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HEARTh and HOME – Happy Holidays! Cranberries and Pears

Pears and cranberries are both popular ingredients on holiday tables. According to the traditional song The Twelve Days of Christmas, the Christmas season begins with the gift of “a partridge in a pear tree.” Cranberries, historically known as “craneberries,” were served at the first Thanksgiving dinner.

This month, we have two recipes that feature both of these fruits but in very different ways. The first, Cranberry and Pear Bake, is a sweet dish that can either be served as a side dish or as a dessert. The second, Cranberry and Pear Salsa, can be served as an appetizer with toasted French bread or tortilla chips or as a dressing for a savory entrée.

Pears contain a number of vitamins and minerals. They boast a significant amount of dietary fiber—about 22 percent of the daily recommended value. The hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acid in pears is associated with preventing stomach and lung cancers. Pears also contain boron which helps prevent osteoporosis by giving the calcium in our bodies a boost. Additional health benefits from pears include lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Our other featured ingredient this month, the cranberry, is second only to the blueberry in antioxidant capacity per cup. They are also high in vitamins C and E and fiber and very low in sugar with only 46 calories per cup. Fresh cranberries can be stored in refrigeration in tightly sealed plastic bags for up to two months. Cranberries may be eaten cooked or raw.

 

Gluten-Free Cranberry and Pear Bake

Filling

3 medium pears, peeled and sliced

2 medium apples, peeled and sliced

12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
and patted dry

Juice of 3 limes

Zest of 1 lime

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup white cane sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon salt

 

Crumble

½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter or
butter substitute, cold and cubed

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a 9X13 inch baking pan. In a small bowl, mix together the spices, salt and sugar. In a large bowl, stir together the fruit, lime juice, vanilla, zest and dry ingredients. In another bowl, use a pastry blender to combine gluten-free flour blend, cold butter, sugar and oats. Pour the fruit filling into the prepared pan. Spread the crumble mixture on top. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the topping looks golden. Serve warm as a side or as a dessert with vanilla ice cream.

 

Cranberry and Pear Salsa

12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
and patted dry

½ cup white cane sugar

3 pears, peeled and chopped

2 apples, peeled and chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup water

4 shishito peppers, chopped

¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped

¼ cup (about two) green
onions, chopped

½ small white onion, chopped

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

Freshly ground salt and black
pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Mix fresh cranberries and chopped pears and apples. Stir in sugar and lime juice. Set aside. Bring water to a boil and add fruit blend. Simmer for five minutes. Pour into blender and blend into a sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped peppers, onions and cilantro (if using.) Add salt and black pepper to taste. Stir together fruit sauce and vegetables in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for about an hour before serving to allow the flavors to integrate. Serve chilled.

 

Food Facts:
https://foodfacts.mercola.com/pears.html
https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/ cranberries-year-round-superfood
http://www.whfoods.com/

Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager and podcast co-host for Conscious Community Magazine. She enjoys improvising in the kitchen and creating recipes with her loved ones and is very grateful for their suggestions, feedback and assistance. Visit www.perennialmusicandarts.com and www.janaejean.com for updates, articles and more.

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