We’ve heard the old adage “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” But, what about its close harvest relative, the pear?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pears have many health benefits. The government organizations says, “They have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of two monosaccharides: fructose and glucose, plus Levulose.”
Levulose according to the CDC is, “the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit.”
The health benefits of pears are also touted on the website Everynutrient.com, stating, "Pears provide a good source of fiber, vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They are an excellent source of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber.”
The United States Department of Agriculture says that pears are a bountiful fruit. “Because of their many varieties and growing seasons, pears are available fresh and in abundance for most of the year including winter, when many other fruits are out of season.” Those varieties include Anjou, Bartlett, Bose, etc.
Here are some of my favorite pear recipes to enjoy the variety of your choice, cold or hot.
PEAR ORANGE CHICKEN SALAD
• 6 oz. chicken breast, cooked and chopped
• 2 cups of mixed greens
• 1 small mandarin orange
• ¼ cup of pears
• 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
Mix all ingredients together until well-coated with vinegar.
• ½ cup of low-fat free ricotta cheese
• 1 tsp. of Agave or Stevia sweetener
• Dash of vanilla extract
• ½ cup of skim milk
• ¼ cup of Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding
• 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
• 2 pears, sectioned
• 2 tbsp. of light whipped topping
In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese, vanilla extract and Agave or Stevia sweetener. Set aside. Mix together milk, pudding mix and protein powder. Layer two small dessert dishes with oranges. Follow with alternate layers of ricotta and pudding mixtures. Top with whipped topping. Makes 2 servings.
• 1 large Bartlett pear, peeled and sliced
• 1 scoop of whey protein
• 1 cup of sugar-free vanilla yogurt