Nutrition-wise blog

Apples and pears — more than out of hand

By Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. October 10, 2015

Apples and pears are tree fruit that are delicious simply eaten out of hand. However, why limit yourself to one way of enjoying them?

Finding a novel way to eat a common food can be a delicious new discovery. It's also an opportunity to include more nutritious fruit in your diet.

Both apples and pears come in many varieties. Your market may have regional varieties that are unique to your location. Ask for a sample and recommendations of how to enjoy them.

Any variety of apple or pear can be used for any purpose — fresh, cooked or preserved. However, some are better options for certain uses. Here are few examples.

Apples:

  • Golden Delicious, Stayman, Winesap, Cortland, Macoun and Honeycrisp are considered all-purpose apples. Enjoy them fresh, cooked into sauces, and baked in pies and crisps.
  • Northern Spy, Granny Smith and Rome Beauty varieties bake well.
  • Crabapples are best cooked into sauces, jams or relish.

Pears:

  • Bartlett pears, also called William pears, add flavor to cordials and preserves.
  • Bosc, Anjou, Seckel and Forelle pears are all sweet varieties that can be poached, baked and canned.
  • Asian pears are excellent in salads.

Apples and pears are good sources of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and other vitamin and minerals. All this goodness is packed into a small apple or pear that has only about 80 calories.

I have to admit, my favorite way to enjoy these fruits "as is," but I also put apples in my oatmeal and crisp pear slices in my salad. How will you enjoy these tree fruits?

Oct. 10, 2015