Pears have a long history as part of many traditions. Pear trees live a long time, representing immortality in ancient China. Longevity, wisdom, health, many amazing characteristics have been linked to pears. Today they are often part of festive fruit baskets, and the autumn, winter transition is an excellent time to include pears in your diet.
A medium to large pear has a whopping 6 grams of fiber, providing over a quarter of the amount some people should aim for each day. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends a range of 21-38g a day depending on your age to decrease risks for everything from diverticulitis to heart disease and diabetes.
Besides that fiber gold, pears include an average of about 10% of daily recommendations for Vitamin C and potassium, along with small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium and a variety of B vitamins. When you choose a red-skinned pear, such as a Red Bartlett, Red d’Anjou or Starkrimson, you get the added benefit of the anti-oxidants associated with red and purple-skinned fruit. However you choose to enjoy them, pears are a healthy, low calorie, plant food powerhouse. Consider eating a pear whole as a snack or chopping a raw pear up into oatmeal or a salad. Cooking pears is another great way to enjoy them and makes a simple, healthy dessert.
Cooked Spiced Pears
- 2 pears- Bosc, or any variety will work, they just can’t be overripe
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- Heat the oven to 350.
- Peel off ½ of the pear skin and cut in half.
- Toss pears in mixture of fresh lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and clove.
- Place pears cut side down on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes depending on the ripeness of the pears.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool, cut out pear cores, and enjoy.