Just as the days got shorter, the nights grew cooler and those golden, crisp leaves started to fall, you may have noticed a wide variety of pears cropping up in your neighborhood market. From Bosc to Bartlett to Red Anjou, there are plenty of options varying in color and sizes. With a sweet, floral essence, these bell-shaped fruits are easy to love.
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A good source of vitamin C and potassium, pears can help support your immunity and heart health. But these autumn beauties are quite notable when it comes to digestion: They pack in 6 grams of fiber per medium fruit, according to the USDA, and contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, promoting regularity and overall gut health.
Pears also pack pectins — a soluble fiber that's beneficial for cholesterol control, colon health and managing GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Pectin's prebiotic potential contributes to pears' gut-health benefits. FYI, prebiotics help healthy bacteria grow, which can prevent and heal inflammation in the gut, according to an August 2019 study in Microorganisms.
Take full advantage of the fruit this season by making these gut-healthy pear dessert recipes low in sugar.
1. Cranberry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pears
Pair soft, creamy goat cheese with the tanginess of cranberry and you'll get a delightful blend of taste and texture. Fresh cranberries provide the antioxidant benefit of polyphenols and digestion-friendly prebiotics. Stuffed in a fiber-rich pear, you'll get plenty of gut-healing potential all wrapped up in a festive holiday dessert.
Get the Cranberry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pears recipe and nutrition info from The Gourmet RD.
2. Roasted Pears With Dried Plums and Pistachios
Who says indulgence can't be healthy? This dessert packs in sweet dried plums, which help keep you regular, and crunchy green pistachios for some plant-based protein. Serve it up with fresh yogurt for more satisfying protein in this fiber-packed treat.
Get the Roasted Pears With Dried Plums and Pistachios recipe and nutrition info at Nutrition Starring You.
3. Pear Almond Bundt Cake
This Pear Almond Cake is a perfect fit for your holiday dessert table. The natural sweetness of pears, almonds and cinnamon make it easy to cut back on the added sugars without losing out on taste. It's one wholesome dessert that packs in fiber from pears and oats, healthy fats from almonds and a good supply of protein from eggs.
Get the Pear Almond Bundt Cake recipe and nutrition info at Kim Hoban Nutrition.
4. Cinnamon Baked Pear With Chocolate Date Sauce
Chocolate doesn't have to be full of added sugars or an empty-calorie treat. When you prepare it with cocoa powder and naturally sweet pitted dates, you get the benefit of dietary fiber and heart-healthy potassium. Served over cinnamon-baked pears and topped with crunchy walnuts, this treat is both delicious and nourishing.
Get the Cinnamon Baked Pears With Chocolate Date Sauce recipe and nutrition info at Being Nutritious.
5. Sweet and Creamy Pear
With just three simple ingredients, this snack combo is one dessert-worthy option. It's naturally sweet with no added sugars. Part-skim ricotta provides a subtle sweetness and creamy mouthfeel with the benefit of satisfying protein, while cinnamon pulls it all together with its low-glycemic sweetness. High in fiber with protein to boot, this Sweet and Creamy Pear is a perfect treat.
Get the Sweet Creamy Pear recipe and nutritional info here.
6. Roasted Maple Pears
These Roasted Maple Pears are a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Made with apple juice and just a bit of maple syrup to enhance the naturally sweet pear, it's roasted to golden perfection and dusted with cinnamon to taste. Serve it up with a dollop of Greek yogurt to add some digestive-friendly probiotics to this high-fiber treat.
Get the Roasted Maple Pears recipe and nutritional info at Amee's Savory Dish.
7. Rosemary Wine Poached Pears
Who says you can't enjoy a little red wine in your dessert? Resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine, has been linked to cardioprotective effects including improving glucose metabolism and reducing inflammation, according to a July 2018 study in Molecules. The golden sweet pear infused with a rosemary wine reduction is filled with a blend of mascarpone, Greek yogurt and light cream cheese.
Get the Rosemary Wine Poached Pears recipe and nutritional info at Sumptuous Spoonfuls.