All posts by genottingham

An Asian Pear Epiphany by Grace Nottingham

 

Asian Pears: The Hypoallergenic Fruit

Did you now that pears are the only fruit allowed on elimination diets used to test allergy sufferers¹?

  • Antioxidant quercetin is present in the skin, similar to apples. Quercetin helps prevent cancer and heart disease, and can also act as an anti-inflammatory.
  • The flesh contains a potentially anti-cancer phytonutrient called cinnamic acid (seen below).
  •  
  • Pears are a good source of fiber, each containing 4 grams or 22% of your RDI.
  • They are also a good fruit source for those who are diabetic, due to their low GI of 38. This allows a slow increase in blood sugar when consuming them. They have recently received a lot of recognition for their cancer fighting flavenoids.
  • When the pulp is taken out of pear juice, it loses 40% of its nutrients, so make sure to save the pulp!

    Macronutrients

rsz_screen_shot_2014-10-17_at_100255_am

Micronutrients

rsz_screen_shot_2014-10-17_at_100326_am


What to Look For
  • Asian pears will always be firm and crunchy until they are overripe, so it’s best to tell ripeness on the smell. They are best ripened on the tree, as opposed to their European counterpart.
  • Some Asian pears succumb to internal browning during storage, and the insides become mushy and brown. The varieties most susceptible to this are Daisui Li, Olympic, Serui, Shin Li, Shinko, Tsu Li, and Ya Li
  • Asian pears can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks, and up to six months in commercial storage.
  • Some of the sweeter varieties include Ichiban nashi, NijisseikiKosui, and Shinseiki.

Asian pears growing


Preparation

While you can peel the skin off, it is best to simply wash the fruit and eat it with the skin on due to the many beneficial nutrients stored there. But, if you don’t find it too great by itself, try the recipe below.

Asian Pear Maple Crisp 

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 large Asian pears
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs water
  • Crisp:
  • 1 1/2 cup of oats
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of melted Country Crock
  • 2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbs finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Core and chop the Asian pears. Combine the chopped Asian pears, sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans in a bowl and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Transfer the pears into a greased 9-inch round or an 8×8 casserole dish. Pour the water over the pears, that will keep more moisture in the dish.
  3. In the bowl, combine the ingredients for the crisp and mix very well, until all incorporated. Spread the crisp over the pears, evenly.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

    Bibliography:

  • ¹Ad/Health Claim source: http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/the-benefits-of-pears/#ixzz3GPPooGH2
  • Photo 1: http://layoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/pears.jpg
  • Cinnamic acid photo:  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Zimts%C3%A4ure_-_Cinnamic_acid.svg/270px-Zimts%C3%A4ure_-_Cinnamic_acid.svg.png
  • Macronutrients/Micronutrients: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2074/2#
  • What to look for : http://www.cooksinfo.com/asian-pears, http://www.hartmannursery.com/AsianPr.htm
  • Growing pears photo: http://www.2020site.org/trees/img/SlideshowAsianPear.jpg
  • Preparation:http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/2013/09/asian-pear-maple-crisp.html

Rutabaga: Your New Favorite Turnip

Call me swede-ie!


Health Benefits:

  • Extremely high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help fight against cancer
  • Contains over 50% of your daily recommended vitamin C
  • Rich in potassium and manganese, which provides energy
  • Good source of zinc, a mineral that aids in the function of many enzymes

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/DM-Resize/photos.demandstudios.com/7/25/fotolia_9245752_XS.jpg?w=360&h=360&keep_ratio=1

 


Macronutrients:

http://quitehealthy.com/nutrition-facts/food-labels/label114351.gif


Micronutrients:

  • Calcium: 66 mg
  • Iron: 0.73 mg
  • Magnesium: 32 mg
  • Phosphorus: 81 mg
  • Potassium: 472 mg
  • Sodium: 28 mg
  • Zinc: 0.48 mg
  • Vitamin C: 35.0 mg
  • Thiamine: 0.126 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.056 mg
  • Niacin: 0.980 mg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.224 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.140 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
  • Folate: 29 mcg
  • Vitamin A: 3 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.42 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0.4 mcg

Phytonutrients:

  • beta Carotene: 1 mcg
  • beta Cryptoxanthin: 0 mcg
  • Lycopene: 0 mcg
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin: 0 mcg

In the Garden:

Ideally, rutabagas should should be harvested in Autumn when they are poking out of the ground, as seen above. They should be 3-5 inches wide, or approximately the size of a grapefruit.

If not ready for harvest, they can be left in the ground. Cover them with mulch so they do not freeze and harvest them in the spring.


Pepare and Enjoy:

Begin by cutting the rutabaga in half, then slicing those halves into half inch slabs. Peel the outer skin off of the sections with a knife and discard the skin and tops and bottom of the root.

Many people enjoy Mashed Rutabaga

  • Dice the sliced and peeled rutabaga into cubes
  • Add these cubes to a pot, adding water so that the cubes are completely covered.
  • Let the water boil, then lower to a simmer for 40-50 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain the water, then mash the vegetable with a potato masher. Add 2-3 tbsp butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot as a side

Sources:

  • Health Benefits: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/rutabaga.html
  • Health Benefits and Photo:  http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-rutabagas-4398.html
  • Macronutrients: http://quitehealthy.com/nutrition-facts/food-labels/label114351.gif
  • Micronutrients: http://nutrition.about.com/od/fruitsandvegetables/p/Rutabagas.htm
  • Growing and photo: http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-rutabagas/
  • Cooking and photos: http://www.irishamericanmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/IMG_0340.jpg