Fall has arrived and along with the changing leaves comes a calendar packed with holiday parties, potlucks and other festivities. Looking for a simple dessert? This easy baked pear recipe can be prepared in about 30 minutes and is full of healthy ingredients to help balance rich holiday meals.
“Pears are packed with fiber and vitamin C,” says Stephanie Metzner, registered dietitian and project manager at Sharp Rees-Stealy. “At only 100 calories for a medium pear, it’s a filling snack that fits within a healthy eating plan.”
Another star in this simple dish — cinnamon — features much more than just a nostalgic seasonal scent. “Cinnamon is full of antioxidants,” says Metzner. “It is also an excellent source of manganese, which can help protect your heart.”
Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that adding cinnamon to foods may lessen the rise in blood sugar after eating and may lower gastric emptying rates.
Looking to do more with pears? Metzner recommends the classic combination of pear, arugula and goat cheese tossed with balsamic vinaigrette for a delicious salad; barley or quinoa mixed with dried cranberries and pear as a side dish; or pear and butternut squash soup.
Baked Pears With Honey
Have leftovers? Pair that pear with Greek yogurt for a healthy and tasty breakfast.
Yields 4 servings (1/2 pear per person)
2 large ripe pears
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1/4 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
Dollop of vanilla yogurt or frozen yogurt (optional)
Heat oven to 350° F. Cut pears in half and use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out seeds. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle the cinnamon evenly across pear halves. Top with walnuts (if desired) and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of honey over each half. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool. Serve in a bowl with frozen yogurt (if desired).