Pear Recipes for Breakfast Through Dessert
Like apples, every pear variety possesses its own personality – its own flavor, color, texture. Part of the rose family, pears encompass more than 3,000 known varieties.
However, only three species of pear trees provide the pears we typically eat.
Most popular include the Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, Packham, Comis and Cactus pears, according to Dale Watts, produce manager at the Springfield Hy-Vee grocery store.
“Pears are often overlooked,” he says. “They’re popular at Christmas and then forgotten. People don’t often buy pears – until they taste them. Then they’re hooked.”
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He recommends pairing them with a white wine and mild-flavored cheese, such as havarti or Asiago, for a quick hors d’oeuvre.
A medium pear has as much vitamin C and potassium as a half cup of orange juice. And an average pear contains 4 grams of fiber as well as powerful antioxidants.
When purchasing pears, Watts recommends choosing firm and unblemished pears. Unlike most fruits, pears will ripen best off the tree. To ripen them quickly, place in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature. Bartlett pears will turn from green to yellow as they ripen.
“To check for ripeness, press your thumb against the stem end of the pear,” says Watts. “It will be slightly soft to the touch when it’s ready to eat.”
Once ripe, pears can be refrigerated for three to five days.
Pears’ versatility lends the fruit to a variety of meals. Make healthy Pear Bran Muffins for breakfast to get your daily dose of fiber for the first meal of the day. Prepare a Walnut, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad for a low-carb lunch or healthy side dish at dinnertime. Pair them with pork for a hearty entree, Feta-Stuffed Pork Chops with Pears.
For dessert, simmer pears in cranberry juice, and top with homemade whipped cream and mint to create the decadent Cranberry Poached Pears.
More Pear Recipes
Want more? This versatile fall fruit is featured in the recipes below: