Pearfect for your health

EATING a pear a day could be a delicious secret to winding back the winter kilo creep and hitting the ground running in spring.

A CSIRO review of scientific research highlights pears as a standout for digestive health and fibre, both essential to feeling light, energetic and at our best, according to dietitian Rebecca Gawthorne.

Ms Gawthorne says it is the unique combination of nutrients in pears that promotes regularity and a healthy digestive system.

"The mix of fibre and naturally occurring sugars in pears - sorbitol and fructose - helps to keep your digestive system healthy and prevent constipation,” Ms Gawthorne said.

A pear's high fibre content (4.1g of fibre in one medium pear) also makes it one of the highest fibre fruits available and a good snack option if you are looking to lose weight.

"Pears are an easy fibre fix, providing both soluble and insoluble fibre. As well as being great for digestive and gut health, the fibre hit helps to keep you feeling full for longer and that may be helpful if you are trying to stop or wind back winter weight gain,” Ms Gawthorne said.

"I love adding pears to a smoothie for a post-workout snack, using them to top my morning oats or slicing them into my lunchtime salads. They are such a versatile fruit; it really is easy to make them a regular part of your diet.”

Pears are low GI, low allergenic, rich in protective plant compounds and contain potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.

"Just remember to eat them skin and all to gain all the goodness, as a lot of the antioxidants and phytochemicals are contained near or in the skin,” Ms Gawthorne said.

Australian pears are grown around the country and are available from early autumn until late spring.

There are eight varieties grown in Australia, each with a unique flavour and cooking qualities.

For more information on Australian pears and recipe ideas, check out: http://rediscoverthepear.com.au.

Sticky beef rib and beurre bosc pear

SERVES: 4 - 6 as a shared meal

Ingredients

BEEF:

2kg beef short ribs

5 litres water

3 cups Chinese cooking wine

2 cups dark soy

1 cup light soy

1½ cups white sugar

1 cup ginger roughly chopped

10 garlic gloves crushed

1 bunch of green shallots roughly chopped

3 cinnamon quills

8 star anise whole

1 orange, zest removed

SALAD:

2 beurre bosc pears, peeled and finely sliced

1 bunch sea parsley

1 small kohlrabi, peeled and finely sliced

1 lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil

STICKY SAUCE:

50g sugar

50ml Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Method

FOR THE BEEF:

Place all ingredients except for the meat in a stockpot and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes to bring out flavour.

To prepare the beef ribs, cut excess fat away and place in the simmering stock for 2.5/3 hours, keeping in mind that the beef should be under the stock at all times.

It is a good idea to place a piece of baking paper over the top of the beef as this helps keep it submerged.

Once cooked, remove from the stove and let the beef steep for about 1 hour.

FOR THE PEAR AND KOHLRABI SALAD:

Place sliced pear, kohlrabi, sea parsley and native pepper berry in a bowl.

Season with salt, lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Set aside.

FOR THE STICKY SAUCE:

In a pan, add 200ml of braising liquid, Chinese black vinegar and sugar and reduce to a thick sticky sauce.

Slice ribs and place on a serving platter, pour over the reduced sauce and garnish with the pear and kohlrabi salad.

AUSSIE PEARS

Williams Bon Chretien

Perfect for preserving, poaching and juicing

Packham's Triumph

Fresh with soft cheese, cooked with pork or sautéed with cinnamon for desserts

Beurre Bosc

Perfect for desserts, maintains its shape

Red Anjou

Perfect for poaching

Corella Forelle

Eat fresh or paired with aged cheese, cured meat, dark berries or nuts

Red Sensation

Use in desserts and fruit salads

Josephine De Malines

Eat fresh

Winter Nelis

Pairs with hard and soft cheese, salty nuts, salads or sweets


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