With the end of summer, I found myself with a decent crop of pears on my 12 year old pear tree… a very unusual occurrence. Normally the birds sample every piece of fruit on the tree as soon as it is fully formed. This year, only a few had holes pecked in them and I decided to pick them before they ripened on the tree. My pears are on a five in one variety of tree that produces small fruits, but it was a plentiful crop this year.
I brought them in, put them a bag to ripen and in due time, they began to turn colors and soften. Now I had way too many pears to eat before they began to turn rotten, so what to do? Pears are not an allowed food on the weight loss part of a low carb diet, although they are allowed when you reach maintenance. But I love the taste and decided to turn them into a jam or compote that would result in a low carb version.
LC Foods has a wonderful product for making cranberry sauce that is 0 carb and 0 calories, so the only thing you have to worry about is the actual carbs and calories in the fruit. Pears are very rich in natural sugars, which makes them high carb’d. While I don’t have a way to remove the carbs, I can use them sparingly and they make a wonderful topping on a low carb muffin.
So, I pulled out the LC-Cranberry Sauce, which uses “Inulin (chicory root) fiber, digestion resistant polydextrose fiber, sucralose, organic stevia rebaudiana leaf and natural luo han guo monk fruit” to make the powder, to make a delicious cranberry sauce. At $7.98, this makes several batches and I used this last year to make the sauce as instructed on the label for Thanksgiving, but also cooked it longer to make it thicker, put it in a jar in the refrigerator and used it as a cranberry jam for about four months. Wonderful!
I thought it would work well with the pears and I am very happy with the result. You can cut back a little on the amount of the LC-Cranberry Sauce powder since pears have a natural sweetness that cranberries don’t have.
With this success, I plan to try more fruits, such as peaches, apples and anything else that I can’t find already made into a jam. (LC Foods has strawberries, blueberries, peaches and blackberries for sale in pint jars for $7.98 a jar, which is really not unreasonable when you compare the prices at the grocery store for small jars of jam.) For now, here’s the recipe I used to make Pear Jam.
Pear Jam or Compote
3 cups diced fresh Pears
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Water
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Clove
1/4 cup LC Foods Cranberry Sauce Mix
Cook diced pears with lemon juice, water, cinnamon and clove until they are just tender and boiling. Add cranberry sauce mix powder and stir in well until it is completely dissolved. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes so that the mixture begins to thicken. Turn off heat and completely cool.
Once cooled, put the pear compote in a jar, then in the refrigerator. It will keep several weeks in the fridge. Or you can bag the compote in a freezer bag and freeze them until you are ready for them. Thaw them out, then put into a jar and into the refrigerator.
Makes about 2 cups of pear compote.
Nutrition Info for 1 tablespoon
Calories: 13.1 Total Carb: 3.4g Fiber .7g Net Carbs: 2.7g Protein .1g
TIP: Pears ripen from the inside out, so when they are soft when pressed around the stem or the bottom indicates that the pear is ripe. Once the softness extends to the middle of the exterior, the pear is already over ripened.
POSTED BY RENE AVERETT AT 11/4/2012 1:09 PM