Pear: Food of the Month

pears

(HealthCastle.com) A fruit that is deliciously sweet and juicy, with a slightly grainy texture, the pear is an all-time favorite fruit for many. Depending on the variety, you may find either yellow, green, brown, or red pears. These fragrant fruits have been enjoyed around the world for centuries, and were introduced to North America by early colonists. Since then, they have found a home in Oregon and Washington. The State of Oregon named the pear Oregon’s Official State Fruit, and the USDA has declared the month of December to be National Pear Month.

Nutrition Tidbits for Pear

1 medium pear contains:Calories: 103 kcalFat: 0.21 gCarbohydrates: 27.5 gProtein: 0.68 gFiber: 5.5 gGlycemic Index (GI): Low (below 55)

Pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of Vitamin C. With the delicious taste comes only about 100 calories and a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber per pear, making pears a perfect snack for anyone. Their low glycemic index (38) make them a very attractive fruit choice for those with diabetes who crave sweets.

According to USA Pears, the following pear varieties are commonly available:

  • Anjou: refreshingly sweet and juicy with a hint of citrus
  • Red Anjou: aromatic, juicy, fresh and sweetBartlett: signature pear flavor with abundant juice
  • Red Bartlett: juicy and sweet with a floral essenceBosc: crisp and woodsy with a honey sweetness
  • Comice: succulent, buttery, and exceptionally sweet
  • Concorde: crunchy and earthy with a hint of vanillaForelle: crisp, tangy, and refreshingly sweet
  • Seckel: bite-sized, crunchy, and ultra-sweet
  • Starkrimson: aromatic, moist, and sweet with a floral essence

To select pears, look for fruits that are firm, but not too hard. The skin should be smooth and free of bruises or mold. Avoid pears that have holes or dark soft spots. Pears actually do not ripen on the tree. The pears that you see on shelf are mature but not yet ripe. If left at room temperature, the pear will slowly turn into a sweetly ripe fruit. Putting pears in a paper bag helps the ripening process. Expedite this further by adding apples or bananas to the mix. If, however, you wish to slow ripening, place ripe pears in the refrigerator. Do not store unripened pears in the refrigerator.

Ways to Include More Pear in Your Diet

  • The flavor and texture make them ideal for baking, poaching, sauteing, roasting and grilling.
  • Pears can also be made into jams and other types of fruit spreads.
  • Pears pair well with wine and cheese.
  • Add a ripe pear to any salad to add a layer of sweetness.
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