If I ask you how many types of apples you can name, you could spend a good time doing it, as the United States alone grows over 100 types. And what about pears? How many can you list? Green Anjou, Red Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Forelle, Concorde. This list is not as long, as there are only ten varieties of US pears, but the cool thing is that they are also packed with nutrients, and they are still in season until the beginning of winter. Let’s learn more about them!

Pears were originally a northern hemisphere plant, as it flourishes in colder climates. They are thought to have originated in China, in the region closer to middle Asia, and in Europe. The Romans cultivated pears and ate them just like apples, and had recipes written with the fruit as early as in the first century A.D.

Pears are not only delicious, but they are packed with great nutrients like vitamin C, which can help you fight colds, keep your teeth healthy and helps you absorb iron better. Pears also contains the mineral copper, which helps make your organs and, like vitamin C, works as an antioxidant, helping you be protected against diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and heart diseases. Another nutrient found in pears is potassium, a mineral essential for your muscle function and keeping healthy fluid levels in your organs. The fiber in the skin is great for feeding the good bacteria in your gut and fills your stomach for longer than if you take the skin off. One medium pear contains about 8 percent of your daily need of vitamin C, 6 percent of copper, 4 percent of potassium and 21 percent of fiber. It’s a handful of nutrition!

Just like apples, pears are super easy to carry as a snack or to have after meals to help you absorb your nutrients better. But you don’t have to eat them raw all the time, pears are also great in warm dishes. They can be cooked in syrup and served with whipped cream, baked in tarts, pies, and cobblers. Make sure to find your favorite and explore all your possibilities with this fruit!

Pear Crisp

For filling:

8 medium pears, sliced

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon All Purpose flour (or cornstarch)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of salt

For topping:

¾ cup rolled oats

½ cup All Purpose flour

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of ground nutmeg

A pinch of salt

5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled (can use coconut oil)

Instructions

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Make the Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the mixture and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.

3. Make the Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt. Add the pears and gently stir with a rubber spatula until evenly coated. Transfer the pear mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish.

4. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling. Transfer the dish to the prepared foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the fruit is bubbling around the edges and the topping is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool until warm, about 15 minutes.

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