Though hothouse rhubarb is available much of the year, locally grown farmers’ market rhubarb is still a great way to celebrate the end of winter (rhubarb is one of the first plants up in the spring). Serve this compote by itself or over low-fat frozen yogurt.


1 stick of cinnamon

3 whole cloves

2 allspice berries

1/2 cup sugar

3 large stalks rhubarb, cut into ¾-inch lengths (2 1/2 cups)

1 pint strawberries, halved (2 cups)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons water


1. Tie the cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a small piece of cheesecloth. In a non-aluminum saucepan, combine the sugar, rhubarb, strawberries, ginger, water, and the spice bag. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rhubarb is just tender but has not begun to disintegrate, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Makes 4 servings

Rhubarb-Cherry Compote Although rhubarb and strawberries are classic companions, you could also make this with fresh cherries instead of strawberries. Use 2 cups of pitted sweet cherries, but coarsely chop them so they will cook in the same amount of time as the rhubarb (cherries are denser than strawberries).

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 233
total fat 1.9g
saturated fat 1g
cholesterol 6mg
dietary fiber 3g
carbohydrate 49g
protein 7g
sodium 84mg

Good source of: calcium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin C


If you don’t have the whole spices called for in this compote, you can use ground versions in their place. For the cinnamon stick, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground. If you don’t have whole cloves, use 1/8 teaspoon ground. If you don’t have allspice berries, use 1/8 teaspoon ground. No need to tie the ground spices in cheesecloth; just add them to the saucepan as is.

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 20 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015