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3 Pear-ings Perfect for Holiday Entertaining

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian

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Dec 12th, 2018

Pears

Chestnuts might be roasting on an open fire but when it comes to the produce department, which fruits are the winter standouts? It’s no coincidence that December is National Pear Month! The 10 types of pears that the U.S. harvest each year will fill your fruit basket all winter long.

Enjoying pears every chance you get definitely helps promote health during the holidays with each medium pear providing more than 20% of the daily recommended amount of fiber (6 grams) and 10% of the daily value for the antioxidant, Vitamin C. Not to mention the other important plant compounds in pears including flavonoids, which may have strong antioxidant and possible anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity in the body.

Pears are easy to eat all by themselves, but you can expand your pear horizons this holiday season and think about enjoying them in new, inventive ways!

With Cheese

For an easy appetizer or side dish, pair pears with different savory cheeses, from creamy Camembert to sharp cheddar. Use this elegant but easy appetizer, Pear Berry Bites, as inspiration! Simply mix 4 ounces of goat cheese with 1 tablespoon of honey, a pinch of nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons of finely-chopped lemon zest and 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small bowl to start. Then add your cheese mixture to the middle of your pear slice, topping with a raspberry or blackberry for an added festive flare.

Berry Pear Bites

For Dessert

Feature pears in your favorite healthful desserts like a pear cranberry crisp or a cinnamon baked pear. For something more unique, try a Pear Pistachio Crunch, the epitome of a healthful sweet ending to a meal or holiday party. Simply slice up your pear, dip one end in melted chocolate chips, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Pear Pistachio Crunch

In a Salad

Pear slices or chopped pears go great in green salads! This Pear Pistachio Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing is full of flavor and color and is the perfect side dish at any holiday meal or party. Just mix 9 ounces of romaine lettuce, 2 thinly-sliced pears, ½ cup roasted shelled pistachios and ¼ cup dried cranberries in a large bowl, and top with your favorite lemon-poppy seed dressing (or make your own!).

Pear Salad

Pro Tip:

On your next trip to the grocery store, grab a few pears for the above ideas and check for ripeness by pressing near the stem and if it yields to gentle pressure, it is ready to eat! Pears that need to ripen, can just be left at room temperature. Once ripe, pears can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Happy holiday pear-ings to you and yours! Find more holiday inspiration on our Pinterest page

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