The Palatable Pear

One requirement for a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet of healthy foods—fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. And the pear is one fruit that you’ll want to add to your menus! Pears are cholesterol free, fat free, and sodium free. And they’re a good source of vitamin C (important for bone and tissue health) and an excellent source of fiber. In the body, fiber plays an important role in diabetes management and glucose metabolism.

Did you know that the pear is the only fruit not harvested from the tree when ripe? They’re mature when picked from the trees but they ripen best off the tree. Most pears do not change color as they ripen, so the best way to tell if a pear is ripe is to check the neck. Apply gentle pressure near the stem of the pear with your thumb. If it gives to gentle pressure it’s ripe! The Bartlett pear is one exception—it changes from green to yellow as it ripens. If you buy pears that are not yet ripe leave them at room temperature—they make a beautiful display in a decorative bowl!

Pears are excellent raw; eat as a snack or add to salads. Or you can bake, grill, poach, roast or sauté pears. Add pears to an avocado and shrimp salad, make pear pancakes, make a refreshing pear smoothie for breakfast, or serve pears with cheese and crackers for a quick, delicious snack.