To me, this time of year is a great time for pears. Whether they are chopped over bowl of porridge in the morning, stewed little with a little grated root ginger or poached in the oven, pears are great winter fruits. Yet there is much more to the common pear than you think.
The great thing about fruit is that you don’t eat them for one reason. For example, pears are packed full of fibre, helping the digestive system to function fully. They are also a good source of Vitamin C which is perfect for boosting the immune system in the winter, and Vitamin K, which is important for bone health.
Yet, in addition to this, pears also contain a range of anti-oxidants (including copper) and phytonutrients (powerful anti-oxidants) which help to protect the body from the harsh forces of modern life. Pears are a great source of Carotenoids and Flavonoids, which have been linked to improved heart health. Pears are also known to contain phytosterols which can be found in a range of plant based foods, such as vegetables and nuts and seeds. These phytosterols have potentially been linked to decreased cholesterol – making them doubly good for heart health.
So when you are in the fruit and vegetable shop or supermarket, look at fruit as a super supply of goodness. There is so much more to them than meets the eye – tasting great is just the start of it!
Most people tend to use sugar when they stew pear. However, I find that stewing fruit brings out their natural sweetness so there is no need. In the winter, use this as a topping on your porridge. In summer, add a little 100% natural yogurt and some toasted seeds – a great healthy eating dessert.
- 4 medium ripe pears
- ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- ½ inch of root ginger
- Chop the pears into similar shaped cubes and place in a saucepan with a little water.
- Add the spices and cook over a medium heat until soft (about 10-15 minutes)
- If you get hard pears, they will take longer to cook and won’t be as soft in texture as ripe pears. Simply cook them for longer, about 20 minutes.
- Wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free