Tis the season at last for fresh fall pears! From crispy Bosc to juicy Bartlett, you may already be seeing grocery produce bins fill with all shapes and sizes, colors and textures of plump ripe pears. As such, it can be tempting to over-buy…after all, you won't see these deals for long. If you happen to find yourself with too many ripening pears on your hands, consider these other unusual uses instead! You may just discover your "pear windfall" is even richer than you predicted!

Pick and store your pears for a long life:

The pears you pick and how you store them in part determine how long you will have before they go bad.

1. Lose weight

The research has spoken, and the evidence is overwhelming. Pears can help you lose weight. The "how" is simple—full flavor combined with full fiber combined with very few calories. The fiber fills up your belly and (later) aids digestion and elimination. Also, the flavor helps you feel satisfied, and the low calories keeps you trim. It's a win-win-win!

  • What to do: Your physician permitting, substitute a pear and greens smoothie for one meal per day (eat your other two as usual). Combine ½ banana (frozen is best); one pear; one large handful of stem-free, dark, leafy greens of your choice (spinach, kale, broccoli are great); a slice of fresh ginger and 5-8 ounces of milk of your choice (cow, goat, soy, hemp, rice, coconut, almond are all great). Add a few ice cubes if desired. Blend until smooth, garnish with ginger, and enjoy!
  • How you save: When combined with enough rest, hydration and exercise, you can skip the pricey pre-prepared "diet" meals (at My fit Foods, a single meal can run you $5-$9) and lose the weight the healthy, old-fashioned, cheap way.

2. Repel wrinkles

Pears contain natural anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties, which can produce healthy, glowing, wrinkle-resistant skin—especially the sensitive skin of the face, neck and hands.

  • What to do: Peel, core and dice one ripe pear. Mash up the diced pear, then add ½ tsp honey and 1 Tbsp of cream. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Use your fingers to spread the paste over the skin of your face and neck. Wait 15 minutes then rinse with cool water and pat dry.
  • How you save: Anti-aging creams can run you $50-$150 in salons and stores. Or you could try this recipe weekly and keep your skin young looking organically for pennies.

3. Fight cancer

Pears score very high in anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties, especially when compared with other fruits. As such, they can hunt and eliminate free radicals like nobody's business!

  • What to do: Peel, core and dice two pears, two carrots and two apples. Finely chop 1 Tbsp fresh ginger. Add a bed of fresh washed spinach leaves, layering your pear-carrot-apple mix over it. Add your favorite grilled protein (chicken, tofu, fish) and then the garnish of ginger. Add your dressing of choice (if desired).
  • How you save: This tasty, fresh salad gives your heart a triple-power pack of anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant/anti-carcinogenic properties—plus it’s full of protein and fiber to help you stay full longer (see #1 – maintaining weight is also important in fighting cancer).

4. Boost immunity

Whether you are fighting off germs, healing from a wound, or simply striving to stay healthy, pears can help. This small fruit is packed with Vitamin C, which is a known healing agent.

  • What to do: Core 5-10 ripe pears and slice them thinly. Add one cup chilled spring water for every whole pear you use. If desired, add in ¼ – ½ cup fresh sliced ginger. Allow to "steep" six hours, then strain the liquid into a pitcher. Refrigerate and drink one glass daily.
  • How you save: Instead of paying $3-$4 for store-bought "vitamin" and "mineral" waters, make your own—it’s fresher, healthier and much cheaper.

5. Stave off osteoporosis

Pears contain a wealth of minerals, including the essential calcium, to help keep bones strong and healthy.

6. Keep the heart healthy

Not only do pears boost red blood cell counts with iron and copper, but their high potassium content keeps blood pressure low, arteries open and flowing, and risk of heart attack, clots and stroke lower overall.

  • What to do: Break out your juicer and get to work! First, peel and core 2 small pears, then slice them. De-string one large celery stalk. Slice one medium cucumber (skin on). Grab 1-2 handfuls dark, leafy greens of your choice. Feed all ingredients into your juicer, then enjoy immediately!
  • How you save: My dad was taking an expensive medicine for high blood pressure. Its side effects made him tired and dizzy. Now he juices daily and has never felt better!

7. Make healthy babies

Pears are packed with folic acid. Folates protect the baby in the womb—especially against birth defects.

  • What to do: Eat 1-2 pears daily. They are delicious sliced in salads, diced in yogurt or cottage cheese, blended in smoothies, baked, poached or just eaten raw.
  • How you save: My sister-in-law got very nauseous with some of the prenatal pills she had to take—this way, you still get high doses of daily folates, but without the sometimes unpleasant side effects and high price tag.
Pears: 7 Things You Didn’t Know to Improve Your Health and Save Funds Too!