Pears Peak in Fall

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Fresh pears are abundant this time of year and are an excellent choice for nutrition! The good news on pears is that they are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium. They are also are a good source of Vitamin C and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.

Healthy carbohydrates make up about 98% of the energy provided by a pear, part of the reason they will give you a quick source of energy. The other energy boosting elements are the high amounts of fructose and glucose.

Pears are a nutrient dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie than calories per nutrient; one medium pear contains approximately 100 calories. Pears also provide 30% more potassium than an apple. Potassium is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

Shake up your traditional cobbler or crisp recipe by using pears and pineapple.

 Pear and Pineapple Crisp

Ingredients
5 medium pears (about 1- ¾ pounds)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1¼ cups chopped fresh pineapple
⅔ cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
¼ cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts) or pecans
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel pears, if desired. Core and halve pears lengthwise. Arrange pear halves, cut sides up, in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with pineapple.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, hazelnuts or pecans, brown sugar, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in melted butter until well mixed. Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until pears are tender. If desired, serve with frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Serves 10, each serving contains; Calories 133, Fat 5 g., Fiber 4 g., Carbohydrates 22 g., Protein 2 g., Cholesterol 6 mg., Sodium 19 mg.

Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Blue Cheese

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 fresh pears, cored and cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices
1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 ounce Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high. Sprinkle pork with 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add pears and onion to pan, breaking up onion wedges with a spoon. Place pan in oven.
  3. Bake at 500°F for 8 minutes or until onion is tender and a thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 140°F. Remove pork from pan; let stand 3 minutes. Cut into slices.
  4. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and vinegar to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return pork to pan. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 297, Fat 11 g., Fiber 4 g., Carbohydrates 21 g., Protein 26 g., Cholesterol 80 mg., Sodium 640 mg.

Baked Pears with Local Honey and Walnuts

Ingredients
2 large ripe pears
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
 (Optional) yogurt or frozen yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet (I cut a sliver off the other end so they sat upright). Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon, top with walnuts and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each one.
  4. Bake in the oven 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and enjoy!

 Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 110, Fat 5 g., Fiber 3 g., Carbohydrates 17 g., Protein 1.5 g., Cholesterol 0 mg., Sodium 0 mg.

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake

(Adapted from a Real Simple recipe)

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 cookies)
2 small ripe pears (any kind), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and crushed gingersnaps. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, working the crumbs over the bottom and then up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the pears and ginger. Line the cooled crust with the pears, overlapping the slices slightly. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pears. Bake until the top is barely set but still slightly wobbly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack but leave oven on.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cheesecake and bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Serves 8-12, each serving contains; Calories 430, Fat 26 g., Fiber 1 g., Carbohydrates 45 g., Protein 5 g., Cholesterol 100 mg., Sodium 316 mg.

Gorgonzola Pear Pasta (Different and Delicious!)

Ingredients
9 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large pear, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Cook the penne in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain. Return the drained pasta to the pot; stir the butter, Parmesan cheese, and Gorgonzola cheese into the pasta and place over medium heat; cook until the cheese is completely melted.
  3. Pour the cream into the pasta mixture; stir. Remove from heat and fold the pear into the pasta mixture. Top with walnuts. Season with pepper to serve.