When it comes to fall fruit, apples seem to get all the attention — but let’s not forget that pear season is also at its peak right now. This means they’re likely piled high and priced right at your local grocery store.
Want a quick tip on knowing when a pear is ripe? Simply “check the neck”: Apply pressure with your thumb to the neck of the pear, by the stem. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe. If it’s still hard, leave it on the counter to ripen or put it in the fridge to save for another day.
We love pears because they’re sweet, juicy, packed with vitamin C and are an excellent source of fiber, which helps keep us feeling full and our digestive tracts happy. They make a perfect snack, especially when “peared” with protein and good fats. Here are five satisfying new ways to snack on pears this fall.
1. Cinnamon Pear Chips
As it turns out, healthy chips can be delicious. Just slice 2–3 pears super thin, sprinkle with cinnamon (and a little brown sugar, if desired) and bake them low and slow on a lightly greased baking sheet (200°F for 2—2 1/2 hours, flipping halfway through). For a balanced snack with more staying power, spoon a little cottage cheese on top of each chip.
Pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C for only 100 calories per serving. Plus, they’re sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. For additional recipes and tasty ways on incorporating pears into your diet, see here.
2. Sliced Pear and Ricotta Toast
Think avocado toast, only better. This satisfying snack features sliced Bartlett pears atop whole-grain toast with protein-packed ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts for added fiber and a boost of healthy omega-3s.
*Insider tip: The best way to judge ripeness of a Bartlett pear is its skin. The color brightens as it ripens!
3. Pear Skewers
Make this simple, packable snack by sliding pear cubes, chunks of your favorite cubed string cheese and whatever else you like (think: red grapes or avocado) onto toothpicks. Toss them into a food storage container, and hit the road.
4. Peanut Butter Pear “Cookies”
If you’re looking for a grain- and gluten-free option, this is an easy but oh-so-delicious snack. Slice a Bosc or Bartlett pear, and top each piece with peanut butter, chocolate chips, walnuts and sprinkle of toasted coconut.
5. Creamy Pear Smoothie
Don’t put your blender away just because summer is over! Ripe Bartlett pears add a boost of fiber and make smoothies that much smoother.
For a great green smoothie, combine 1 cup liquid (water, coconut water or milk), 2 cups spinach, 1 small frozen banana (previously peeled and sliced), 1 medium frozen Bartlett pear (previously chopped), 1/2 small avocado and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt in a blender, and blend until smooth.