An Easy Way to Smoke Pears

Yes, you can smoke fruit! There are a variety of methods for smoking foods, from using a dedicated outdoor hot smoker, to DIY cold smoking in your oven, but this technique for infusing pears with smoky flavor is as easy as they come. All you need is a charcoal grill, wood chips, and a disposable aluminum pan—no special equipment required and no risk of setting off the smoke alarm in your kitchen. The truly exceptional thing about this technique is that you don’t even have to get the grill out just to smoke the pears since the pears are added to the grill after it’s used to cook something else, when the coals turn to embers. So while your family enjoys a late-summer meal on the patio, the residual heat still emitting from the grill is just enough to delicately Continue reading

5 Recipes to Pear Up For Better Breakfast Month

September is Better Breakfast Month, which means it’s the perfect time to make eating a healthy breakfast a priority in your daily routine. This month also happens to be when sweet and juicy Northwest pears are in season and available at grocery stores everywhere. One medium-sized pear contains 6 grams of fiber and only 100 calories, so it will keep you full without loading you with sugar and fat. Besides being nutritious, pears are incredibly versatile as an ingredient and this is especially true when it comes to whipping up a wholesome breakfast! From oatmeal to smoothies, pears are a delicious way to step up your game for Better Breakfast Month. 1. Instant Pot Pear Oatmeal Jars The Instant Pot, that magical cooking appliance that allows you to do everything from sautéing to pressure-cooking, is all the rage right now. Continue reading

Pear Pasta Salad

pear pasta salad

Potlucks and picnics are upon us! This portable pear recipe adds a sweet twist to the perennial favorite: pasta salad. With a flavor-packed combination of just-ripe USA Pears complemented by salty salami, tart pickled peppers, fresh mozzarella, and crunchy cucumbers, it’s sure to surpass any pre-made offering you’d find at the deli counter. Plus, a lightened-up version of the classic creamy dressing, substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise, makes for a healthier summer feast. Serves 8 to 10 Ingredients: Dressing 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano Salad 1 pound dried short pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or farfalle 2 firm but ripe red USA pears, cut into bite Continue reading

5 Grilled Pear Recipes to Rock Your Summer

turkey burger grilled pear sliders

Few things say summer like cooking over fire (or propane if that’s your thing). There’s just something magical about the simplicity of food cooked on an open flame that lends itself to warm weather and hanging out with friends. Of course, we can always count on the staples like hot dogs and hamburgers, but sometimes it’s fun to get a little adventurous on the grill. Fruits and vegetables are wonderfully complemented by a slight char and a kiss of smoke, whether skewered alongside protein on a kabob or grilled on their own. Sweet and juicy pears are a surprisingly versatile ingredient both on their own and as part of other dishes. If you’re looking to mix things up and pop some pears on the grill this summer, these five recipes are guaranteed to make you a hero at the next Continue reading

Fresh Pears and Burrata Cheese with Hazelnut-Mint Pesto

Burrata takes fresh mozzarella to another level. This creamy, oozy fresh cheese is a hollow ball of mozzarella filled with the decadent blend of cream and ricotta-like curds. The marriage of juicy pears and creamy cheese is a classic, but this love affair is particularly amazing. The simplicity of slicing pears and piling the luxurious burrata on top, then spooning on some homemade hazelnut-mint pesto, will make this your new favorite party starter, but it’s also an extra-special snack to have on hand at any time. Pair with an herbaceous white wine, like sauvignon blanc or Italian vermentino. Serves 6 (makes 12) Ingredients: 1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts 1 small clove garlic 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for brushing 2 Continue reading

Why Nutrition Buzzwords Aren’t Worth the Buzz

Scrolling through the health news can be interesting, exciting even, and downright maddening! Popular media suggests some interesting things about the public concept of nutrition – and it isn’t founded in science. Beware! Nutrition buzzwords are a part of media campaigns aimed at selling products, diets, books, or supplements, and they’re pretty successful. Here are a handful of the popular buzzwords that make me roll my eyes, and why we should stop using them. Clean eating: What exactly is a “clean” or “real” food? Carefully choosing minimally processed foods is reasonable, but excessive restriction can cause nutritional inadequacy. Cleanse or detox: Your liver and kidneys already do this, so don’t waste your money or starve yourself. Plus, these extreme measures can be dangerous! “Boost” or “jump start” your metabolism: This simply doesn’t mean anything. Superfoods: No capes here. Just because Continue reading

Pulled Pork and Pear Tacos with Pear Pico de Gallo

Pulled Pork and Pear Tacos with Pear Pico de Gallo

Time for a taco party! In this festive recipe, pears appear in two ways: braised with pork shoulder to create depth and sweetness for a juicy, shredded taco filling, and also mixed into a zesty pear and jicama pico de gallo for topping. There will be plenty of the flavorful slow-cooked meat to feed a crowd, and any leftovers can be frozen for quick taco making for future weeknight dinners. Serve with margaritas and chips and salsa to round out the menu. Ingredients: 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (pork butt) 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon chile powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 large ripe USA Pears, peeled and chopped 1 small white onion, finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems 4 canned chipotle chiles with a Continue reading

Pear Kimchi

Pear Kimchi

Sweet pears and spicy flavors make for a winning combination. Kimchi, the mainstay of every Korean table, has been gaining mass appeal in recent years. Prized for its health benefits and irresistible spiciness, kimchi is becoming a staple condiment in many homes. If you’ve never made your own, then this version, featuring pears and crunchy root vegetables, is a great place to start. This is a quick kimchi recipe, meant to enjoy immediately. Serve it alongside a simple roast pork with steamed rice and sautéed greens, add it to a vegan grain bowl, place it atop ramen noodles or in lettuce wraps—you’ll find that the ways to enjoy fresh kimchi are endless. Makes 8 to 10 servings Ingredients:  2 large white root vegetables, such as kohlrabi or turnips 2 large slightly underripe USA Pears 1/4 cup kosher salt 1/4 cup Continue reading

To Snack or Not to Snack? Intuitive Eating Answers the Question

That is the question of the hour! Popular media is full of nutrition advice, often encouraging wacky diets that cut specific food groups, macronutrients, or favorites. (Like cupcakes, I can’t live without cupcakes!) In this landscape of restrictive eating, I see people struggling with the constant merry-go-round of weight loss, weight gain, loss, gain… I know people not eating for long stretches each day or only eating every other day. The truth is, most of us can lose weight if we’re motivated. But, diets don’t teach us to listen to our bodies, which can lead to weight gain. Intuitive eating is a lifestyle strategy that encourages mindfulness – listening to your body, rather than telling it what to do. It’s not a radical concept, but it’s one that encourages a healthy relationship with food and the body. By letting go Continue reading

5 Tips for Plant-Powering Your Eating Style

Plant-based eating is hot, hot, hot! More and more people are turning away from the traditional American plate – with a slab of meat at the center – towards a gorgeous, colorful, plant-centric plate filled with pulses (beans, lentils, peas), whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. No wonder this eating style is catching on—it’s downright delicious! From a whole grain bowl filled with chickpeas, pears and sunflower seeds, to a homemade veggie burger with avocado slices, there are so many delicious offerings. A plant-based diet doesn’t mean that you have to give up meat altogether if you don’t want to; it just means that your diet focuses mostly on plants. This flexitarian eating style is linked with a boatload of benefits, such as lower risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and obesity, as well Continue reading