Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight On The Health Benefits Of The Pear

In this blog, I wanted to spotlight the health benefits of the pear.

Pear

Pears are a popular choice for many consumers, especially in the fall when they are abundant. Like the banana and apple, pears are convenient to eat and are quite tasty. They are sweet and have a soft, appealing texture. Pears are loaded with many nutrients that help your body function optimally too.

Some nutrients in pears include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • And more

Pears grow on trees that produce a high energy, nutrient dense fruit. While pears do contain some natural sugar, they are one of the lowest calorie fruits available. Pears contain right around 100 calories, making them a popular choice for many people, especially those looking to lose weight. Pears contain a healthy amount of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestion process. The high fiber content, which helps make you feel full, coupled with an assortment of vitamins and minerals, makes the pear a perfect food choice and delicious snack.

pear tree

There are other health benefits of the pear too. Pears are an anti-inflammatory food and can help boost your immune system, which is great, especially for those suffering from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Pears also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and are beneficial in the prevention of a number of different forms of cancers. In addition, pears help improve blood circulation and may help build your red blood cell count, making them a good choice for many, especially those dealing with iron deficiency anemia.

Pears come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, there are approximately 3000 different species of pears available world-wide.  Wow—that’s quite an assortment. Some varieties look similar to the apple, where others have more of an elongated look and still others have several color tones, making them unique.

pear varieties

Pears can eaten for breakfast, enjoyed as a snack, or mixed in your favorite smoothie or bowl with other healthy ingredients. There are many possibilities.  Some people enjoy baking with pears too. Pears make a tasty pie, cobbler, crisp, muffins and more.

Make sure you reach for this nutrient dense fruit, while it is in season to enjoy its many health benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pears.html

Jolly, Rajan Singh. “The Nutritional And Health Benefits Of Pears.” HubPages, HubPages, 3 Jan. 2016, hubpages.com/health/The-Nutritional-And-Health-Benefits-Of-Pears.

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

With The Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought I would share a recipe for some Red White And Blue Spiked Berries I made the other weekend. Although this dessert is spiked with a little wine, it does include some healthy berries and slivered almonds, which contain protein, good fat and other healthful vitamins and antioxidants. Before I share the recipe however, I thought would share a little story.

Fourth of July
4th of July

I know I just wrote a blog on 5 Simple Ideas To Plan Meals, but I wanted to share an experience I recently had with meal planning. The other weekend, I had my sister and a friend up to the lake. As I was thinking about what we should have for our meals, I thought it might be fun to try some new recipes from a cookbook that my daughter gave me the other year. Although I like to try new recipes from time to time, when I cook I typically wing it and make meals with the food I have on hand, or change recipes up a bit to make them healthier. I thought this particular weekend however, it would be good to practice a little meal planning of my own. Anyway—we picked out 4 recipes from my cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, to make including the Wine Spiked Berries With Ricotta. We then made a grocery list of the things we needed to buy that I didn’t have on hand and made our way to the store for the rest of the ingredients.

berries
berries

The one day we made 3 recipes from the book and for breakfast the next morning we used the Turkey Arugula Frittata recipe, but we decided to change it up a bit and create a Healthy Breakfast Spinach Tomato Sausage Frittata version instead. It turned out to be delicious. Maybe you saw my blog on that one?

ALT Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Healthy Breakfast—Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Anyway—I have to say the weekend, the meal planning and the food, all turned out great. We all helped out with the food prep and had a good time doing it. Oh— and the Wine Spiked Berries, which we added strawberries and almonds to were delightful. Here is the recipe for my version.

Red White And Blue Spiked Berries

Spiked Berries
Spiked Berries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup plus sugar, plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 cups mixed strawberries, blueberries and blackberries (You can also use raspberries or another type of berry.)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds

Using a sharp paring knife, cut two 2- to 3-inch strips of zest from the orange. Using  a grater, remove 1 tsp. finely grated zest from another section of the orange. Reserve the orange for another use.

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, the 1/2 cup sugar and the orange zest strips and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about one-third, (simmer about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.

Put the berries in a bowl. Remove the zest strips from the syrup and pour over the berries.

In a food processor or mixer, combine the ricotta, Grand Marnier, vanilla, grated orange zest and the 2 Tbs. sugar and mix until smooth. Spoon the berries with some syrup into glasses or small bowls and layer with the ricotta mixture. Top with slivered almonds and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Barb

Source:

{“isAjaxComplete_B004SOPF1I”:”0″,”isAjaxInProgress_B004SOPF1I”:”0″} Karen Ansel (Author) › Visit Amazon’s Karen Ansel Page Find All the Books, Read about T. “Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day Hardcover – April 3, 2012.” Healthy in a Hurry (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day: Karen Ansel, Charity Ferreira: 9781616282134: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2017.

Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight On Bananas

In this post, I wanted to spotlight the banana.

I don’t know about you, but I love bananas. They are both delicious and nutritious. Many consumers like bananas because they are convenient to grab on the go and have a sweet taste and a creamy texture. Bananas are loaded with a bunch of nutrients your body needs and craves. They also contain a fair amount fiber, which aids in the digestion process and helps to balance friendly bacteria in the gut.

Some nutrients in the banana include the following:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Protein
  • and More

While bananas do contain natural sugar, they rank low to medium on the glycemic index. This means they don’t increase your blood sugar level very fast, which is good, especially for diabetics.

Bananas have other health benefits too. Bananas are not only loaded with important antioxidants that benefit your well being, but may also support heart health. Bananas contain the mineral potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Bananas can also make you feel full, as they contain a resistant starch, which is an indigestible carbohydrate and works like a soluble fiber in your body. Bananas and other fruit digest slower than most processed foods and trigger satiety hormones to help prevent over eating.

While most people assume bananas grow on trees, they actually are considered the largest herbaceous flowering plant and can grow 10-26 feet high.

Bananas grow in clusters with individual bunches known as hands. They kind of look like a pod that grows down from a branch and then opens with individual banana fruit.

It is a fascinating plant.

Many people eat bananas for breakfast or enjoy them as an afternoon snack. They also make a great post-work out food. Bananas can also be added to smoothies, yogurt or sliced over a piece of peanut butter toast. They also are great for baking and make delicious bread, muffins, pudding and pies.

Hope you are including the banana in your diet for its many health benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

“11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas .” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

“Bananas.” Bananas. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

“Banana.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

5 Reasons to Add Avocados To Your Diet…

Ah avocados! They are one of nature’s finest fruits. I’ve always thought of them as a vegetable, but they actually are considered a large berry and are bursting with healthy nutrients that our bodies love. Some nutrition experts actually rank them as one of the top five healthiest foods on the planet.

avacados

Often times when people think of avocados, they think of guacamole, which is a tasty dip made from mashed avocados.  Avocados however, not only make a tasty appetizer, but make other tasty dishes great! You can find them combined with a variety of Mexican entrees and other side dishes, as well as in sandwiches, wraps and salads. You can also add them to your smoothies for an additional burst of nutrients, as well as add them in baked goods and more.

av

Following Are 5 Reasons To Add Avocados To Your Diet:

  1. Rich in vitamins—Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins including vitamin A and potassium. They are also rich in B  vitamins that help us fight infections and disease and vitamins C and E that help fight cancer.
  2. Contains Healthy Fat—Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which is considered a healthy fat and can help lower bad cholesterol.
  3. Loaded With Fiber—Avocados are loaded with fiber and help give us a full feeling. The fiber also helps to support a healthy digestive tract, as well helps guard against cancer, kidney stones and other diseases.
  4. Rich in Potassium— Avocados are rich in potassium, which helps to support blood pressure in the body.  Many people reach for a banana when they want to add more potassium to their diet, but reaching for an avocado is actually better, as it contains more potassium. Combining them both together in a smoothie is a smart decision.
  5. May Help With Weight Loss—Avocados are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which some studies show helps to promote weight loss. Dr. Mark Hyman, in his book, “Eat Fat Get Thin,” promotes eating avocados for their healthy fat, as well as their nutrient-dense properties.

The important thing to remember is that avocados are healthy and good for you. So the the next time you are out grocery shopping, go ahead and reach for an avocado or two. Your body will be glad you did.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/all-about-avocados

https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-mark-hyman-author-of-eat-fat-get-thin-eats-every-day-2016-3/#instead-of-steak-or-ribs-fatty-fish-4