Cooking with pears


is a plant-based chef who founded Little Bird Organics

Here’s her recipe for…


And here’s the webisode.

Pears and fejioas are some of my favourite fruits, especially the delicious varieties Rob grows. They’re the same varieties as the ones we grew on our farm as a kid, so they generate some fond memories of gorging myself in the orchard. I love this simple dessert recipe as you can replace the fruits with other seasonal ones. In summer you could do peaches and blackberries and in winter an apple and tamarillo version would work nicely.

3-4 pears
12-14 feijoas
2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
10 medjool dates
½ cup walnuts (I used activated and dried ones)
½ cup almonds (I used activated and dried ones)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ginger
pinch salt
1-2 tablespoons almond or coconut butter (optional)


Top and tail the pears, then using a mandolin on a fine setting, slice them thinly lengthways. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the pears to prevent them from going brown.
We use a loaf tin to make the crumble but you could use whatever dish you have available. The key thing is to have a dish that’s not too big and has high sides, so we can create multiple layers of fruit.
First take a third of the sliced pears and layer the along the bottom of the tin. It takes a few to create a good foundation.
Scoop out the insides of half the feijoas on top of the pears and mash them down with a fork.
In the video I didn’t have the chia seeds but I highly recommend using a few to help bind the layers and give it a slightly gummy feeling. If you’re using chia seeds, sprinkle them on top of each feijoa layer.
Repeat with another third of the pears, the rest of the feijoas and finish with a layer of pears.
Using your hands, firmly press down on the fruit until the juices start to squelch through.


Remove the stones from your dates and process them in a food processor for a few seconds to break them down. Then add the walnuts, almonds, coconut, spices, salt and almond or coconut butter (if using) and give it a few pulses until you get a crumbly texture – you want to retain some of the chunkiness in there. Taste and add extra spices if you like – I sometimes add another ½ teaspoon of ginger to give it more heat.
Press the crumble mixture firmly onto the fruit, leaving a little bit of crumble looser on the top.
Pop in the fridge to set for half an hour and serve. If you’re cooking it, place in an oven (at 180 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes.
I highly recommend trying the raw version. You’ll be surprised at how much it tastes like a regular cooked crumble and by eating the fruit raw you’ll be getting a whole lot more vitamin C!

To serve
We served ours with cashew and coconut ice-cream and decorated it with cornflower petals.


is a naturopath and nutritionist

Pears are easily digestible and low allergenic, so they’re commonly given to babies as their first food.
In pears, as in most fruit and veges, it’s important to eat the skin which has massive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in it to protect us from disease.
Pears contain a particular flavonol called quercetin which has been shown to be protective against diabetes and particularly for women by improving sensitivity of cells to insulin, which is very important for preventing weight gain. Unusually, it seems if you eat pears alongside apples, then you get the greatest benefit for controlling Type 2 diabetes.
Pears are a great source of dietary fibre and fibre is very important for elimination. Pears are also high in pectin which balances blood sugar levels, lowers blood fat and cholesterol levels and increases good bacteria in your gut to keep your digestive system really healthy.