You'll be glad you picked a pear

Fruit_Three-Pears YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU PICKED A PERFECT PEARThis month, you’ll notice an increase in the most divine perfectly ripe and juicy pears in your Fruit at Work boxes. If the colour doesn’t tempt you alone, take a look at how biting into one of these world favourites can help you stay healthy at work!

 

Low in calories and an excellent source of dietary fibre, pears contain no saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a low GI food. They also:

 

Boost our immune system

Essential to fight off illness and disease, pears contain antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium and copper, which boost our immune system by fighting off free radicals. Pears also have anti-carcinogen glutathione, which helps control high blood pressure.

 

Help lower cholesterol

Pears contain pectin, which helps tone the intestines and keep cholesterol under control. The pectin also acts as a diuretic and has a natural laxative effect.

 

Increase energy levels

Your body absorbs glucose when you eat a pear, and this converts to energy – the perfect remedy for lethargy, especially in the afternoon.

 

Improve digestive health

Pears contain a lot of fibre, essential for a healthy digestive system as it keeps food moving efficiently.

 

Assist our bones

Pears contain a good source of boron, which is said to help the body retain calcium, crucial for healthy bone development.

 

Protect during pregnancy

With about 10-20mcg of the natural form of folic acid in each pear, essential to prevent neural defects, they are an ideal choice for a healthy prenatal diet.

 

Suit those with allergies

An ideal weaning food for babies, pears are also unlikely to cause digestion problems as pear allergy is relatively rare.

 

10 things you may not know about pears

 

1. Like apricots and plums, pears are a member of the rose family!

2. ‘Going up the apple and pears’ is Cockney slang for climbing stairs!

3. There are over 3000 varieties of pears grown around the world, and Victoria is our largest producer of pears here in Australia.

4. ‘Plant pears for your heirs’ is an English proverb – the old varieties of pear trees used to take many years to mature and give fruit, so it was understood you didn’t plant them for yourself but for the future benefit of your children and grandchildren.

5. The origins of the phrase ‘things going pear-shaped’ are unknown, but some date it to the RAF in the 1940s and 50s. Pilots’ aerial manoeuvres such as loops would be said to be pear-shaped if they were noticeably distorted.

6. Pears were used as a natural anti-nausea remedy in ancient Greece.

7. Pear wood doesn’t contaminate food with colour, flavour or smells which makes it ideal for kitchen spoons. It also resists warping and splitting despite repeated soaking and drying.

8. The Chinese considered the pear, known as ‘li’, to be a symbol of immortality.

9. The Chinese phrase ‘fen li’ means both ‘to separate’ and ‘to share a pear’ – hence it is considered bad luck to share a pear for fear this may lead to separation of friends or lovers!

10. Pears are considered by many to be hypoallergenic – an allergy to pears is very rare.

 

How to store pears at work

 

• If the pears are already ripe, they can be stored in the fridge.

• If they are firm and need to ripen, leave them at room temperature.

Keep the fruit whole until just before eating to prevent browning, a natural process that occurs when exposed to oxygen.

• If pears are sliced, squeeze lemon juice over them to slow down browning.

• Over-ripe pears are perfect for smoothies, or as a natural thickener for soups, sauces and stews.

 

Lunch-at-your-desk

Rocket, Pear and Parmesan Salad

Makes 4 Lunches

Recipe_Pear-Ricotta-Salad YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU PICKED A PERFECT PEAR

 

Ideal as a zesty side dish with pizza, pasta or protein, this is also a perfect light and luscious salad to enjoy during the work day. Add prosciutto, smoked chicken or avocado slices if desired.

 

What you’ll need
• 1 small bag fresh rocket leaves, rinsed
• 2 pears, thinly sliced just before serving
• 1/2 cup fresh parmesan slivers (use box grater)
• Balsamic vinegar
• Juice of half a lemon
• Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange rocket leaves on a platter. Toss lemon juice through sliced pears in a small bowl then add to rocket. Toss gently, then sprinkle parmesan slices over the top. Dress with balsamic vinegar (about one tablespoon) and season to taste. Tuck in immediately.

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