It’s Halloween and chances are, you are seeing candy everywhere. For those of you trying to stay on your diet, we’ve got the recipe for you. It uses some pretty “spooky” pears!
Before we get to this fantastic recipe. I think we should all learn a little something about these wondrous fruits.
Pears: A Brief History
Most of us can recognize a tasty pear in any grocery store, but what do you really know about these fruits?
Well, pears are actually members of the rose family of plants. Ever heard of Rosaceae? That’s right. They are related to those lovely roses you see on Valentine’s Day. The Rosaceae family also includes (but is not limited to) apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and even almonds!
Now, the pears that most of us are all familiar with are known as European Pears. These are the pears that are characterized by a round body that tapers into the neck of the fruit, typically of varying lengths. This is the type of pear you will need for this amazing recipe below.
Obviously, fruits are recommended to be part of a balanced diet. Clearly, pears are a tasty treat, but most of us probably don’t know the health benefits of them. Well, to make it clear, let’s break it down into some bullet points.
The benefits of pairs:
- They contain phenolic phytonutrients and flavonoids, which have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
- They have high levels of dietary fiber shown to be related to its anti-carcinogenic effects, as well as supporting heart health.
- They have high levels of certain flavonoids shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Certain pears, of red or orange color, contain high levels of β-carotene shown to support eyesight.
- They contain an interesting anti-oxidant known as Chlorogenic Acid, which has been associated with lower blood pressure.
So, one medium-sized pear contains about 100 calories. Interestingly, about 84% of a pear this size is water. With regards to its macronutrients, you’ll see around 0.6 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs (primarily fructose), and 0.2 grams of fat. Additionally, they contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Copper.
A Weight Loss Study
An interesting study using pears was performed by researchers at the State University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. 411 overweight women were recruited from the University Primary Care Center. Subjects were divided into 1 of 3 groups. Each group asked participants to consume a different dietary supplement (apples, pears, or oat cookies) 3 times per day for 12 weeks in addition to a hypo-caloric diet as instructed by a nutritionist.
After the 12 weeks, researchers found that the fruit groups saw significantly greater weight loss than that of the oat cookie group. Additionally, blood glucose was found to be significantly lower in the fruit groups compared to that of the oat cookie group. This study concluded that adherence to a hypocaloric diet utilizing fruits such as pears may contribute positively to weight loss efforts.
Now, understanding your genetics can play a key role in knowing if and how you would benefit from the consumption of pears. This becomes very relevant when we look at certain genes. To understand this, let’s throw it in a chart to make it easier to understand.
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SPOOKY PEARS WITH CASHEW CREAM RECIPE
4 cups of almond milk
1 cup of cashew nuts
1/4-cup wheat flakes (this aids digestion)
Optional: 2 spoons agave to sweeten
Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of water and leave overnight.
Peel the pear skins off and place the pears in a pot with the almond milk. Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot and simmer, allowing the pears to poach for 20 minutes.
In the meantime drain the water from overnight cashew and add 1/4 cup of fresh water to them. Blend this together to a creamy consistency. If you prefer a sweeter cashew cream add the agave to the blend.
Place the raisins in the pears so they look like a face and sit them above the cashew cream. Sprinkle with wheat flakes for a little crunch and the remaining raisins.
Sources and References:
de Oliveira, M. C., Sichieri, R., & Moura, A. S. (2003). Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women. Nutrition, 19(3), 253-256.
Gunnars, K. (n.d.). Pears 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/pears/
Pears. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=28