- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken
- 1 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 cloves
- 2 black peppercorns
- 3 large pears
- ½ cup unsweetened non dairy yogurt (sub unsweetened yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted but not hot
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400. In a square baking dish (I used a cast iron skillet), combine the maple syrup, water, and spices. Whisk very well to combine, and crush the spices as needed to extract flavor.
- Peel and slice the pears in half, scooping out the seeds with a small spoon or melon baller.
- Place the pears in the baking dish and stir gently to cat in the maple-spice mixture. Use a spoon to help coat the pears.
- Turn all the pears cut-side down and cover the pan with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil after 20 minutes, give the pears a quick stir to coat, and bake for another 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken and become syrupy.
- Remove the pears from the baking dish and strain the syrup.
- Serve the pears warm, drizzled with the syrup and cinnamon-ginger yogurt sauce (or ice cream) on the side.
- While the pears are baking, whisk all of your yogurt sauce ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When the pears are ready to eat, drizzle them with sauce and EAT UP.
The word fullness has meant many things to me in my health journey. At the height of my battle with emotional overeating it meant that awful tightness in your stomach that makes you want to die and unbutton your pants all at once. In my path to recovery from my disordered eating and body image issues, fullness became what felt like a never ending search for an elusive feeling. Years of abuse had me so disconnected from my body that I didn’t know what a healthy level of fullness felt like. So I searched and battled and fought my way back to that understanding. I became so proud of myself on the days when I reached that happy level of full, where I was sustained but not stuffed. That feeling became my high.
Needless to say, my twenties have been defined by fullness. Maybe some of you are the same. Maybe some of you are searching for that elusive feeling that is talked about in every health magazine. Maybe some of you are in the midst of recovery and still learning how to hear your fullness. (Keep listening – your body will start talking to you at some point.) It’s a beautiful feeling to come to. It has provided me with a level of peace I had not afforded myself before.
But now I have found my mind wandering to a new kind of fullness – a fullness of life. It seems now that my peace with physical fullness has made room in my life for a new hunger. I want to voraciously live. I want to digest as much life as I can. I want to stuff myself with wonder until I feel like my metaphorical pants are going to bust. Because now that I’m no longer preoccupied with what my body looks like, I have room for a preoccupation with what I can accomplish with that body.
Lately the things that have been making me feel full are the California sunshine on my face, the kindness of friends who let me use their kitchen, the passion of collaboration with other bloggers and foodies, and these Chai Poached Pears with Cinnamon-Ginger Yogurt Sauce. There is a world out there ready for eating. I’d like to devour it whole.
This is not to say that food fullness is no longer important. It is! I would not have the energy or capacity to devour life, if I did not sustain myself physically. And the joy of cooking food can be its own kind of fullness. I am simply saying that there is a fullness beyond our plate that is begging to be listened to. It is begging for you to indulge in it. It is my hope that we can all learn to satiate that hunger. You deserve a full life. So go out and EAT UP.
RECIPE NOTES: This recipe is from Dessert for Two’s new cookbook, Sweet & Simple. It’s a gorgeous little book full of dessert recipes for two! The book is full of desserts made with refined sugar, gluten, and dairy BUT there are a few uh-mazing health-ier options in there. (Like these chai poached pears!) Baking in small batches is NOT easy, but Christina makes it look so easy and so delicious.
The original version of this recipe includes a scoop of ice cream on top. I didn’t include that because I don’t like cold things all that much (sensitive teeth), but also because I thought this yogurt sauce was a delicious health-ier option for us. But you do you.