Hy-Vee at Midday: Pears are Perfect for Fall
By Judy Fitzgibbons, Hy-Vee Dietitian
Pears: perfect for fall! While apples get lots of attention this time of year, now is the peak season for pears we only see this time of year. Your area Hy-Vee stores carry as many as ten different varieties, each with a little different character.
Pears, like apples, are a good source of soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol. They earn a high NuVal score of 96. With NuVal, the higher the score, the better the nutritional value. Pears are near the top says Johnson Avenue Hy-Vee registered dietitian, Judy Fitzgibbons.
She recommends including pears in back-to-school breakfasts and lunches for the whole family. When buying pears, choose unblemished, firm fruit. Pears ripen after they are picked. Store at room temperature in a brown paper bag for three to four days until the flesh near the stem end yields to light pressure. Refrigerate once they are ripe. To delay ripening, store in the refrigerator and then set out three to four days before you wish to use them.
The small Seckel pears turn brown-sugar sweet when ripe. They're "pear-fectly" kid-sized and fit neatly into a lunch box. Wrap a crumpled paper towel around them to keep them from bruising while on the bus and to catch their abundant juice.
A new pear variety sold at Hy-Vee, French Butter, is a great cooking pear because it keeps its shape when cooked. Judy will use it to show how to make the super easy Breakfast Pear Crisp and recommends it for other recipes calling for cooked pears or apples.
Breakfast Pear Crisp
Make this in a flash for a quick breakfast or snack at work, or an after-school treat!
All you need:
1 pear (Try French Butter, Bosc or Bartlett varieties)
Dash of cinnamon sugar (optional)
½ cup or handful of granola
Dried fruit/nuts of choice
All you do:
1. Cut pear into quarters and slice out core. Slice each quarter into 4 more slices and place in microwave-safe dish.
2. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
3. Top with a handful of granola and any additional dried fruit, nuts, flax seed or other toppings. Cover lightly with a paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes at 100% power or until pear pieces are tender.