Pears are packed with nutrients and loaded with taste. Here's how to incorporate them into your meals

By Margaret Nearing

10 healthy ways to cook with pears

Three-pear salad: Slice a Red Anjou, a yellow Bartlett, the most widely grown variety in Canada‚ and a brown Bosc. Arrange slices on top of mixed greens. Crumble on a little blue cheese, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.

Side dish: Place thick pear wedges in the pan around a pork roast or pork tenderloin. Sprinkle a little chopped fresh rosemary over all, then cook in oven. Serve pork with pears spooned on the side.

Feel like Thai?
Stir-fry cubed chicken breast until cooked through. Add minced fresh ginger, and slices of pear and red pepper. Cook for a few minutes more. Serve with rice noodles, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

Warm dessert:
Halve pears, remove core and place cut sides down in a baking dish. Bake until slightly soft, about 15 minutes. Turn over fruit, drizzle with chocolate sauce and bake five minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Delicious brunch:
Grate a little ripe pear into your favourite pancake, muffin or loaf batter.

Need an easy appetizer?
Cut a firm pear into rounds, and top with a thin slice of Brie cheese. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Broil until cheese starts to melt.

Pear-fectly stuffed: Bake squash halves until tender. Fill with a mixture of chopped pear, feta, parsley and cooked couscous. Return to oven and bake until heated through.

Spice it up: Add chopped pears to chicken and vegetable curries, or stir grated pear and cucumber into yogurt as a raita on the side.

Yummy crisp:
Mix sliced pears with cranberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Top with rolled oats mixed with a little brown sugar, flour and melted butter. Bake until the fruit is soft and the topping is browned.

Versatile salsa: Combine chopped pear, jalapeno and cilantro. Squeeze in a little lime juice. Serve with salmon, white fish or chicken.

Best Health Magazine, October 2010

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