Pumpkin seems to be the king of fall produce but there is so much more in season! I want to encourage you to venture out and try something new! Today we are going to talk about pears.
This is the first installment of a new series that will appear on My Texas Kitchen. Each month I will feature a fruit or vegetable that is in season along with nutrition information and recipes. My goal is to encourage you to explore seasonal produce and try something new!
IN SEASON – AUTUMN
- Harvested in US August through October
- Pears are an excellent source of fiber packing 6 grams, or 24% of your Daily Value, per serving. The skin contains the majority of the fiber and adds texture, flavor and additional nutrients.
- Pears are a good source of Vitamin C, containing 10% of the Daily Value per serving. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is also necessary for cell growth and repair.
- Potassium please! One medium pear contains 5% of the Daily Value for potassium.
- Choose a medium pear for a pear-fect portable 100-Calorie snack!
- Pears contain an antioxidant called Quercetin which may protect against heart disease and cancer due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
RIPENING & HANDLING TIPS
- Choose firm pears with few soft spots. Avoid pears with deep scars.
- To ripen pears, place in fruit bowl or paper bag, and store at room temperature. Don’t forget to check them daily!
- Don’t refrigerate an unripened pear.
- Check the neck for ripeness by applying gentle pressure with your thumb. Once it yields to pressure the pear is ripe and ready to eat!
- There are 10 varieties of USA Pears. They range in flavor, texture and juiciness. Over 80% of pears grown in the USA are from the Pacific Northwest.
- All-Purpose: Green or Red Anjou, Bartlett, Red Bartlett, Concorde
- Baking: Bosc
- Perfect for Snacking or in Salads: Comice, Seckel, Forelle, Starkrimson
Did You Know? You can sub pears for any recipe calling for fresh apples!
A delicious round-up of recipes featuring pears.
- Pears with Goat Cheese and Cranberries by Sweet Potato Chronicles
- Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostini by Good Life Eats
- Gingerbread Pear Muffins by All Recipes
- Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey by Skinnytaste
- Caramel Dipped Pears by The Kitchen McCabe
- Arugula Skirt Steak Salad with Caramelized Pears, Pecans and Gorgonzola by Baker by Nature
- Red Pepper-and-Pear Soup by Southern Living
- Grilled Pear Salad by Southern Living
- Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad with Walnuts by Gundersen Health
- Pear, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad by A Pinch of Healthy
Happy Fall Y’all!
- USA Pears http://usapears.org/pear-nutrition/
- Lin LZ, Harnly JM. Phenolic compounds and chromatographic profiles of pear skins (Pyrus spp.). J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):9094-101. doi:10.1021/jf8013487. Epub 2008 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 18778075. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18778075