5 Ways You Can Celebrate World Pear Day 2017

2017 marks the second year we are officially celebrating World Pear Day, which kicks off National Pear Month in December.  We are excited to share the festivities with pear lovers around the world on December 2. Beginning in New Zealand, people will have the opportunity to taste a variety of USA-grown pears via pop-up sampling opportunities in more than 24 countries including China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the U.S. for 24 hours of continuous sampling and promotion of USA Pears. For those of you looking to pear-take in the fun, here are five ways you can celebrate World Pear Day!

 

1. Use the hashtag #WorldPearDay!

Part of what makes World Pear Day so exciting is the chance to connect with pear lovers across the globe, and the best way to do that is by joining in on the conversation using the #WorldPearDay hashtag. Show your pear love on social media by sharing your favorite variety (do you even Anjou, bro?!), posting pictures of pears, making silly pear puns, or just saying whatever comes to mind! Whatever you post, make sure to use the #WorldPearDay hashtag. And who knows, maybe you’ll even win a prize?!

2. Help break a world record!

This year we are kicking things up a notch with a Guinness World Record attempt! As part of our 24 hours of continuous sampling activity around the globe, we will be aiming to break a record in the following categories:

Largest distribution of pear samples

 

This a lofty goal but with your help we can succeed! If you live in one of the 24 countries where pear sampling events will be held, keep an eye out at your local supermarket or grocer. If you come across a sampling event, do your part to help us break a record by enjoying a pear!

3. Share a pear!

Sweet and juicy pears are so much better when shared with friends. Check the Neck to make sure your pears are ripe, grab a pear slicer, and hand out slices of fresh pears to as many friends as you can gather.  All 10 varieties of USA Pears are in season right now, so it’s the perfect time try out new ones. You’ll be the life of the party.

4. Test your culinary skills!

Pears are delicious on their own, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with them. From baking to poaching and everything in between, there are plenty of chances to put your culinary creativity to the test with pears. If you’re looking to cook something that is quick, easy and healthy, here are some recipes that are sure to impress:

Bartlett Pear Quesadilla

Pear “Toasts”

Baked Pear Trail Mix

Browse through tons more pear-a-licious recipes HERE!

5. Get your sample on!

Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Starting in New Zealand and ending in Portland, Oregon (home of USA Pears!), we will be hosting pear sampling events in 24 countries over the course of 24 hours. Whether you live in Abu Dhabi or Sao Paolo, there will be opportunities to taste a handful of different pear varieties. Not only that, but representatives from USA Pears will be hosting games and giving out pear-iffic prizes at each sampling event.

Make sure to follow @USAPears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for World Pear Day updates! 

 

Pear and Pumpkin Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Chilly fall mornings are back! Before bundling up the family for a trip to the pumpkin patch, fill them up with a hearty breakfast that celebrates the season. Grated pears add sweetness to a fall favorite, pumpkin pancakes, limiting the sugar and bumping up the nutrition. Here it’s best to use a tender, juicy pear variety that is on the sweeter side, such as Bartlett, Comice, Anjou, or Starkrimson. To top it off, pear cider is cooked down with maple syrup to make a simple yet delicious all-natural syrup for drizzling. Serve with bacon and eggs for a complete brunch while entertaining houseguests when the holidays roll around. These fluffy flapjacks are sure to be a new family favorite.

Makes 12 pancakes (serves 4 to 6)

Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 ripe USA Pears, coarsely shredded

Syrup

2 cups pear cider

1 cup maple syrup

2 cinnamon sticks

For Serving

Unsalted butter

Powdered sugar

To make the pancakes: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk, pumpkin purée, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the shredded pears.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until mostly combined. Set the batter aside for 10 to 20 minutes.

To make the syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cider, syrup, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Simmer until the mixture reduces by about half and is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and keep the syrup warm.

To cook the pancakes: Preheat the oven to 150 to 200˚F to keep the pancakes warm while cooking in batches.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and melt about 1 tablespoon of butter, swirling it around to coat the pan. Add 1/4 cup portions of batter to the pan, gently spreading it out with the bottom of the measuring cup. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the bottoms are nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking on the second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to the warm oven, and repeat to cook additional batches.

Serve the pancakes with pats of butter, a sprinkling of powdered sugar, and the warm cider syrup drizzled on top.

Add Pears to Your Tailgate or Watch-Party Spread

Tailgate and game watch party food are among my favorite meal categories. While I love indulging in some of the heartier game-day fare, I also like to balance things out and cleanse my palate with fresh produce. Juicy and naturally sweet USA Pears, which offer an excellent source of fiber (6 grams for a medium size), can play a crave-worthy role in any game-day menu.

A fresh, fruit salad is a staple dish I always enjoy on game day, whether it’s a get-together that I’m hosting or one where I’m attending as a guest. A fruit salad is also a crowd-pleaser, from toddlers to adults. (On a side note: The other day, my 4-year-old spotted the first pears of the season on our kitchen counter and literally squealed, “Ooh! Can I have one?” True story.)

While pears are in peak season during fall and winter, mix them into a salad with other fall fruits, like I did here in this Pear, Apple, and Grape Salad with Thyme and Walnuts. Or, if you’re a true pear connoisseur like me, use a few different pear varieties with a range of colors and textures and use just pears in your fall fruit salad!

I also add pears in my White Wine Sangria with Winter Fruits and in my mixed green salad made of spinach, arugula, pears, toasted almonds, and vinaigrette.

Happy tailgating!

Michelle Dudash, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef, and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Join her on Instagram at @michelledudash for more delicious and healthy eating inspiration.

Want more fun pear-ific recipes to please a crowd? Check out our Recipes page!

Put Your Best Fork Forward!

Woman with curly blonde hair in an orchard excitedly about to bite a fresh pearHappy National Nutrition Month! Every year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages getting back to the basics of a healthful diet, and moving toward healthful habits can be as simple as changing the next bite. Lately, I have been hearing of more nutrition and food fads and myths than usual. It seems the internet has made everyone a nutrition expert. (Insert a shrug and a sigh.) My personal pet peeve is the use of the phrases good food and bad food. Unfortunately, nutrition isn’t black and white unless you’re eating a hot fudge sundae. When I was an obese teen, I’d come home after school and cram my mouth full of snack cakes, potato chips, whatever packaged food I could find in our overstuffed pantry. These, of course, were not nutrient-dense choices and I don’t ever recommend eating this way. But can we still splurge on perceived bad foods while maintaining a healthful diet?

Yes. Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as starting with the next forkful. Each bite is important, but never splurging is an impossibility. I eventually overhauled my diet and my palate – but I didn’t start there. I started with one simple change. I added more fresh produce. Notice I didn’t say I cut out the junk, ran five miles a day, and added fresh produce, because I didn’t (at first). I made a conscious decision to add fresh foods to my plate. Sometimes it was as simple as a few carrots in addition to my chips. Sometimes it was a piece of fruit after a meal. Over time, I started to feel a little better and liked how fresh foods tasted – and it wasn’t terribly difficult to maintain one bite at a time. Now, I feel great and I definitely still splurge!

Considering it is National Nutrition Month, let’s focus on a simple change, such as improving the next bite. Do I wish as a teen I had stuffed my face with pears and carrots instead? Of course. But starting with the next bite can turn into a lifelong habit!