Light and Healthy Baked Pears

Spring is here!  Time for light desserts … time for pears.

Here in California we can get most fruits year-round, but pears in particular are not worth buying until spring and summer.  A simple baked pear, garnished with a yummy oat and cinnamon topping, makes a great, healthy dessert.

The  original recipe I found on Delish.com had lots of butter and sugar.  This stripped-down recipe contains 25% less butter and because I used low calorie “sugar blends” it contains only a hint of sugar per serving, resulting in a light, healthy treat that keeps its delicious cinnamony, caramelly tastiness.  This dessert can be vegan if you substitute a vegan spread for the butter and use acceptably vegan sweeteners .

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe pears (I like Bosc)

3 tablespoons melted butter or vegan spread

1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar (recipe below)

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup chopped or sliced almonds

2 tablespoons Splenda (or other brand) brown sugar blend

1 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch salt (optional)

CINNAMON SUGAR RECIPE

Mix 1/8 cup Truvia (or other brand) baking blend sugar with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (start with 1/2 tbsp., mix, taste, add more if needed).  Store in airtight container.

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash pears and cut in half with a sharp knife.  Scoop out seeds using a teaspoon, making a rounded-out center in each half big enough to fill with topping.

Using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the pear halves with just enough of the melted butter to cover lightly; sprinkle the inside of each half with cinnamon sugar.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, if using.  Pour remaining melted butter into bowl and mix until fully coated.

Spoon topping onto the pear halves, filling the rounded-out centers.

Place pears on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until pears are soft and the topping is browned, about 20 minutes.  I left the batch in the picture below in a little longer because I like the crunchiness!

IMG_4423

Top with a dollop of whipped cream if you like, and serve warm.

 

 

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