Getting the Most Out of California Bartletts
We all know that the most delicious foods are rarely good for us, right? Well, not so fast.
When a food is so delicious it’s tempting us to eat more, sometimes it’s because it’s hiding its healthfulness. California Bartletts are one of those enticing foods that offers the best of both worlds: mouth-watering decadence and a powerful nutrition boost.
Bartletts are the sweetest, juiciest and most flavourful pear. Luscious and fragrant, they’re ideal for breakfast, dessert, or as the star ingredient for any meal in between. And because they’re also such a pear-fect snack, it’s not surprising that this variety is North America’s favourite pear.
And while you enjoy biting into one of summertime’s top treats, you can do so guilt-free knowing that one medium Bartlett contains natural antioxidants, only 100 calories and is a source of vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.
Maybe best of all, they’re also a good source of fibre. Increasing our fibre is something we all need to be thinking about, especially as we get older. And pears are a top 10 fruit for fibre, containing both soluble and insoluble fibre. At 6 grams of fibre in just one medium pear, one pear daily gets you well on your way! But really, why stop at just one?
Soluble fibre is linked with lower blood pressure and reduced inflammation and helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates. Importantly, a diet that includes insoluble fibre has also been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Fibre in general helps promote a feeling of fullness, which can help with weight maintenance.
So how do we make sure we’re getting the very most out of our Bartlett pears? By making sure they’re just as ripe as we want them. Bringing California Pears to your preferred degree of ripeness is simple.
When Bartletts are green and firm, set them in a fruit bowl at room temperature for four to six days. They ripen on their own turning from green to yellow as they become softer, sweeter and ready to eat. When a Bartlett is golden yellow it’s fully ripe and at its juiciest, most flavourful stage. Or, if you prefer them a little firmer, simply enjoy them when they’re still light green. Refrigeration for three to five days helps preserve ripeness.
When choosing Bartletts, look for firm, well shaped fruit. Good quality pears are smooth-skinned and un-shriveled. And don’t worry about minor blemishes as they don’t affect the flavour or quality of the pear.
California fresh pears are available earlier and are grown in the Central Valley. Here, they are picked and packed by hand on only 60 small farms averaging 130 acres. This traditional way of growing pears is why we call these artisan growers.
California Bartlett Pears with Cereal
Sprinkle a diced Bartlett pear over yogurt, and add some nuts. Or, sprinkle a diced Bartlett pear on hot or cold breakfast cereal.
Blend chopped ripe olives with mayonnaise and spread on thin wheat bread slices. Top with fresh Bartlett pear wedges and sliced chicken, turkey, or ham for a “change of pace” sandwich filling.
Wrapped California Bartlett Pears
Wrap fresh Bartlett pear wedges with slices of cheese and salami or luncheon meats for a tasty treat.
California Bartlett Pears with Cheese
Serve Bartlett pears with cheese such as Brie, Camembert or Gorgonzola for a healthy dessert.
Conventional and organic California Bartlett pears are at your favourite grocery store until about the end of August.