December marks the end of the year and the beginning of a new year. During this month, there is much to celebrate with the more well-known holidays such as Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. In the food world, we participate in the observance of National Pear month. I would love to share a few nutritional tidbits to celebrate Pear month about this versatile yet deliciously sweet and textured-centered fruit.
Pears are one of those fruits that are often overlooked compared to their counterparts, such as apples or bananas. If you think about it, when was the last time you heard of the “world’s best pear pie?” Chances are unlikely, and it feels a bit strange when said out loud.
There are 3000 species of pears, which come in various shapes, sweetness, and textures, grown worldwide. Unlike many other fruits, pears tend not to ripen on the trees but after they have been picked. So, the next time you’re at the farmer’s market or the grocery store, and you’re looking to purchase some pears, stay clear of the pears that appear bruised and have soft spots, and lean towards a harder pear. Since pears begin to ripen after they have been picked, the ones bruised or spotted have already started the ripening process and are not as fresh. Once purchased, allow the Pear to ripen on the countertop at home for a fresh and best ripening solution. Pears are customarily eaten raw; however, pears can be enjoyed in various ways, such as grilled, air fried, pureed, juiced, dried, and frozen for later use.
A nutritious powerhouse, pears are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C, K, and potassium and have smaller amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, B2, B6, and folate. Pears are also the most fiber-rich fruit, containing 21% of the daily recommended fiber intake. Just one medium Pear, which I may add, has 5.52 grams of fiber and only 101 calories. The pears skin, also known as pectin, is the primary source of its dietary fiber. So, why is fiber so important?
Simply put, the fiber found in fruits and vegetables is water soluble, which helps eliminate waste from our bodies. In addition, fiber can bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body, making pears an excellent addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), the recommended fiber intake is between 21 and 38 grams per day, depending on age and gender.
So, if you are ever feeling adventurous while cooking or want to stir away from the traditional apple recipe, try switching things up with a pear or two. After all, it’s safe to say a pear a day also keeps the doctor away!
Pear with Cinnamon Greek yogurt
Prep time:5 mins Cook time: 15min Total time: 20mins
- 2 Pears ripe, Bartlett
- 1 tbsp butter, melted.
- 1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ cup of 2% vanilla Greek yogurt or plain yogurt.
- 1 tbsp maple syrup.
- ¼ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut pears in halves. Use a measuring tbs spoon to scoop the seeds and core in the middle of the pear.
- Coat the front and back of each pear with butter.
- Sprinkle the front of the pear halves with 1 tsp of cinnamon.
- Put coated pear halves on an oven-safe baking sheet and place the baking sheet into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
- While waiting for your pears halves to cook, mix 2% vanilla or plain Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and ½ tsp of cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Once mixed, set aside.
- Remove pears from the oven and let them cool for 2-3 minutes.
- After cooling, top each pear with 1 Tbs of the yogurt, maple syrup, and cinnamon mixture.
- Add chopped pecans or walnuts and drizzle maple syrup to the tops of the pear halves, and enjoy!
Pear fiber content Are pears a good source of fiber. USA Pears. (2021, January 21). Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://usapears.org/fiber/
Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, November 27). Pear. Wikipedia. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pear