Make this fibrous nutrient-rich fruit a staple of your diet. “A pear a day keeps the doctor away” doesn’t quite have the same ring as “an apple a day” but the saying is definitely true for pears. Fresh pears are excellent sources of dietary fiber. There are six grams in a medium pear, in addition to 212 grams of potassium. Pears actually have more pectin, a water-soluble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol, than apples. Pears offer the same satisfying crunch as an apple yet deliver a juicy flavor bomb associated with peaches and plums.
To judge a pear’s ripeness, apply gentle pressure with your thumb to the “neck” or stem. You want to feel for a firm texture. Don’t peel the skin before eating, since that will decrease phenolic content, making it less of an antioxidant. Freezing fresh pears is not ideal, as the fiber will separate in the thawing process, leaving a mushy, grainy texture. However, freezing cooked pears in a tightly sealed container or an airtight plastic bag works great.
Cooking pears brings out a mellow sweetness and silky texture that is undeniably delicious.