Even when we’re watching our waistlines, we should have a little sweetness every once in a while. Fruit desserts are a wonderful way to indulge that craving without completely sabotaging efforts.

Since pears are coming into season, they are a great option for a light dessert that is elegant enough for company, and poaching is an easy way to prepare them.

Albeit easy to make, these poached pears have numerous health benefits, too, because of the red wine and pomegranate juice in the poaching liquid.

As we have learned, red wine can help control cholesterol and further protect the heart by keeping blood vessels flexible to aid in the prevention of blood clots and strokes. It also helps control blood sugar and the antioxidants can help fight infections too.

Like red wine, pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and has been shown to protect the heart and blood vessels. As little as eight ounces a day can make a difference.

So go ahead and indulge a little. Your heart will thank you.

Red Wine and Pomegranate Poached Pears

Makes 6 servings
4 c. dry red wine
1 bottle (16 ounces) pomegranate juice
1/3 c. sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
6 Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled and cored, keeping stems intact

In a Dutch oven, combine everything except the pears. Bring to a boil and add the pears; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until pears are almost tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool. Strain poaching liquid and return to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cook until thickened and slightly syrupy, about 45-60 minutes. When ready to serve, drizzle each pear with a little of the poaching liquid.

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