The November Fruit of the Month is Pear!
The fruit that comes in second place as the most popular fruit in the US is pears (apples take first place)! Because of their many varieties and growing seasons, pears are available fresh and in abundance for most of the year including winter, when many other fruits are out of season. Keep reading for fun facts and ideas for how to include yummy pears in your diet!
A Pear is a Good Source of:
- Fiber—great for liver and digestive health
- Potassium—helps body tissues and cell function
- Vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant for your immune system
- Vitamin K—aiding bone and brain health
- Copper—combats inflammation and keeps nerve cells healthy
Did You Know?
- Pears grow on trees and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, including green, golden yellow, and red.
- The peel is good to eat and has many nutrients, but do not eat the seeds.
- Pears have an antioxidant called “glutathione” that is known to help prevent cancer, high blood pressure, and stroke!
- The first pear tree originated in present-day western China.
How to Choose and Store Pears
When purchasing fresh pears, choose ones that are firm with no soft spots, and then let them ripen at home. When the pear has reached peak ripeness the flesh next to the stem will yield gently to pressure. Store at room temperature in a paper bag until ripe. After the pears are ripe, store them in the refrigerator and eat within 5–7 days. Be careful! Pears bruise easily, and their bruises lead to rapid decay—so handle with care. Don’t forget that frozen and canned pears are healthy too!
Ways to Prepare Pears
Let’s Get Cooking
Breakfast Pear Parfait
- 2 cups of cooked oatmeal
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- Put 1 cup of oatmeal into 2 small bowls.
- Add half of the chopped pears on top of the oats
- Top each bowl with ½ cup of low-fat yogurt.
- Mix if desired.
Cobb Salad with Pears
- 2 canned pear halves
- 6 cups mixed baby salad greens
- ½ tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 1 ⅓ cup carrots, grated
- 3 tablespoons walnuts
- ¼ cup pear juice
- ¼ teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 dash salt and black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- For the dressing, mix pear juice, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a blender.
- Put mixed greens in a large mixing bowl and mix the dressing in thoroughly.
- Add the chopped pears, walnuts, and grated carrots and toss lightly.
- Portion out 1 cup of salad for each serving, and top with ½ teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese.
For more creative pear-based recipes visit MyPlate Kitchen! With so many possibilities, like Pear Quesadillas, Pear Party Salsa, and Pear PB&J Bouquet you’re sure to find something that is tasty for the whole family!
Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!