Fruit At Its Finest

Here’s an easy wintertime dessert—Baked Cinnamon Pears. I know right now are all (or at least I know I am!) enjoying the absolutely gorgeous big red pears at the store. Tonight I cut one into sections, sprinkled about a half tbsp of brown sugar on top as well as a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and baked it at 425 for about 5-6 minutes until the sugar started to carmelize and the pear got all juicy and tender. You can serve this with freshly whipped cream, greek yogurt, vanilla ice cream…or as I just did (if you live in Tampa) with a half cup of cinnamon-graham frozen yogurt! It tasted fabulous. I absolutely love fruit desserts and its so much better when the fruit you are eating is in season and at its best. Now it’s off to take a bubble bath then read in bed. Goodnight 🙂


This dessert was about 154 calories.

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  • Sara F
    January 15, 2008 at 1:23 am

    I have two questions…the first is in reguard to protien.
    How much protien should you get each day? I don’t really eat all that much meat, and the choices at my school are sort of not that great. I know the amount of protien probably varies pretty greatly depending on the person, but maybe you can give me some general advice? I’m pretty small, but I am active almost every day of the week, plus a lot of walking during the day. My main protien sources today were a fage yogurt, a glass of milk, a 1/4 cup of nuts, and small turkey sandwich…but most days I don’t have the turkey sandwich, so I’m thinking I’m a little bit low.
    Secondly, how many servings of bread/grains should the average woman be getting? The food pyramid says 6-11 but that seems like ALOT. I know one serving is generally the size of a slice of bread…so about one ounce?
    Thanks for the help…I know these are sort of difficult questions to answer because you don’t know me personally, but any comments would be great!
    ps. the pears look wonderful!

  • Liz
    January 15, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Sara F., I was wondering the exact same thing. I do not like to cook meat for myself. I usually get protein from cottage cheese, yogurt, shrimp and fish, but don’t eat huge amounts of these. I am also quite small but very active and would like to build..or at least maintain my muscle. Jenna, seeing as you don’t eat a ton of meat either, it’d be great if you could ballpark how much an active woman in their 20’s should be getting 🙂
    …you should start charging for your advice haha

  • jenna
    January 15, 2008 at 2:23 am


    First and foremost–the average american is eating WAY too much protein! Doubly too much protein! With all the protein shakes, protein bars, protein cookies even…its a hard market to beat. Protein, like anything else, if you eat too much of it gets stored as fat in the body and this is why some people gain weight while they seemingly “eat healthy”. I, personally, get about 60 grams of protein a day in by way of cottage cheese, yogurt, seafood (canned tuna and salmon usually), lean meats and nuts. Both of you seem to be like me in that you don’t eat much meat but I think if you eat healthy balanced meals it shouldn’t be something you need to worry about–at all. Here’s a little segment from the Harvard Nutrition Source, that I trust with solid nutrition facts and data:

    “In the United States and other developed countries, getting the minimum daily requirement of protein is easy. Cereal with milk for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and a piece of fish with a side of beans for dinner adds up to about 70 grams of protein, plenty for the average adult.

    Can you get too much protein? Digesting it releases acids that the body usually neutralizes with calcium and other buffering agents in the blood. Eating lots of protein, such as the amounts recommended in the so-called low-carb or no-carb diets, takes lots of calcium. Some of this may be pulled from bone. Following a high-protein diet for a few weeks probably won’t have much effect on bone strength. Doing it for a long time, though, could weaken bone. In the Nurses’ Health Study, for example, women who ate more than 95 grams of protein a day were 20 percent more likely to have broken a wrist over a 12-year period when compared to those who ate an average amount of protein (less than 68 grams a day).(1) Although more research is clearly needed to define the optimal amount of daily protein, these results suggest that long-term high-protein diets should be used with caution, if at all.”

    The article goes on to say that even better sources of protein are vegetable sources such as beans, nuts and whole grains (which DO have protein in them). I would say as a “ballmark figure” for an active woman in their 20’s….around 50-60 grams of protein a day. That’s not a scientific fact though, it’s just what I have found through research and what I get daily…and I am active woman in my twenties. I think its more of an issue to get too much protein than to worry about getting too little, because like the article states, it adds up quickly! Today for example I had 65 grams of protein and didn’t even eat any meat….those meals I posted alone were 65 grams. So yes, it comes in unexpected places!

    here’s some more interesting reading material:

    “Get a good mix of proteins. Almost any reasonable diet will give you enough protein each day. Eating a variety of foods will ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need.

    Pay attention to the protein package. You rarely eat straight protein. Some comes packaged with lots of unhealthy fat, like when you eat marbled beef or drink whole milk. If you eat meat, steer yourself toward the leanest cuts. If you like dairy products, skim or low-fat versions are healthier choices. Beans, soy, nuts, and whole grains offer protein without much saturated fat and with plenty of healthful fiber and micronutrients.

    Balance carbohydrates and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of blood triglycerides and HDL, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other form of cardiovascular disease. It may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs. Too much protein, though, could weaken bones.

    Eat soy in moderation. Soybeans, tofu, and other soy-based foods are an excellent alternative to red meat. But don’t go overboard. Two to four servings a week is a good target. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or soy extracts, such as isoflavones. Larger amounts of soy may soothe hot flashes and other menopause-associated problems, but the evidence for this is weak.”

  • jenna
    January 15, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Oh, and for grains..I personally don’t go by the whole 6-11 USDA rule. I don’t count my grains, I just try to incorporate them in every meal. Oatmeal for breakfast, whole wheat bread with my lunch, pasta or rice with dinner….Your brain and body NEEDS these grains to keep on running so its your job to fuel it with them. I dont think there needs to be a set limit for grains….just be mindful to balance your meals with grains, protein and healthy fats and you should be set 🙂

  • VeggieGirl
    January 15, 2008 at 2:29 am

    THANK YOU for your statement on protein – people need to focus on getting enough nutrition in general, and NOT overload on protein.

    pears are phenomenal – I’m quite keen on the d’anjou, bartlett, and bosc varieties.

  • Marion
    January 15, 2008 at 2:44 am

    One quick questions and one shorter one. Do you measure things with a tablespoon such as brown sugar or just estimate and weight things like pears?

    I am so happy you wrote that about soy. Its one of my concerns with companies putting soy in everything now and days. I eat alot of kashi products that includes soy in everything. Plus I like boca burgers etc. How much is too much soy? For example, if I ate kashi granola and crackers in the same day everyday it seems that it would add up! Do you know is soy lechtin has the same isoflavons….sorry for so many questions but this is a major concern of mine.

  • Marion
    January 15, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Haha, you can tell its late at night. I meant one quick question and one longer question.

  • Liz
    January 15, 2008 at 3:22 am

    Jenna, thank you SO much. I added it up and I believe I am getting the right amount, not too much. I guess it’s easy to buy into the whole protein craze when everything has it added! I really appreciate your response
    p.s. I’m copying you for dessert tonight…it looks amazing!!

  • jenna
    January 15, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    No no, i don’t measure things perfectly out like brown sugar and I don’t weigh fruit…I’ve been cooking for so long that I basically know the weight of things and with things such as fruit, more is better in my opinion! I’d rather eat more fruit calories than calories on junk. To measure brown sugar I just use a spoon and sprinkle it on.

    About soy….I dont think you need to be worried. If you were eating a huge block of tofu twice a day then, yes, you may want to cut down. But that’s the same with anything! always in moderation its fine….just don’t go overboard. I dont have an “exact” number to give you in regards to how much you should consume but you don’t have a reason to worry if you enjoy the occasional boca burger and kashi granola. I probably eat tofu once a week and sometimes when I’m out like to get soy lattes at starbucks. I think you are fine!