Canned Pears: Always Ripe and “Pear-fact”


Milder weather not only means blue skies and blooming flowers, it’s the start of outdoor gatherings. It’s also a great excuse to switch up the menu. Salads and kabobs are favorites during warmer months and canned fruit can easily enhance a recipe. Canned Bartlett pears are always ripe, ready to eat and contain virtually no fat or cholesterol. So next time you host a get-together, add a little sweetness to the feast with this pantry staple. Try serving Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad with Almonds or Barbecued Pear and Chicken Kabobs to family and guests.

Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad With Almonds

Makes 12 Servings

1 can (15 ounces) Bartlett pear halves in extra-light syrup

1 can (81/4 ounces) Bartlett pear halves in extra-light syrup

1 can (15 ounces) blueberries in light syrup

1 can (83/4 ounces) apricot halves in extra-light syrup

Juice of 1 small lemon

1/2 cup sliced almonds, roasted

Drain both cans of pear halves; slice into bite-sized pieces. Drain apricots; halve. Drain blueberries; divide among salad plates and arrange; arrange pears and apricots as well. Top salads with lemon juice and almonds; serve.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories: 78, Protein: 1.5g, Carbohydrates: 14.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 6mg.

Barbecued Pear and

Chicken Kabobs

Makes 4 Servings

1 can (15 ounces) Bartlett pear halves

1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

8 kabob skewers

1 red, green or yellow sweet bell pepper, cut into 11/2-inch squares

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 11/2-inch chunks

Preheat grill or broiler. Drain pears, reserving juice. Cut pears into 11/2-inch chunks; set aside. In a bowl, stir together barbecue sauce, honey, mustard, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the reserved pear juice. On 4 skewers, alternate the pear and bell pepper pieces.

On remaining skewers, place chicken pieces. Brush all skewered ingredients liberally with the sauce mixture. Grill chicken skewers over medium coals for 10 minutes (or broil for 5 minutes), brushing occasionally with sauce.

Add pear-pepper skewers; grill for 5 to 7 minutes (or broil 2 to 4 minutes) more, or until chicken is no longer pink and pears and peppers are heated through. Serve one chicken kabob and one pear kabob per serving.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories: 241, Protein: 25g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 1g, Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 407mg.

A “pear-fect idea” for outdoor gatherings is a Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad with Almonds.