I have the most insatiable sweet tooth known to man. I’ve made this lofty claim previously but in the wake of Easter – which essentially amounted to an all out candy-eating gorge fest in my household – it bears repeating. Yes, it’s around the holidays that my tendency to overindulge in sugar really rears its insulin-spiking head. You might recall that huge Christmas cake of ill repute, the one I managed to polish off all by my lonesome, over the course of a few weeks, piece after piece stealthily snatched from the freezer. Well Easter witnessed similar petty crimes, except in this case my victims were a sickening number of chocolate bunnies and eggs.
Really I have no problem munching on sweet treats over the holidays – it’s fun to be festive and depriving myself of food I enjoy puts me in a dark mood. The issue is that these holiday overindulgences tend to set me off on a rather unhealthy pattern of sugar consumption. Suddenly eating candy after dinner EVERY NIGHT doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea. An apple fritter with that Tim Horton’s coffee? Sure, why not? Pancakes for breakfast on a Wednesday? Oh hell ya! Before I know I’m back on the sugar wheel, consuming way too many sugary confections and always wanting more. Madness!
So once again, I find myself having to do a self-intervention before I snack my way too far into diabetes territory. That being said, I’m not inclined to completely renounce my dessert habit – gotta keep a little junk in the trunk, right ladies? As such I’ve been searching for recipes that would provide a happy medium – that is, appease my sweet tooth without making feel like I’m ‘on a diet’ and eating like an ascetic monk. A tall order? Perhaps, but I knew that someone out there in the WordPress blogosphere or beyond must possess the answer to this culinary ruse!
Sure enough, the universe answered my call. A couple of weeks ago I came across this recipe
for baked apples on Nicole’s Cauldrons and Cupcakes
blog. This is precisely the type of recipe I was after. It contains some seriously healthy ingredients – fruit, walnuts and dates – yet with some sort of sleight of hand tricks you into thinking you’re eating something quite sinful when really the opposite is true. Inspired by Nicole, and eyeing some nice ripe pears on my counter, I set about creating my own baked fruit dessert (or in my case, lunch; it was around noon when I made this). This is what I came up with, which essentially amounts to an inside out pear crumble. Old fashioned oats, dried figs, a dab of honey , pie spices and a little butter are combined, stuffed into a hollowed out pear and baked until fall-apart soft. Simply delicious. I think these baked pears have set me on the path toward better glycemic health – just do me a favour and call security if you see me approaching the ‘danger zone’ (AKA the bulk candy aisle) at the grocery store 🙂
Recipe: Stuffed Baked Pears | With Oats, Figs and Honey
Makes 4 baked pears
- 4 ripe (but not mushy) pears – I used Bartletts
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (use gluten free oats if you have a gluten sensitivity)
- 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
- 2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
- 1 tablespoon honey (or agave or maple syrup) + a little more to serve
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or less if using table salt)
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Remove top 1/5th of each pear and set aside – these will be the ‘lids’ for your baked pears.
3. Using a small spoon or apple corer, scoop core from each pear, making sure not to cut through bottom of pear.
4. Place pears in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and set aside.
5. In a small bowl stir together oats, figs, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
6. Add butter (or vegan butter) and honey (or agave or maple syrup) and mix well until everything is combined.
7. Press oat mixture firmly into pears and top with pear tops.
8. Fill bottom of pan with 1/2 cup of water.
9. Place pan in oven for 30-40 minutes, or until oat mixture is warm and soft.
10. Remove from oven and serve, topping each pear with a drizzle of honey (or agave or maple syrup). Optional: Pair with a scoop or two of ice cream or vegan ice cream.
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