You can find pears in supermarkets year-round, but they’re most flavorful in the fall months. Depending on the variety, pears may be slightly crisp or very soft when fully ripe. Popular varieties include the russet-colored Bosc, a crisp pear with an elongated neck; the aromatic Bartlett, which is often used for canning; and the Anjou, a versatile, egg-shaped pear that’s good both raw and cooked. Both Bartletts and Anjous come in both green and red varieties.
Pears are a good source of fiber and several beneficial plant compounds (phytochemicals), including catechins. Also found in apples and cocoa, catechins may help lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel health, and discourage blood clots.
Sliced pears pair well with nuts and cheese for a healthy snack; they’re also good added to fall salads. For a simple dessert, try baked pears with cinnamon. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out the core and seeds with a melon baller. Place cut side up in a baking pan, sprinkle with cinnamon, and drizzle with a little maple syrup or honey. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until tender.
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