7 things to appreciate about pears
Let’s just take a second and talk about pears. While everyone else is buzzing about apples and oranges, pears are often cast aside as the hard fruit in the produce section. And that’s too bad, for many reasons!
1. Pears are loaded with fiber–more so than apples–which is something Americans don’t get enough of. A medium-sized pear contains 5.5 grams of fiber, while larger ones provide around 7 grams. For reference, women should try to get at least 25 grams of fiber per day; men should aim for at least 38 grams.
2. All pears contain flavonoids, which may help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. And red pears contain an additional compound called anthocyanin, which promotes heart health and anti-aging.
3. Pears are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can be beneficial for the immune system.
4. Pears are a good way to get more potassium, which can have a significant impact on heart health.
5. One medium pear provides 12 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C.
6. Pears are about 84 percent water–coupled with the high amount of fiber they contain, this helps keep your digestive system healthy.
7. There are few fruits juicier and sweeter than a fully ripened pear. Use them in baked goods, on oatmeal and yogurt, or to make sauces and salads. They’re particularly nice when paired with a strong-flavored cheese and drizzled with honey.
TIP: If pears are hard when you purchase them, store them in a paper bag at room temperature. The bag traps ethylene gas–which is naturally produced by pears–and speeds up the ripening process. Once pears are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
Learn more about pears and find recipes at Hy-Vee.com/recipes-ideas.
Pan-Roasted Gingered Pears with Toasted Hazelnuts
3 pears, cored and halved
½ c. Hy-Vee apple juice
¼ c. light agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp. Hy-Vee brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
6 tbsp. non-fat vanilla yogurt
3 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts, toasted*
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, place pears, cut-side down, and apple juice. Bring to boil and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears to serving platter, reserving juices in skillet.
2. To same skillet, add agave nectar, brown sugar, and ginger. Whisk together until sauce comes to low boil and thickens. Pour over pears; top with yogurt and toasted hazelnuts.
*To toast hazelnuts, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add hazelnuts to the pan and toss until golden brown.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 160; Total Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 15 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 35 g; Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 28 g; Protein: 2 g