September 05, 2022
Ever notice how produce eaten in season seems to just taste better? This is true for nearly all fruits and veggies but I find the taste difference to be particularly profound when it comes to fruit. The less time and travel between the tree and your plate, the juicer, sweeter, more nutritious, and tastier fruits are.
September is the peak of pear season in Ontario. When naturally ripened, pears can be incredibly juicy and range from slightly tart to super sweet, depending on the variety. In fact, there are over 3,000 know varieties of pears around the world - varying by size, shape, sweetness, and crispness. In Ontario, the most common varieties are the Bartlett, Clapp's Favourite, Anjou, Bosc and Flemish Beauty.Why pear? As a fruit, I find the pear often gets outshined by its more ‘exotic’ cousins, like the cherry, peach, or mango. Often displayed in the produce aisle next to other ‘commoners’ like the orange and the apple, the pear often gets overlooked. An unfortunate fact, as the pear is a mighty fruit, rich in history and nutritional value.
Pear is considered to be one of the oldest grown species, growing organically as far back as the New Stone Age (over 20,000 years ago) and being cultivated by humans since 3,000 years ago. In Asia, (particularly 6th century China), the pear was considered a delicacy for the wealthy. It’s also been an important staple in the European diet for generations. The Spanish expression, “Esto es La Pera” (translated as “this is the pear”) when referring to a particularly wonderful or enjoyable experience - is used in modern day Spain to this day. In addition to its ‘fruitful’ history, the pear carries a robust nutritional profile. Pears are rich antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber. Eating one medium pear provides about 6 grams of dietary fiber, as well as 12% of your daily vitamin C needs, 10% percent of vitamin K and 6% potassium. It also has traces of calcium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B-2), vitamin B-6, and folate (vitamin B-9).
Pears, (especially red pears) also contain the phytochemical carotenoids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. What are phytochemical you may ask? They are substances naturally produced by plants - like the fruits and vegetables in our diets - which are beneficial to our health, mostly through their antioxidant properties which help to fight inflammation and neutralize free radicals.Another benefit of the pear is its versatility. The pear’s perfect proportion of texture, flavour, acidity, and sweetness makes it easily enjoyed fresh, cooked, spiced, fermented, dried, or juiced. Today, I share with you one of my personal favourite ways to enjoy the mighty pear; baked with ricotta, cinnamon, maple and walnuts.
This simple recipe is incredibly easy to make and can be enjoyed as a snack or light dessert at your next backyard barbecue. Each portion contains approximately 230 calories, 23g carbs, 13g fat, 8g protein and 4g dietary fiber. The recipe is based on 4 servings: 2 pears, each yielding 2 servings each. However, you should easily be able to fit 4 pears on one baking tray if you’re entertaining and want to make 8 servings. Simply double all of the measurements below.
Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (1 serving = half a pear)
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January 02, 2023
Are you tired of feeling less than perfect? Tired of trying to fit other people’s expectations? Tired of feeling badly about things of the past that you cannot change? The path to unconditional love is paved with acceptance, and this article explores what it takes to really accept your imperfections and truly fall in love with your flaws.
Join me on this journey of compassion and self-love. We’ll explore what it means to be truly free. To shed the shackles of self-doubt. To take bigger, more meaningful risks. To sleep a little more soundly. To be bit more productive. To be better friends, daughters, sisters, lovers. To just be better, happier humans.
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