Today’s post is brought to you by the letter I.
This site is still a baby blog, only born into the world of internet a few short months ago. I wanted to have an outlet to express my creativity as well as a resource to help people learn about ways to incorporate healthy food into their daily lives. I know I probably started out like most bloggers: with the intention to be seen, but still being ok with doing this knowing that I may be the only one that sees every picture and reads every post. Having blogged long ago without much interest from the outside world for quite some time, I was ok with the latter. I missed blogging and didn’t care so much about traffic. It would be my resource. My outlet. My way to blow off some steam in a healthy and cathartic way even if it went unseen.
Then one day, she left a comment.
“She” would be Thalia, the awesome creator/writer/blogger/photographer from Butter and Brioche, an amazing website featuring beautiful pastries and homemade french bakery style recipes. I arrived at my site to work on a post one day and there it was, a comment. A nice comment! I was so excited and I wanted to shout to the world that I HAD BEEN SEEN AND SOMEONE LIKED MY RECIPE!! It was a simple moment, but brought joy to my heart and a beaming smile to my face. I will always be forever grateful to Thalia for being the first person I hadn’t previously known to compliment my work. Never underestimate the kindness you bring to a stranger with a nice comment.
I now follow her blog posts and they are drool-worthy. For Easter Sunday, I even made the Naked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Tahini Frosting. It didn’t last long in our house, and embarrassingly, I think I ate 75% by myself. The frosting was my inspiration for todays post: Grilled Cinnamon Pears with Tahini Cream. It is loosely based on the original recipe, minus the refined sugar. I have also been addicted to the new greek yogurt cream cheese by Green Mountain Farms that is available at most grocery stores. The idea that my cream cheese has live active cultures and is doing something good for my body makes me feel a lot less guilty when indulging. The rich nutty flavors of tahini cream spooned over a smoky sweet grilled pear topped with cinnamon, maple syrup, and crushed pecans makes my knees go weak. Who knew that grilled fruit could be so incredible! I can safely say this will be a common addition to the table throughout the rest of pear season.
I want to say thank you again to Thalia for inspiring me to persevere and keep creating. Please check out her site Butter and Brioche for a good read, beautiful pictures and awesome pastry/cake recipes.
Seasonal Nutritional Highlight – Pear
Pears are a member of the rose family and are known for being one of the least hypoallergenic and easiest fruits to digest due to their low acid content. While the exact origin is debatable, it is though that they were first consumed sometime around 1000 BC, migrating to the European countries around 1500. The seed was eventually grown and cultivated in America and new varieties have since been created. In fact, the original heirlooms brought over from Europe are rarely seen today. There are now nearly 1000 varieties of pear today. The seasons range throughout the year, but most pears are available in the winter through spring. The Anjou pear featured in this recipe is most commonly seen throughout the spring season. Pears have excellent antioxidant and fiber characteristics. In fact, research has shown that frequent intake of pear in the diet can help decrease cancer risk (especially gastrointestinal) and help prevent type II diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Studies have also shown that pears are much more beneficial when the skin is consumed, as it contains three to four times more phytonutrients than the flesh alone. Pears do not ripen on the tree and are typically picked and then allowed to ripen before being sold. The ripening process can be expedited by placing them in a paper bag. Pears are excellent in both sweet and savory dishes, or can be eaten alone as a great breakfast or snack. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Pears – World’s Healthiest Foods
- 4 ripe green pears
- 8 tbsp maple syrup (grade B has best flavor)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Cinnamon for sprinkling
- Tahini Cream inspired by Butter and Brioche
- 4 oz greek style cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ½ tsp bourbon vanilla
- Slice pears in half and remove any seeds that are showing.
- Place cut side on grill heated to low. Cover and cook for 20-25 min until tender. The green skin will turn a light brown color. Alternately, you can use a grill pan in the kitchen and cover with foil, or bake for 30 min on 350 in the oven.
- While pears cook, make cream. Whisk cream cheese, tahini, lemon juice, honey and vanilla with a fork until completely incorporated and smooth.
- To serve pears: Place pear, cut side up in bowl. Top with 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1-2 tbsp tahini cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped pecans. Serve warm.