Chinese medicine says that pears are cooling to the body — a good thing if going through either chemo or radiation. Poached fruit is also much easier to digest than raw and safer to eat during treatment. These very simple ginger-poached pears make a wonderful dessert or a refreshing breakfast treat when paired with thick Greek yogurt. The pears don’t have to be perfectly ripe for this to be delicious. If they’re not, just up the sugar a little — or use honey, but this can take away from the taste of the pears. For more chemo friendly dessert recipes take a look at some of these Sweet Treats.

4 servings

5 ingredients

20 minute prep

  • 4 medium Bosc pears of medium ripeness
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste depending on the ripeness of the pears
  • ½-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup water
  • Crystallized ginger, for decoration

  1. Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cores with a teaspoon. Make sure you cut away the hard remains of the flower at the bottom of the pear. Arrange the pears in a circle inside the pan, cut sides up, thin ends towards the center.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saute or poaching pan with a tight-fitting lid, mix the sugar, ginger root, and water together. Bring to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved, pour the liquid and ginger slices over the pears.
  3. Bring the pears to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, turn the heat down to low, and gently poach until the pears are tender, about half an hour. Baste the pears with the syrup from time to time. About 15 minutes into the cooking, flip the pears over, cut sides down, for even cooking. Check the liquid for sweetness. Add sugar to taste, plus a little more water if the pears look dry. The syrup should be light, not thick and sticky.
  4. When the pears are just tender, turn the heat off and, leaving the lid on, let the pears cool in the pan. They will continue cooking and give out more of their juices as they steam.
  5. Discard the ginger slices. Arrange the pears on a serving dish, cut side up. Serve chilled or at room temperature with the syrup spooned over the fruit, decorated with crystallized ginger.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 127; Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 31g; Sugar: 19g; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 1g; Sodium: 3mg

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, videos, and more content are reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.

This recipe was originally published on Cook for Your Life. It is used by permission.

Fred Hutch Cook For Your Life logo TM