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Healthy You

Fresh Recipe: White Poached Pears Dessert

Monday, November 14, 2016 2:48 PM

Thanksgiving is approaching fast, which means it is time to start thinking about what to have for the big holiday meal. It is hard not to get swept up in the delicious dessert favorites of the season, but often those tempting favorites are loaded with sugar. This meal is not only scrumptious, but it is a healthy twist on dessert which everyone can enjoy, including your diabetic guests.

High in fiber and natural sweet, Harriet S. Salzberg, RD,LDN,CDE, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at NorthShore, shares her recipe for poached pears and ice cream that are sure to be a new favorite.

Recipe makes 8 servings (serving size 1 pear)

For the pears:

  • 8 small pears (23oz)
  • 2.5 cups dry white wine
  • 2.5 cups 100% apple juice
  • 8 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1-inch slice of fresh ginger (0.1oz)
  • ½ of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ of a clove

For the ice cream:

  • 4 medium bananas (12oz)
  • 2 tbsp of walnuts, lightly toasted. (0.4oz)


  • Peel the skin off of the pears and cut the bottom off of each pear so that it will stand up straight.
  • Place the wine, juice, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and clove in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pears to the saucepan and decrease the heat to medium low.
  • Cook pears for 20 minutes and remove from the saucepan. Place pears in a heat-resistant container.
  • Remove the vanilla bean from the sauce and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Pour the reduced sauce over the pears and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Peel the bananas and freeze for 2 hours.
  • Place the frozen bananas in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Stir the walnuts into the bananas.
  • When ready to serve, re-heat the pears and discard half of the sauce.
  • Plate the pears with the remaining sauce and frozen ice cream.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 129
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 1 g