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Pear Gingerbread Squares

Posted by tspbasil
December 20, 2013
Featured in: Sweet Splurges
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These Pear Gingerbread Squares are a delicious seasonal dessert that are sure to be a hit during the holidays.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Libby’s to develop this recipe and write this post. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

It turned December, started snowing and suddenly I can’t get enough gingerbread.

I find myself figuring out ways to enjoy it daily (in a quasi-healthy way) like through pinned recipes for whole grain gingerbread pancakes, a batch of gingerbread smoothies and or frothy gingerbread milk steamers.

So, when it came time to develop a holiday recipe using Libby’s canned fruit (in fruit juice), I knew it would be some type of gingerbread concoction. I figured pears were a good seasonal match and at first, I had visions of baking them into a gorgeous dark brown gingerbread loaf with delicately layered pear slices on top ala Martha Stewart style. Then I thought, “Who am I kidding?” and threw a can of Libby’s Pear Slices in my blender, pureed them and added them into the batter.

Turns out the pureed pear route was the way to go.

Through my recipe testing, I was able to replace all the fat calories with the pear puree which turned out a light yet still moist gingerbread. Then I used some extra pear puree and vanilla Greek yogurt for a topping.

I may or may not have had this for breakfast a few mornings.

So, this has now become my one of my new kitchen tricks – blending a can of Libby’s’ fruit and using it as a delicious, lower calorie ingredient. In addition to using the fruit puree to replace some of the butter or oil in baked goods, I’ve blended canned apricots to use as a one-ingredient fruit spread (Maple Honey Wheat Bread with Apricot Spread) and have blended canned peaches to use as a topper for oatmeal.

Speaking of oatmeal, I think I’ll mix in those pureed pears to my next bowlful. And if you add a spoonful of molasses and a few dashes of ground ginger and cinnamon, there’s yet another way to enjoy all the goodness of gingerbread without a lot of extra empty calories.

These Pear Gingerbread Squares are a delicious seasonal dessert that are sure to be a hit during the holidays.

For more recipe ideas and healthy hints from Libby’s, check out their Facebook page, Pinterest boards or Get Back To the Table blog.

Are you a gingerbread fan? Do you ever use blended fruit in recipes (besides smoothies?)

Make these Pear Gingerbread Squares for a deliciously seasonal holiday dessert.
These Pear Gingerbread Squares are a delicious seasonal dessert that are sure to be a hit during the holidays.

Pear Gingerbread Squares

Yield

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15 ounces) cans Libby’s® Naturals Pear Slices in Pear Juice, drained
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup nonfat milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a blender, puree pears until smooth. Add 1 cup of pear puree to a small bowl (save remaining pear puree for topping) and mix in molasses, milk and brown sugar. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients (flour mixture), mixing until batter is just incorporated.

  4. Coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until gingerbread test clean with a toothpick. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

  5. When serving, top each piece with a teaspoonful of both vanilla yogurt and remaining pear puree.

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tspbasil

tspbasil
Deanna Segrave-Daly is the author of the SWEET SPLURGES Feature on HealthyAperture -- a monthly column designed for the reader who wants to eat healthfully most of the time but who also enjoys indulging now and then, too. Deanna is a food-loving dietitian who writes, develops recipes and dabbles in food iPhoneography for her blog Teaspoon of Spice. Along with being the {Sweet Splurges} Features Editor at Healthy Aperture, she is also the co-founder of The Recipe ReDux and Blog Brûlée. Her 8-year old daughter and picky eater husband keep her inspired to create appealing, good-for-you family cuisine.
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