This fall look for some locally grown pears! You just can’t beat a pear that has been grown close to home instead of picked ahead of time to travel across the country or the ocean! Pears are not one of the most common fruits in many of our diets and this could be because they are a little thin skinned and can become bruised easier than apples so they may not travel as well. A pear can be ripened at room temperature. To check and see if a pear is ripe, you can check to see if its neck is soft.

Pears are low in calories, high in fiber, antioxidants, flavenoids and a source of vitamin C.

There are a lot of varieties of pears which include Red or Green Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Red or Green Bartlett, Concorde, Seckle, Starkinson and Forelle. Check out these pear varieties here.

Pears can be used in place of almost any recipe where apples are used. Here are a some tasty ways to get a daily dose of pears

  • Make a cheese plate with some sliced pears. Some heese that pairs well with it includes blue cheese, parmesan or white cheddar.
  • Pears for breakfast  include adding them to nuts in yogurt, serving it in oatmeal, topping waffles, pancakes, French toast or coffee cake. You can even make it into a smoothie!
  • For lunch recipe ideas: try a pear and almond or cashew sandwich and a brie and pear quesadilla. You can also try my Butternut Squash and Pear Salad   and you can substitute pears for the apples in  Fall Apple Salad .
  • What to make for supper? How about these easy healthy dinner recipe ideas which include a pear and winter squash soup, or fish, meat, meat alternative topped with pear salsa?
  • The sky is the limit for pear recipes for dessert which include having them baked by themselves or poached. They can also be made into crisps, pies, tarts, or even cheesecake.

Picking Pears This Fall

Here are two tasty recipe ideas that I have created for the fall pear season! I hope that you enjoy!

Oven Pear Pancake

Deborah Madison a well known chef and local food advocate has a fantastic coffee cake recipe in The Savory Way where she combines pears, almonds and cardamon! In this skillet pancake, I have incorporated these flavors!

Serves 8 servings.

  • 2 pears
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine, melted
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Heat oven to 400º F. Lightly coat a 9 cast iron with oil. Core and cut pears into 12 slices  and arrange them in the skillet. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cardamon, flour, eggs,  milk, almond extract, Earth Balance, and a pinch of salt and beat well with a whisk until eggs become slightly fluffy. Pour the mixture over the pears. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve warm and cut into 8 pieces.



Use pears to make a unique Dutch pancake!

Use pears to make a unique Dutch pancake!

Pear Bread Pudding

Bread pudding makes a warm and comforting dessert using leftover bread!
Serves 4

  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  • 5 slices soft whole-wheat bread, each cut into cubes
  • 2 pears, cored, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 375º F. Butter a 9-inch square pan. (I used a 9 inch skillet to make mine.) In a saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, cinnamon, Earth Balance and salt until small bubbles form. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the warm milk mixture to the eggs in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Add the vanilla to the mixture. Layer the square pan with the bread. Top with the pears. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Serve warm. This is great with a little dollop of whipped cream.

Use leftover bread to make your bread pudding!

Use leftover bread to make your bread pudding!

I hope that these gives you some different and delicious ways to incorporate pears in your daily routine. Head to your local farmers’ market to get them! As an Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist, I believe that we are what we eat and this includes eating minimally processed foods and food grown as close to home as possible. I have included more pear ideas in my book Farm Fresh Nutrition which is a health and wellness book about the local food movement that includes a lot of plant based recipes . With the holidays coming up, it would make a great gift, check out some of the Events where I will be this holiday season for a book signing! I will include a hand painted Vine Ripe Nutrition farmers’ market bag with the book at each book signing!


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