Pears are very versatile and can be easily used as a snack, or added to an appetizer, salad or dessert. While they can be used in a variety of different dishes, they keep their nutrients best when they are eaten fresh and not cooked. Once they are cut, the flesh of the pear will turn brown. To prevent this from happening, place the pear slices in a bowl of 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. When you are ready to eat the pear, simply use a colander to strain the pear slices.
Three Reasons to Eat Pears
- Pears are rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation and promotes regularity. The fiber in pears also binds to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, preventing them from damaging colon cells.
- Pears are a good source of vitamin C, copper and vitamin K.
- One medium-sized pear contains 98 calories.
How to Select & Store Pears
- Select: Look for pears that are firm, but not too hard and without brown bruises. Pears will be ready to eat once they give way to gentle pressure. Avoid overripe pears because they have lost their nutritional value.
- Store: Keeping ripe pears in the refrigerator will help keep them longer, usually up to three days.
- Ripen: If you purchase unripe pears, simply place them in a paper bag at room temperature in a cool dark place for 2 to 3 days.
Different Types of Pears
Although there are thousands of varieties of pears, these are the most common types purchased in the US:
- Anjou: These have smooth yellow-green skin and a creamy white flesh.
- Bartlett: These large pears turn from dark green to golden yellow when ripe.
- Bosc: These pears have a long neck and rough brownish skin, with a crunchy texture.
- Comice: These pears are the most sweet of the common pear varieties.
- Asian: These pears look more like apples than pears, and are very crunchy.