bowl of pears

Want an easy taste adventure for your kids? Substitute ripe, fresh or canned pears in any recipe that calls for apples: baked crisps, salads, even applesauce or baked apples. With a little citrus juice, fresh pears won't discolor.

Similar to apples, pears pack plenty of goodness. Peel on — a medium pear delivers just 100 calories and about 4 grams of dietary fiber, about half is cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Pears have some vitamin C and potassium, too. And their antioxidants, called catechins (a flavonoid), may help protect you from cancer.

Try pears in a spinach salad, a pear-cranberry smoothie or on a turkey sandwich.

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