Pears

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Enjoy the Fresh Pears?

Fresh pears are abundant this time of year and you certainly do not want this nutritional treat to go to waste. Why pears, because nutritionally they are a great choice!

– Pears are a great source of folate, vitamin C, copper, and potassium. They also provide helpful antioxidants.

– Pears provide a natural quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of two monosaccharides: fructose and glucose.

– Pears are a nutrient-dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient. A medium-sized pear contains only 100 calories.

– Pears provide 30% more potassium than an apple. Potassium is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

So go pick a pear and give these recipes a try;

Fall Fruit Crisp

(this is a simple recipe for any fruit, I like to combine fresh apples and pears this time of year)

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup flour (I prefer whole wheat; it does not overwhelm the crisp)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, softened

Fruit Filling

  • 6 cups fresh fruit (I combined fresh apples and fresh pears, but you can do just one)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tb. of water
  • (1 tsp. cinnamon for the apple and pear version)

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine the Topping ingredients. Peel and slice the fruit if needed. Place the fruit in a Pam sprayed 11×13 pan. Toss in fruit. Drizzle the lemon juice and water over the fruit. Sprinkle the topping over top. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until the fruit is tender.

Fresh Pear-Cinnamon Topping

Topping may be used on pancakes, ice cream, and biscuits.

Yield: Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon  honey
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  tablespoon butter

Directions

Toss pears with fresh lemon juice, honey, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; sauté pear mixture, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Cheese

(Modified from a Cooking Light recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed and halved
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 fresh pears, cored and cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese, about ¼ cup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Sprinkle pork with ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pork to pan, cook 5 minutes, turning to sear and brown all sides. Add pears and onion to pan, separating onion wedges. Place pan in the oven.
  2. Bake at 450°F for 8 – 10 minutes or until onion is tender and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the pork registers 145 degrees. Remove pork from pan and let stand 3 minutes. Cut into slices.
  3. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and vinegar to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return pork to pan. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.

Serves 4.

Pear and Walnut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced peeled pear
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground.
  2. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in ground walnuts. Make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine brown sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a small bowl; add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in diced pear.
  4. Spoon batter into 15 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle batter with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Serves 15, each serving contains: Calories 149, Fat 4.9g, Protein 3.1g, Carbohydrate 23.9g, Fiber 1.3g, Cholesterol 14mg, Sodium 191mg, Calcium 76mg.

Gingersnap and Pear Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 cookies)
  • 2 small ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Serve 8-10, each serving contains: Calories 430, Fat 26g, Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 316mg, Carbohydrate 45g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 31g, Protein 5g.