Cranberries – Asian Pear Salad

My acupuncture recommended that I eat more Asian pears, which tend to show up near the fall in all their juicy splendor. Fortunately, our local farmers’ market has been carrying them and I read in the Philadelphia Inquirer that there is a local farmer growing them.

Unfortunately, I have not found organic ones, although the stand at our farmers’ market claims to use IPM, Integrated Pest Management, which is one defined by Wikipedia as “an ecological approach to agricultural pest management that integrates pesticides/herbicides into a management system incorporating a range of practices for economic control of a pest. In IPM, one attempts to prevent infestation, to observe patterns of infestation when they occur, and to intervene (without poisons) when one deems necessary.

Cranberry-Asian Pear Salad

This tart & crunchy fruit salad combines Asian pears, cranberries, and unsweetened, shredded coconut. Cranberries are definitely a fall food in the berry category recommended in the article on National Diabetes Month, which I posted in Health Flashes a few days ago. Cranberries are very tart and adding sugar would defeat the purpose of using this food to combat diabetes, so I use a teaspoon of cherry jam without sugar that is sweet because of the cherries themselves. The jam tempers the tartness without taking away from the taste.

Utensils: Cutting board ,knife, large bowl for serving
Prep. Time: Under 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Category: Vegan, no added sugar


2 Asian Pears
1/4 cup unsweetened, organic cranberries
1-2 tsp. unsweetened cherry jam (or other flavor of your choice)
unsweetened, dried coconut
dash of unsweetened juice to moisten the dish


1. Wash Asian pears well. I use a fruit & veggie spray. I leave the skins on but you can peel the pears if you wish. Cut the pears into bite-sized pieces, removing the pits and hard core.
2. Add cranberries and jam.
3. Place in an attractive bowl and sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Serve and enjoy. (If you make this early in the day and want to serve it later, allow to come almost to room temperature for more flavor. Sometimes when fruit is ice cold the taste cannot be fully appreciated.)

Yield: Enough for 2 to 3 people

Here is a photo of the Asian pears I purchased. Some can be quite large, so if you use large ones, the yield from two pears may serve 4.

Variation: If you are lucky enough to still purchase organic raspberries, this dish is just as delicious with raspberries and you can eliminate the jam. You can also substitute regular pears if Asian pears are unavailable.

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