The topic of the day is Pears! There are over 3,000 varieties of pears worldwide dating back to 1,000 B.C. Belonging to the rose family, pears share lineage with apples, apricots, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, and plums. Pears were once called “butter fruit” because of their similar texture.
Traditionally, pears have a tapered neck and round body and each species vary in height and come in many different colors from red, green, yellow, brown, and gold. Selecting the right pear can be tricky. You will want to make sure to avoid pears that have dark soft spots or gashes on the outside. A pear with brown speckles on its skin is thought to have a more intense flavor. Pears have a short perishability once they’re ripe. Look for a pear that is firm, but not too hard. A perfect pear can be found by gently pressing on the neck, leaving a small compression indicating it’s optimal for eating. Once a pear is cut, there is a short window before the exposed area will start to oxidize or turn brown from oxygen exposure.
Pears, especially the skin, are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients which can improve insulin sensitivity and protects against inflammation in men and women. Pears are high in dietary soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and contain adequate sources of copper and potassium. The fiber of a pear binds to bile acids in our body, assisting digestion lowering the risk of heart disease and gastric cancer.
Pears have been deemed a “hypoallergenic” or low allergy fruit as an allergy is considered rare. The low acidity of a pear makes it an easily digested fruit perfect for people with acid reflux or transitioning infants to solid food.
For an easy on-the-go snack or holiday dish, nothing beats a pear! A pear contains approximately 100 calories and can be eaten after a quick rinse. They can be cut into in a salad, paired with wine and cheese, infused in water, or even used as a breakfast treat ingredient with ginger, honey, and oats. Below is a healthy, yet tasty dessert idea!
Sweet Baked Dessert Pears:
Serving size: 3
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/8th cup honey
- 3 large fresh pears
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon
- Whip cream, if desired
- Cut pears in half lengthwise. Remove core and peel. Dip pear halves in the mixture of lemon juice and honey.
- Place cut side up, in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Bake at 400° F about 40 minutes or until tender.
- Serve warm with soft whip cream if desired.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Grand Valley State University – Master’s Dietetic Student