What to Do With Fresh Pears

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While it may not feel like Fall yet, it is almost here, and 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.

Pears mix well with many other seasonal fruits, especially apples. Give these recipes a try!

Pear Crisp with Apples

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ stick butter
  • 2 cups flour, unsifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and brown sugar. Add 1 cup of butter and mix on low speed until crumbly.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together and set aside.
  3. Peel, core, and slice pears and apples. Put into a large bowl, add walnuts. Mix in sugar mixture and stir until all fruit and walnuts are coated well.
  4. Pour fruit mixture into a 9 x 11 baking dish.
  5. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter, sliced, and just place on top of the fruit mixture randomly.
  6. Bake uncovered at 400°F for 40-50 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Pear Crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh pears

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 120°F. Chop off the top and bottom of the pears. Thinly slice both pears crosswise, as uniform as possible.
  2. Lay the pear slices on a baking tray, be sure that none are overlapping. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove and flip the pear slices, return to the oven and bake an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the oven, but leave pears for an additional hour. Serves 4, makes a great snack.

Pear and Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 medium pears, divided
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup oat flour (you can make this by grinding 1 ¼ cups of rolled oats)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly oil the oil. (to be honest, I used a non-stick spray).
  2. Puree two of the cored, not peeled pears. You should yield about a cup.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine pear puree, apple sauce, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, salt, flour, oats, and baking powder. Mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
  5. Allow cooling completely before cutting into bars.

Yields 16.

 

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich with Sliced Pears

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of your favorite Artisan bread
  • 2-4 ounce goat cheese (depending on your taste and the size of the bread slices)
  • ½ pear, seeds, and stem removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Fig Balsamic Glaze

  • ½ cup ripe fig pulp
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. For the Fig Balsamic Glaze;  Scoop out fig pulp. In a saucepan add fig pulp, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla. Simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until it becomes thick. Stir occasionally, about every 5-8 minutes. Allow fig/balsamic reduction to cool. This is very concentrated; sandwich recipe calls for 2 teaspoons.
  2. For the Sandwich;  Spread goat cheese on each sandwich half. Drizzle each sandwich half with about a teaspoon of the fig balsamic glaze. Thinly slice the pear on a mandolin. Place the pear slices on top of the drizzled goat cheese. Top the sandwiches with the second slice of bread. Spread a bit of butter on both sides of the sandwich.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the grilled cheese sandwiches over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, or until the bread is a nice golden brown and the goat cheese softens and starts to melt. Remove from heat, slice in half, and enjoy!!

Serves 2.

 Crock Pot Pear Butter

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for about 3-4 hours. Stirring occasionally. (total time will depend on the ripeness of the pears).
  2. Using an immersion blender, process the pears until smooth. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for an additional 6-8 hours. The butter is done when no liquid seeps out when a teaspoon of the butter is placed on a dish.
  3. Ladle the pear butter into sterile canning jars. Always leave about a ¼ inch of headspace. Try to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Seal with sterile lids and rings.
  4. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from the pot. Check the lids by pressing on the center of each seal. If it springs back, the jars need to be refrigerated, otherwise they can be stored in a cool dark place for about 1 year. Once opened refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.