The December Fruit of the Month is the pear!
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. For a convenient alternative to fresh pears, canned and dried pears are also available year-round. Remember all forms of fruits and vegetables count; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried!
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. Do not eat the seeds.
- Pears are a relative of the apple. Pears rank second to the apple as the most popular fruit eaten in the US with Washington, Oregon, and California producing 97% of the pears in the country.
- Pears have no cholesterol or sodium, are high in fiber and potassium, and are a good source of vitamin C.
Selection and Storage:
- Choose pears with no bruises or dark brown spots.
- To ripen pears, place in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature until the flesh responds easily to gentle pressure at the neck with your thumb.
- After pears are ripened, store them in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days.
- Always handle pears gently. They bruise easily, which can lead to rapid decay of the fruit.
- Wash under clean, running water before eating.
6 Ways To Enjoy Pears:
- Poach Your Pears. Every tried it? They’re delicious! Check out this ‘Poached Pears’ video to learn how!
- Sweet Soup. Ever tried pears in soup? Check out this Sweet Potato-Pear Soup recipe.
- The Perfect Snack. Have a delicious fresh pear as a sweet, juicy snack.
- Pears Instead of Apples. For a change in flavor, use pears in any way you would usually use apples. For example, substitute pears for apples in your favorite cobbler recipe.
- Sweet Salads. Pear slices can change an ordinary salad into a flavorful work of art!
- Grilled Cheese and … Pear? What flavor! Try adding thinly-sliced pears to a grilled cheese sandwich or on your favorite panini (don’t forget to use whole wheat!).
The featured Sioux Falls chef this month is Chef Shonna Haugen from Old Soul Cafe and Catering. Learn more about pears and get Chef Haugen’s Pear and Pecan Bran Muffin recipe with this Pick It! Try It! Like It! Fact Sheet.
Don’t stop there! Find ways to promote pears at your work, school, childcare, and in your community!
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!