Healthy Poached Pears that are guilt-free, vegan and so delicious, one simply won't be enough!
Whoever said desserts couldn’t be guilt-free? If you have been looking for a healthy dessert that is easy-to-make and perfect for vegans, then you are absolutely in luck!
This Healthy Poached Pears recipe by our Cosmic Cookware friend, Chloe Wheatland of @chloeevegan is a delicious and healthy treat for everyone in the family! What makes it so? Well it’s refined sugar-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan!
It uses locally available ingredients you can get from your nearest grocer, and doesn't require long hours to prep. So if you’re strapped for time or craving a quick and simple pick-me-up, there’s nothing more perfect than these healthy poached pears.
But wait! Are poached pears actually healthy?
Pears are a fantastic fruit to use in desserts! They have a mild, sweet flavour and are loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Poaching fruit is an especially healthy cooking method since it does not use oil or butter. The fruit’s natural vitamins and antioxidants are also retained because they are not exposed to high temperatures for long.
Those looking for a healthier alternative to traditional desserts like cakes and ice cream will love poached fruit. Especially poached pears. It’s far lower in calories and sugar but it's still satisfyingly sweet.
And did we also mention that poaching gives the pears a soft yet firm texture that feels amazing to savour? Yummmm!
So if you or anyone in the family aren't a fan of eating pears as it is, here is your chance to add pears into your family's diet in a way they'll love and enjoy!
How to poach pears without mushy results?
First things first, the type of pear you use matters with how your poached pears will turn out. Our recipe uses Bosc pears because they have a firm texture that holds up well over the cooking process. We don’t recommend using just any pear because some are so soft that they will turn mushy once poached.
Bosc pears have less juice than other pear varieties, so they’ll absorb your poaching liquid’s flavour well. If you absolutely can’t find Bosc pears, you can also substitute it with Anjou pears.
I have extra pears overripe pears. Can I poach them instead?
You would want to avoid using overripe pears. They’d be far too soft to withstand the poaching liquid’s heat, so you’ll end up with a soggy mess. While you can poach overripe pears for a short amount of time, your pears won’t be as flavoursome because they don’t have enough time to really absorb the poaching liquid’s flavours.
What makes this poached pears dessert recipe healthy?
We mentioned earlier how this recipe is vegan-friendly, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and oil-free, ultimately making it healthy. Here’s why:
Using rice malt syrup instead of refined sugar
Refined sugar is a big no-no, so our recipe uses rice malt syrup. It’s a great alternative to traditional sweeteners like sugar and honey with a lower glycemic index, so your body absorbs it slowly without spiking blood sugar levels. Yes, this means no sugar-rush for your little ones!
Chai tea as a healthier alternative to standard poaching liquid
Most poached pears recipes call for wine or sugar syrup to be used as the poaching liquid. We’re going to use chai tea instead for a healthy, family-friendly twist.
Chai tea is a blend of black tea and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, which gives it a warm and spicy kick.
Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients packed with antioxidants
The recipe is completed with grated fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and orange peel. Grated fresh ginger gives your poached pears a delicious, spicy and warm flavour while also giving it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Next we have a spice most of us know and love; cinnamon. Anything cinnamon naturally gives a fuzzy and warm holiday feel, and the same holds true here. Plus it also has natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties - giving your poached pears a stronger health boost!
We also add in star anise to give it a hint of licorice-like flavour for a unique and exotic touch. Lastly we finish it off with orange peel. Orange peel delivers a bright and citrusy flavour while giving you a vitamin C and antioxidant boost.
Don’t have orange peel on hand? No worries! Lemon peel works just as well while giving your healthy poached pears the same benefits and refreshing citrusy tang.
What's the best side to serve with these poached pears?
The best accompaniments are definitely vanilla coconut yogurt, dairy-free coconut vanilla ice cream, or even your favourite dairy-free Greek yogurt! It balances the warm flavours of the poached pears while giving it a creamy and refreshing bite.
You can also serve it with chopped toasted almonds or cashews for a touch of extra crunch. Who doesn't love a hint of extra crunch?
Healthy Poached Pears Vegan Recipe
5 Bosc Pears (Skin peeled and core removed)
2 ½ cups boiling water
3 Chai tea bags
¼ cup Rice Malt Syrup
2t bsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 stick Cinnamon
2 Star Anise
4 strips Orange Peel or Lemon Peel
Ingredients To Serve (Optional):
Vanilla Coconut Yogurt or Dairy-Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream
Toasted Almonds or Toasted Cashews, chopped
Rice Malt Syrup
In a casserole or medium saucepan (we recommend using a non-stick casserole for more cooking room and ease in reducing liquid later on), soak 3 Chai tea bags in 2 ½ cups of boiling water and allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. While the tea brews, peel and core Bosc pears.
After 5 minutes, remove the Chai tea bags and reduce the heat and allow it to simmer on low heat. Place all poached pear ingredients into the casserole, laying the peeled pears on their side. Ensure the pears are fully submerged, you can add more water or tea if needed.
Heat the casserole over medium-high heat until the water starts boiling. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer while covered. Cook for 20 - 25 minutes and turn the pears halfway. Leave to simmer until the pears are tender.
Remove the casserole from heat. Plate the pears with your choice of serving ingredients and serve immediately (we love it with a cheeky dairy-free coconut vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of toasted cashews). *You can also boil the remaining liquid for 10 minutes or until ⅓ reduced and serve it with the pears as a rich sauce.