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

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

5 Hearty Pear Soups to Warm Your Winter

Few things warm the body and soul like a bowl of soup in the wintertime. When it’s cold outside, soup can bring a sense of nourishment and comfort. The winter months also happen to be an ideal time to experiment in the kitchen since the frigid temperatures keep many of us inside. Pears may not be an ingredient that immediately comes to mind when you think of soup, but they can bring a unique flavor and texture to both sweet and savory soups. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C, making them a nutritious and delicious ingredient. Whether sautéed with vegetables before stock is added, roasted and pureed to blend with stocks, or simply chopped and added to an already simmering broth, pears are a fun and tasty way to step up your Continue reading

12 Creative Ways to Poach a Pear

How many ways can you poach a pear? There may not be a set answer when you consider that the pear-ssibilities are endless. The classic go-to seems to be red or white wine poached pears, which is definitely one of the prettiest and most decadent ways to poach. But when it comes to poaching, sometimes it’s worth it to think outside the pear box. Besides wine, pears can be poached in cider, bold and flavorful beers like stouts and Belgian ales, and even espresso, among other liquids. Restaurants love to impress diners with beautifully poached pear dishes because, besides being delicious, they are visually striking. Even though poached pears may look challenging to make, most recipes are easier than you might think. December is National Pear Month and the time of year when all ten varieties of Northwest pears are Continue reading

Pear and Sausage Stuffing

Whether you are a “stuffing” or a “dressing” kind of person, pears add a magical twist when served alongside your holiday bird. Because they are sautéed and then baked, the pears are meant to be meltingly soft in this side dish, and any variety will do. Sausage adds a piquant kick, and don’t skimp on those fresh herbs. Consider this recipe another delicious vehicle for getting pears on your Thanksgiving table. Serves 8 Ingredients: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing and brushing 1 (20-ounce) loaf white bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped 3 celery ribs, chopped 12 ounces mild Italian pork sausage (casings removed if the sausage is in links) 2 ripe USA Pears, stemmed, cored, and cut into Continue reading

3 Sweet Reasons to Choose Pears if You Have Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month and it’s also a great time to find perfectly ripe pears, which comes in handy since pears have a lot of the attributes we recommend in a diet to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Pears are a low glycemic index (and low glycemic load) food – a medium-sized pear ranks 38 on the glycemic index – which means they have a mild effect on blood sugar levels. While there isn’t a cure for diabetes (yet!), we do know that food is a very powerful tool that can be used to reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life. As registered dietitians, we see the power of food every day, and the research supports just how much of an effect food can have on reducing the impact of diabetes. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with type Continue reading

Eating Seasonally

Pears with mother and son

You may have heard mention of the importance of eating seasonally, but what does that mean and why does it matter? Eating produce when it is in season is not a new idea, in fact, it was the norm before industrialized agriculture and giant grocery stores. The general idea is that we eat foods when they are naturally harvested, such as berries in the summer and pears starting in the fall. The nutritional benefit is that seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to pack more nutrients and richer flavors than foods that should ripen before being harvested or during shipment. And in this way, seasonal foods tend to be cheaper and less damaging to the environment. An interesting fact about pears is that optimal ripening actually occurs after being harvested and cold storage, and therefore, they are available nearly year-round! So Continue reading

Three Reasons & Ways to PEAR More Often This School Year

By Ashley Koff RD* An apple for the teacher? Why not a pear?! I love pears, so I get especially excited during this time of year. Pear season is kicking off (look for Bartletts, Red Bartletts and Starkrimsons!), and before I share some of my favorite ways to enjoy pears, I thought I would tell you a little about the nutritional benefits of this healthy, in-season fruit. Pears pack fiber – If you are trying to improve your fiber intake,** then pears are your better choice. A medium pear provides about 6 grams, which is a great way to help you meet your daily fiber goals. Plus, fiber helps you feel full and satisfied longer, so when it comes to smart snacking, fiber is a must. Pears have excellent skin – with pears it’s best to eat the skin for Continue reading