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Make Pears a Festive and Nutritious Addition to Your Holiday Desserts

Pears make for a great, quick, nutritious snack or a juicy addition to salads, sandwiches and more. They can even be grilled for a tasty dessert option.

To determine when a pear is ready to eat, check the neck. If the fruit near the stem gives to a little pressure, that means it’s ripe. The skin of the pear packs six grams of fiber, which means that eating just one pear a day will provide you with 20 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. Good fiber intake may help lower bad cholesterol levels. Additionally, pears are an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help protect against diseases. Pears are also a good source of healthy carbohydrates that act as fuel for your body.

Try the recipe below for a healthier dessert for the holidays:

Pear Pie Crumble Bars Recipe (adapted from Minimalistbaker.com)

Filling:

  • 4 cups peeled, cubed pears (choose whichever pears you prefer; feel free to mix and match)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Crust:

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Crumble topping:

  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour of choice
  • ¼ cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add pears to a separate baking dish along with coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, lemon, coconut oil, and cornstarch. Toss to combine.
  3. Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for 4-5 minutes more or until pears appear slightly caramelized and are tender to the touch.
  4. While the pears finish baking, add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a fine meal, making sure no large pieces remain.
  5. Add melted coconut oil and pulse a few more times until a crumbly dough forms that resembles wet sand and sticks together when squeezed between two fingers.
  6. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 350, then increase heat to 375 degrees F and bake for 5-8 minutes more, or until crust is fragrant and the edges are light golden brown. Set aside.
  8. While crust is baking, prepare crumble by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and using a fork or your fingers to mix ingredients into a crumble. Set aside.
  9. Add baked pears and their juices/sauce to the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then top with crumble topping and spread evenly to cover pears.
  10. Reduce oven heat back to 350 degrees F and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the pears topping are warm and bubbly and the crumble is golden brown.
  11. Remove squares from oven and let cool slightly - about 45 minutes. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan. Slice into even squares.