A chill is in the air. This slow cooked healthy dessert of poached pears, or pears with cinnamon and ginger in cranberry juice, is an ode to the season. Slow cooked for 3 to 4 hours, the pears come out a beautiful red and the added raisins plump in the cooking juice. The spiced cranberry poaching liquid can then be made into a syrup and spooned over the pears.
Some serving suggestions: Poached pears are delicious served with something creamy. Add a spoonful of our Clean Eating Whipped Topping, caramel sauce, vanilla frozen yogurt, or even Greek-style plain yogurt with a touch of real vanilla extract whisked into it.
For poached pears as something other than a dessert dish, slice the poached pears for a salad topping. Poached pears go well with walnuts and reduced fat blue cheese crumbles or goat cheese to create the perfect fall mixed green salad.
Some of the cranberry syrup can be used for a salad dressing: use two tablespoons of the syrup combined two tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil slowly whisked in, and salt and pepper to make a dressing. The remainder of the cranberry syrup can be refrigerated and reheated to drizzle over fruit or chocolate desserts.
Servings: 6 | Serving Size: 1 pear, raisins, and syrup | Calories: 224 | Total Fat: 0 g | Saturated Fats: 0 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 8 mg | Carbohydrates: 58 g | Dietary Fiber: 6 g | Sugars: 46 g | Protein: 1 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12
- 6 pears (Bosc or Anjou work well, but other varieties should work too), peeled
- 6 cups fruit juice sweetened cranberry juice (no sugar or artificial sweeteners added)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut palm sugar, sucanat, or honey
- 1 cup raisins
- Peels of one orange
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1" ginger root with peel, sliced or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 pods star anise (optional)
- 3 teaspoons arrowroot starch or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8-10 mint leaves for garnish, optional
- Add the cranberry juice, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger to the crockpot. Place the whole, peeled pears in the crockpot. Pears will float, and can be turned periodically during cooking. Cook on low setting for 3 to 4 hours.
- Place the arrowroot or cornstarch in a bowl, and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid. Strain over the pot to remove the cinnamon sticks, ginger, star anise, orange peels, and raisins. Reserve the plumped raisins for serving.
- Heat the liquid over high heat, and pour in the arrowroot or cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until a syrupy consistency is achieved.
- Let cool for a bit. Pour the cranberry syrup over the top of the poached pears, add in the plumped raisins, and add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla frozen yogurt to serve. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.
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