University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
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Helping you prepare healthy foods in a hurry

Alice Henneman, MS, Registered Dietitian and Extension Educator
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

 

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Quick Tip - July 2003

Bowl Them Over with Pears!

pearsPears are one of those fruits that continue to ripen after you pick them. (Other fruits include apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, nectarines, peaches plantains and plums.) One of the easiest ways to ripen pears is to set them in a pretty bowl on a cupboard or table and enjoy viewing them as they ripen. To determine if a pear is ripe, gently press it at the stem end. Most types yield to pressure when ripe.

To speed the ripening of pears, put them in a ripening bowl or in a loosely closed brown paper bag at room temperature. Plastic bags don't work for ripening.

Refrigerate when ripe in an open or a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer. If you don't have access to commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag.

Store fruits in a separate refrigerator crisper drawer from vegetables. Fruits give off ethylene gas which can shorten the storage life of vegetables. Some vegetables give off odors that can be absorbed by fruits and affect their quality.

After you cut into pears, keep them (and other fruits such as apples, pears, bananas and peaches) from turning brown by coating them with an acidic juice such as lemon, orange or pineapple juice. Or use a commercial anti-darkening preparation with fruits, such as Ever-Fresh (TM) or Fruit-Fresh (R), and follow the manufacturer's directions. Cut fruits as close to serving time as possible.

Refrigerate peeled/cut pears and other peeled/cut fruits and vegetables so the TOTAL time they're at room temperature is less than 2 hours.

Learn more about the flavor and uses of the various types of pears from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/5ADay/month/pear.htm

 

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Developed By:

Alice C. Henneman, MS, RD
Extension Educator
University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Fax: (402) 441-7148
Phone: (402) 441-7180
E-Mail: ahenneman1@unl.edu
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu/food

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For more information about preparing healthy meals, contact your local University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Office; for the location of the office nearest you, click here. For a listing of Cooperative Extension Offices throughout the United States, click here.

Address: 444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln, NE 68528-1507, Phone: 402-441-7180

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