December is National Pear Month and it’s definitely the right time of year to celebrate! We so often associate fruit with summer, but we’ve found some delicious winter recipes that use pears. If you’re still planning your holiday menus be sure to include some of these pear-forward dishes.

Nutritional Benefits of Pears

High in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, pears pack quite a punch. Pears are one of the fruits highest in fiber, with each pear providing 21% of the daily fiber recommendation. Eating the right amount of fiber can decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes. Plus, it has no saturated fat, cholesterol, added sugars, or sodium.

Most adults in the US aren’t eating enough fruit – start including more pears in your diet so you aren’t one of them! (If you are one of them, consider making an appointment with one of our dietitians to help you create a more balanced diet.) Pears are a healthy and easy option for increasing your fruit intake. They are super juicy and yummy and available in just about every grocery store. Pears are one of the most cultivated fruits in the world and most of them are grown in the US, so your food isn’t traveling too far to get to you.

Are they ready to eat?

If you’re like me, you love pears, but find it hard to know when they’re ready to eat. If you eat them too early, they are flavorless and hard as rocks. If you eat them too late, they’re mealy. But get a pear at the right time and it is sweet, juicy perfection.

Pears don’t ripen on the tree – all of the ripening happens from the inside out after picking. This is good news because that means that, even if you buy your pears on the harder side, they will continue to ripen on your kitchen counter. You know that it’s ready to eat when the area near the stem yields to pressure when you push on it (here is a guide from the pear experts!)

Recipes for Celebrating National Pear Month

Including pears can elevate your holiday menu (and provide all those great benefits we talked about earlier!). Try some of our favorite recipes this holiday season:

  • Decadent pear desserts. Try Wine Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce from Delish Knowledge. All of your guests will be impressed when this one comes out of the kitchen! (If you’re looking for something a little less refined that you can make ahead, try her Ginger Pear Crisp)
  • This pear appetizer doesn’t need to be kept warm before serving, looks really fancy, and can be made with only 3 ingredients. That’s a win-win-win in our book.
  • Whether you’re gathering with family to open presents or heading out to look at Christmas lights with the kiddos, this apple-pear cider is a perfect complement. Trust me, you won’t regret adding the pear juice to your apple cider!

Share your favorite pear recipes with us! We’re always looking for something new and yummy to make.