The topic of the day is Pears! There are over 3,000 varieties of pears worldwide dating back to 1,000 B.C. Belonging to the rose family, pears are related to apples, apricots, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, and plums. Pears were once called “butter fruit” because of their soft texture.
Pears have a slim neck, round body, vary in height, and come in many different colors from red, green, yellow, brown, and gold. Selecting the right pear can be tricky. Make sure to avoid pears that have dark soft spots or gashes on the outside. A pear with brown speckles on its skin is thought to have a more intense flavor. Pears have a short shelf life once ripe. Look for a pear that is firm, but not too hard. A perfect pear can be found by gently pressing on the neck, leaving a small “dent” indicating the pear is optimal for eating. Once a pear is cut, there is a short window before the exposed area will start to oxidize or turn brown from oxygen exposure.
Pears, especially the skin, are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients, which can improve insulin sensitivity and protects against inflammation in men and women. Pears are high in dietary soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and contain great sources of copper and potassium. The fiber of a pear binds to bile acids in our body assisting digestion lowering the risk of heart disease and gastric cancers.
Pears have been deemed a “hypoallergenic” or low allergy fruit as an allergy is considered rare. The low acidity of a pear makes it an easily digested fruit, which is perfect for people with acid reflux or starting infants on solid food.
For a low calorie, easy on-the-go snack, nothing beats a pear! They can be cut into in a salad, paired with wine and cheese, infused in water, or even used as a breakfast treat ingredient with ginger, honey, and oats. Below is a simple, fast, and tasty smoothie recipe to kickstart your day!
Powerhouse Pear Smoothie
Serving size: 1
- 1 apple washed and chopped
- 2 cups kale, stems removed
- 1 pear washed and chopped
- 1/2 avocado, chopped, deskinned, deseeded.
- Ice cubes, as many, as desired
- Gather and combine ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Add protein powder or peanut butter to increase protein content!
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Grand Valley State University – Master’s Dietetic Student