Healthy Spiced Poached Pears Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

Pears are a great source of polyphenol antioxidants – helping to ‘zap’ those free radicals which may lead to oxidative stress and cell damage including to that of the egg and sperm cells. They are low in calories so great for those watching their weight and are low on the glycaemic index- meaning sugar and insulin levels won’t spike so rapidly. Pears are a great source of folate, vitamin C, copper, and potassium.

Dark chocolate contains some important nutrients for health and fertility including antioxidants (flavonoids), iron, zinc, selenium and is also a great source of magnesium-  which is good for mood! In relation to male fertility it is a rich source of the amino acid L-arginine which in studies have shown to improve sperm count and motility. This amino acid can also help female fertility too as it increases the flow of blood to the ovaries and uterus. Try to buy organic dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa or above.

Healthy Poached Pears Dipped in Dark chocolate

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)

8 Ripe Pears

700ml  Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

700ml Water

2 inches Fresh Ginger, peeled

6 Whole Cloves

1 Cinnamon Stick

Zest from 1 orange

300g Bar of Dark Chocolate (70% or above cocoa)

How to make:

Place all of the ingredients, except for the pears in a large saucepan over low heat. Wash, peel, and core the pears.  Place all the pears into the saucepan, making sure that all the pears are fully covered with liquid. Bring to a simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiled water. When the pears are soft, but not mushy, remove them from liquid. Place onto a plate and pour the chocolate over. Serve and enjoy!

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