Ginger Almond Pears
Pears are one of the few fruits that actually improve in texture and flavor after being picked a little green. You can store them in a paper bag for a couple of days to speed up ripening. A little softness around the stems and a change in skin color means they're ready. Bartletts, red Bartletts, or Anjou varieties have the best flavor and are good for cooking. When the time comes for thickening the pear sauce, I prefer arrowroot over cornstarch, although it is a little harder to find. Arrowroot comes from a tropical tuber whose root stalks are dried and ground into a fine starchy powder that's very easy to digest. Sauces thickened with arrowroot are a little finer than those thickened with cornstarch but you can use either.
The most potent ingredient in this dessert, and the one that gets it into my cookbook though, is the ginger. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is known throughout the world for its tonic and spiritually uplifting properties. When used fresh, it's especially effective at improving digestion and calming nausea and indigestion - making it a great follow-up to any hearty meal.
Food as Medicine
Ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds knowns as gingerols. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of ginger can reduce pain associated with arthritis.
5 firm ripe pears
3 cups apple cider
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Salt to taste
1. Peel the pears, quarter them lengthwise, and core. Slice pears thinly and place in a saucepan with the apple cider and ginger root. Add a pinch of salt.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Dissolve cornstarch or arrowroot in 1/3 cup cold water and add to the simmering pears, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clear.
4. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Serve warm or cold.
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Nutrients Per Serving
Protein: 0.8 grams
Fat: 0.9 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.1 grams
Monounsat Fat: 0.2 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.2 grams
Carbohydrate: 46.7 grams
Fiber: 4.7 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 39.0 IU
Vitamin E: 1.0 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 8.7 mg
Calcium: 29.5 mg
Magnesium: 15.2 mg
For your free personalized supplement recommendation, visit Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor.