to make shavings from a bar of dark chocolate.

Nutrition Information: 268 Calories, 0 gram fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 67 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein and 36 mg. sodium.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.