Dessert experiences don’t have to leave you feeling stuffed and guilty. Sometimes we get a little sweet tooth that can be solved with a multi-sensory experience, as is the case with these beautiful and flavorful baked pears. Obviously chocolate, cookies and ice cream come calling first, but if you get right down to it, just a little sweetness can calm the craving. When you opt for fruit, you’re getting fiber, antioxidants and other health benefits (like pears, for example, contain flavonoids which help with insulin sensitivity). Pears are one of the lowest calorie fruits; an average pear has just over 100 calories. Some of the health benefits of pears include their ability to aid in weight loss, improve digestion, improve heart health, regulate the body’s fluid levels, reduce blood pressure, increase cognitive ability, and aid in cancer prevention. When baked, pears become soft enough to run a fork through, and when you bake them the way I do, your entire house will smell like cinnamon and sugar. And because just about everything is better with chocolate, I decided to add a maple-chocolate drizzle using a little stevia-sweetened chocolate and a drop of maple syrup. My kids said these were “bomb.com,” which made me happy because I want them to enjoy a variety of tastes and textures and evaluate based on many experiences, not just birthday party cake and cheap ice cream.
These are so easy! Just 5 minutes of hands-on time and under 30 minutes in the oven. Be sure to use a healthier whipped cream option if you decide to top yours. Look for varieties without partially hydrogenated ingredients, like the TruWhip used here.
- Prep Time : 5 minutes
- Cook Time : 30 minutes
- Yield : 4
- 2 pears (I use Anjou)
- 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons zero-calorie sweetner - such as natural, GMO-free erythritol
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free chocolate chips - I use Lily's brand
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 8 tablespoons whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice each pear in half. Cut out the seeds in a large circle.
- If your pear won't stand upright, slice a tiny piece off the skin so it doesn't wobble.
- In a small bowl, stir together the walnuts, sweetener and cinnamon. Fill each pear circle with the nut mixture.
- Lightly dust the tops with a dash of sweetener and cinnamon.
- Place in a baking dish, add water to bottom and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes on a low rack. Remove foil and bake for 5-8 additional minutes, or until fork tender.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and oil in 10 second intervals until melted.
- Stir in syrup. Drizzle over pears. Top each with 2 tablespoons of whipped topping.
- Serve immediately.