During August to October, nature blesses us with these juicy, oddly shaped little fruits of sweet, almost buttery goodness. Not only are they refreshing, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber (excellent IF you eat the skin) and a good source of Vitamin C. If your body needs more cooper, the pear the fruit for you. For a low-calorie snack, choose a pear. They are fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free. Even if your body is shaped like a pear, you have more protection from heart disease than if you are shaped like, say, an apple. Look it up.
When shopping for pears, look for firmness with smooth skins free of bruises and mold. If unripe, leaving the pears at room temperature will help the ripening process. Should you want to hasten the ripening process, place the pears in a paper bag, turn the pears often, and leave at room temperature. If starting to ripen too fast or if you don't plan to use them immediately, place in the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for several days.
Below are suggestions for recipes using pears. Or, if you are like me, you prefer to eat a fresh pear with juice dripping down your chin.
WHFoods recommends these quick serving ideas:
- Combine pears with mustard greens, watercress, leeks and walnuts for a delicious salad.
- Serve pears with goat or bleu cheese for a delightful dessert.
- Add chopped pears, grated ginger and honey to millet porridge for a pungently sweet breakfast treat.
- Core pears, and poach in apple juice or wine.
Healthy Cranberry and Fresh Pear Cobbler
- 1 medium orange
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/2 ripe pear (Bosc, Bartlett or other firm variety)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons walnuts
- Grate enough orange rind to make 1 tsp zest and place in a mixing bowl.
- Cut the orange in half and juice both halves into the same bowl as the rind.
- Add the cranberries and honey. Mix until the honey is dissolved. Let sit for 1/2 hour to allow cranberries to soften.
- After the cranberries have softened, cut the pear into 1/4-inch cubes and add to the bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup walnuts.
- Divide the mixture into 2 dessert dishes and sprinkle each with 1 Tablespoon of the chopped walnuts.
Photo source: iStock