Why eat that Twinkie when you can have FRUIT?!
That’s a rhetorical question folks. Don’t eat the twinkie, it will preserve you, perhaps for a lifetime!
Okay all jokes aside I’ve had many requests for “healthier” desserts, and this one is made pretty quickly, BONUS! The recipe uses all natural ingredients and while fruit is sweet on its own sometimes you need to jazz it up (like plain Greek Yogurt-ya just need to add somethin to it). The recipe was inspired by many and of course I created my own version with enhancements such as spices because 1) spices are medicinal! and 2) they add HUGE FLAVOR without adding fat or piles of sugar!
I chose to use Pears because they’re so hot right now.
Making appearances in pear martini’s, pear tarts (click for recipe), even pear/applesauce!
Well, who doesn’t want to try a peartini? Here, try this recipe from Cooking Light. Why not?
In reality, they’re IN SEASON so use them!
Note :that there are many substitutions to be played around with. If you don’t want to use anjou pears, use bosc or bartlett. Keep the skin on though, cause skin = fiber!
* Special Ingredient notes below.
Serves: 1 or 2 (depends on how many pear halves you like, I eat both! (recipe easily doubled).
- 1/4 cup pecans, toasted, ground (almonds or walnuts are also just as good!)
- 1 tablespoon *brown rice syrup (honey or maple syrup)
- 1 pear, sliced in half, cored (Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc)
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh *ginger juice
- pumpkin pie spice to taste (alternatively use cinnamon, cloves, ginger-your own combo)
- 3/4 cup pear or apple juice (I use Englewood farms brand) + 1 tsp additional
- 1 tsp. *Kudzu
For THE PECANS
1. Place whole pecans in a small skillet over medium heat. Tossing, toast for about 4 minutes (do not burn!). Remove from heat, let cool. Once cool, place in food processor or blender and whirl away until finely ground (not a paste-but you’ll enjoy the nut butter if you accidentally make it!).
2. Place a small saucepan on medium heat. Add rice syrup and toasted pecans. Stir. Cook until combined and thickened, about 2 minutes. Set aside. Note, this mixture will harden. It makes almost a crunchy granola-ee treat and if you have some leftover, mix it up in some oatmeal or yogurt!
For THE PEARS
1. Heat a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Place pear halves (cut side up) in pan. Add pear juice , ginger juice and spices and bring to a boil (covered). Cook until pears soften, about 7 minutes.
2. Remove pear halves and place on a serving dish. Reserve the liquid in the pan.
3. Top each half with nutty mixture, filling the carved out portion.
4. Combine *kudzu (notes below) and pear juice, mix until a foggy liquid forms then add to reserved pear liquid. Stir until thickened, then remove from heat.
5. Drizzle the saucy goodness over each pear half. If you like, dust with cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup, honey or rice syrup for a touch more of sweetness.
- Chop up the pears and serve over Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream (yes, ice cream!)
- If you don’t want to use juice, I thought of using coconut water or coconut milk for the sauce? Hmmmm. Yum!
- Try apples versus pears!
- Leftover nutty mix? Serve over yogurt or mix it in your oatmeal.
Special Ingredient Notes:
* Kudzu: is a Japanese legume where its leaves and stems are used. The root (what I use here-powder form) is starchy and is used for thickening soups and sauces, or for dredging foods to be deep-fried. I learned more about while taking a cooking classes at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI). You can purchase it in Asian and health food markets such as Whole Foods. It’s a bit pricey, but I don’t use it too often.
*Ginger Juice: I freeze my ginger root, cause I never use as much as I buy in one shot. Freeze ginger, then take out what you’ll need and thaw in the refrigerator. I did this over night, the ginger is a bit squishy when you pull it out of the fridge. Once you press on a chunk, the juicy goodness comes right out! Yummy!
*Brown Rice Syrup: A natural, gluten/allergy free sweetener. It’s a great pantry item, and it is a bit expensive. I use Lungberg BRAND. It’s less sweet than regular sugar and you can drizzle it over yogurt, use it in baking, or sauces as I did today!