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What’s in Season? Pears


By Stefanie Cassetto

You can’t talk about what it’s season for Fall and not talk about apples and pears. Fall screams chilly mornings, snuggling up with a good book, and enjoying a cup of coffee and a warm piece of apple pie. Or maybe pear? Maybe I skipped to quickly to talking about dessert. But, there is something to be said of working with the fruits and veggies that are in season and making the most of it. Learning to feed your family delicious meals that highlight the best the season has to offer. And right now, you can’t beat the Fall fruits of apples and pears.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of eating pears.

This sweet fruit, known typically for it’s green exterior and white flesh is loaded with vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin A. These vitamins are important for healthy skin, eyes, and DNA. Pears are also a good source of fiber, helping to curb snacking by creating a feeling of fullness, lowering cholesterol, and protecting against heart disease. Most of think of bananas when we think of potassium—but pears provide a good alternative to the standard banana when it comes to keeping your body fueled with the right amount of potassium.

Coming in a variety of colors—red, green brown, and yellow—to match the backdrop for fall, pears are low in calories and high in nutrition. This makes them a healthy snack choice. With the powerhouse of vitamins and minerals listed above, pears have what it takes to help promote cardiovascular and colon health, protect against breast cancer, and protect against macular degeneration.

Pears are most commonly eaten raw or used in baking. To get the most fiber benefit out of a pear, make sure to leave the skin on when you eat it. You can add fresh pears to a salad, serve it with your oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, or put sliced pear on a sandwich. Pears are also good poached, grilled, or baked into a favorite dessert.

As we head into baking season, here is a recipe that keeps the traditional fruit crisp gluten-free. Keep looking for what’s fresh and in season and enjoy the health benefits from the very best that fall has to offer.

Online References
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=28
http://www.livestrong.com/article/353703-vitamins-minerals-in-pears/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/407859-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-pears/



Easy Apple and Pear Crisp Recipe

Recipe courtesy of www.glutenfreegoddess.com
Fruit crisps are easy seasonal desserts, and can be made gluten-free.

For the fruit filling:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 Yellow Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 large red pear, cored, peeled, sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw agave nectar (Stevia is a Daniel Plan Preferred Sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free Apple Pie Spice (or cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice mix)
  • Pinch sea salt

For the crisp topping:

  • 3/4 cup organic light brown sugar (Stevia is a Daniel Plan Preferred Sweetener)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free pancake and baking mix, such as Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening or vegan margarine (Daniel Plan nutritionist recommends substituting with organic, raw grass-fed butter.)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a deep 9-inch pie plate with vegan shortening (or organic, raw grass-fed butter). In a medium to large bowl, toss the apple and pear slices in the apple juice, agave (or Stevia), Apple Pie Spice, and a small pinch of sea salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the organic brown sugar (or Stevia), gluten-free flour mix, and cinnamon. Add the shortening in dabs and rub between your fingers until moist crumbs form a crumble topping mixture. Sprinkle a handful of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie plate. Spoon in the apple and pear slices; add all the liquid. Top with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. in the center of the oven, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is fork tender and the filling is bubbling and thickened. The top should be golden brown. Cool a bit on a wire rack before serving warm or at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. The crisp may be reheated in the oven or a microwave, but it truly is best eaten the day you make it.

Serves 4.