Seasonal Recipe: Protect Your Lungs

Pear Image.jpg

In Chinese medicine the Lung (the delicate organ) is easily damaged by "dry evil," which is generally at its height in Autumn. Nothing brings more dryness to the lungs than a big fire. If you've  had a dry throat, hoarse voice, cough, dry nose, or any other signs that you are being parched from the ongoing smoke in our region, this is a great simple recipe you can make at home. You can eat one baked pear a day while they are in season. I just picked a bowl from our tree this morning. I doubt it is a coincidence that Pears, which resemble a lung grow at the hottest/driest time of year.

Medicinal action of pears: Cold and sweet. Regenerates body fluids, quenches thirst, relieves restlessness, clears heat, lubricates the lungs and throat, dissolves mucus, and descends qi (stops cough).

Cautions: Pregnant women should refrain from eating too many pears due to its cold nature. 

Baked Pear Recipe
4 medium pears
1 T butter (moisten lungs)
2 T brown sugar (generate fluids, moisten lung)
1/8 t vanilla extract or even better a 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise and scraped. (yummy flavor)
1 T fresh lemon juice
2-3 Cardamom pods (or 4-6 if you tends towards being cold even in this heat) (warming, but mostly adds a lovely flavor)
1/4 cup water

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter the bottom of a ceramic baking dish. Mix the brown sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cardamom together in a large bowl. Halve and and core the pears and gently toss them in the mixture.

Arrange the pears in the baking dish with the 1/4 cup of water on the bottom. Place the cut-side down into the water and pour the remaining brown sugar mix over the top of the pears. Cut the 1 T of butter and sprinkle is on top of the pears. 

Roast for 20 minutes, then gently turn them over and spoon some of the cooking liquid over them. Continue roasting, basting them once or twice more until they are tender and golden. 20-30 minutes total baking time.