April 25, 2016
October 21, 2015
One of the highest-fiber fruits, the average pear provides 6 grams of fiber to help meet your daily requirement of 25 to 30 grams. Fiber helps keep your heart healthy and is linked to reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, like colon cancer.
Don’t remove the skin
When you make this salad, be sure you leave the skin on the pear. Half of its fiber is found there, along with lots of phenolic phytonutrients like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
In addition to a fair amount of vitamins C, K, B2, B3 and B6; and minerals—calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese; pears contain folates important for expecting or nursing moms. They also contain boron that retains calcium and may prevent osteoporosis; and it’s a hypoallergenic fruit, which means those with food sensitivities can usually eat pears with no adverse effects.
A great source of protein
While walnuts add to half the calories per serving and one-third of the fat, we tossed in a generous handful for added protein and other health benefits like fighting cancer, heart disease, and supporting brain health. Adding nuts and walnuts to your diet can help you maintain your ideal weight over time and help you feel full.
Pairing walnuts and blue cheese with the pear’s soft, sweet, juicy flesh is the perfect flavor match. You can toss in some dried cranberries, but the maple syrup dressing and maple glazed walnuts give this salad just the right amount of sweetness. It is a meal in itself.
- 12 cups spring salad mix, rinsed and dried
- 2 pears, cored and thinly sliced with peel on (to keep pears from turning brown until ready to plate, soak pear slices in 2 cups of water to which the juice of one lemon has been added)
- 1 cup maple glazed walnuts (recipe below)
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries, optional
- Maple salad dressing (recipe below)
Maple Glazed Walnuts
- 2 cups walnuts
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Directions: Heat large skillet to medium high then stir in walnuts, maple syrup and salt. Cook walnuts and syrup for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and spread walnuts on a baking sheet or aluminum foil to cool. This recipe uses 1 cup glazed walnuts. Keep extra walnuts on hand for a snack later!
Maple Salad Dressing
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon grated or ground black pepper
Directions: Measure ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well blended. Makes about 4 Tablespoons.
- Toss the maple salad dressing with the spring salad mix to coat. If desired, toss in dried cranberries at this time.
- To serve, place 3 cups spring salad mix on each plate. Sprinkle ¼ cup glazed walnuts and 1 tablespoon blue cheese over salad. Arrange pear slices on top. Each plate should have ½ pear.
Note: If making one serving, use 1 tablespoon of dressing per 3 cups of salad mix. Extra dressing will keep at room temperature for several days. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature as olive oil will coagulate when cold.
Makes 4 servings.
Per 3 cup serving with walnuts, blue cheese and pears: 398 calories; 29.6g total fat (4.4g saturated; 15.4g polyunsaturated, 8.4g monounsaturated); 333mg sodium; 6.3mg cholesterol; 30.0g carbohydrate; 16.6g sugars; 7.2g fiber; 9.6g protein; 288mg potassium.