Besides the holiday season, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fall fruit is arriving by the barrelful, and it’s time to enjoy the bounty.
Apples and pears both boast fiber, flavor, and phytochemicals in addition to being delicious. A previous study also found that eating an apple or pear a day was associated with a 52% risk reduction in stroke.1 With so many varieties to choose from, you can enjoy these seasonal fruits for months. Here are 12 ways to start.
- Start with breakfast. Add chopped apples and cinnamon to rolled oats. This adds flavor and texture without the extra sugar.
- Another breakfast treat includes sliced pears with ginger and honey in plain Greek yogurt. A sprinkle of chopped cashews or almonds adds a bit of crunch.
- At snack time, enjoy apple slices with peanut or almond butter. Dust them with ground nutmeg or cinnamon before eating.
- If you’ve got more time, cut pears into fours and brush with 1 tsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Broil for 10 minutes. Cool before eating.
- In your salads, add 2 thinly sliced Granny Smith apples to 6 cups fresh spinach or arugula. Drizzle with a dressing made with 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a tsp. of Dijon mustard. Add 2 Tbsp. feta cheese and ¼ cup chopped pecans.
- Try an apple and cheddar quesadilla. Place ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese and ½ of a sliced Gala or honey crisp apple in a whole wheat tortilla. Fold over and grill in a medium skillet using non-stick spray.
- Make a roast beef and pear roll-up. Add 2-3 slices of thinly sliced pears to a whole wheat tortilla, with 2-3 slices of lean roast beef, 1 slice Swiss cheese, and 1 tsp. honey mustard. Roll up and eat. This sweet, salty combination is delicious!
- In your side dishes, add peeled, chopped apples to sweet potatoes and boil for 30 minutes. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, ¾ cup orange juice, and 1 tsp. cinnamon and mash. Serve warm. Who needs marshmallows?
- For a fun snack, try an apple sandwich. Slice the bottom and to off of a crisp Gala or Granny Smith apple, then slice into ¼” slices. Layer an apple slice with almond butter, flaked coconut, and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with another apple slice and enjoy it.
- Make a pear compote to serve with chicken, pork or fish. Combine 2 ripe, firm pears that have been cored and chopped. Add ¼ cup raisins, 1/3 cup apple or grape juice, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. apple cider or red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp. sea salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place pears, raisins, apple juice, and cinnamon in a small pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or until the liquid starts to thicken and the pears begin to fall apart.
- For a more delicious dinner, top a seasoned pork tenderloin with chopped apples before you cook it in a slow cooker. Add a dash of cumin and cinnamon for flavor.
- At a party, serve sliced pears with blue cheese in a leaf of endive as an appetizer. Top with chopped pecans and drizzle with honey or pure maple syrup before serving.
- Linda M. Oude Griep, W. M. Monique Verschuren, Daan Kromhout, Marga C. Ocké, Johanna M. Geleijnse. Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of Stroke. Stroke, 2011