Recently, a very dear friend of mine had a great new fruit that I had never heard of…a green apple? Asian pear? No, something in between: quince!!
Quince is a wonderfully tart yellow, pear shaped fruit. Quince has been shown to have a rich source of anti-allergic and anti-viral properties reducing symptoms of allergies. Quince also has a large amount of tannins, (giving quince its tart taste) which bind to cancer carrying toxins and chemicals, protecting you against cancer. Quince also contains 25% of your daily vitamin C requirement, helping to build your immunity in the winter months. Quince is also a great source of vitamin A, reducing night blindness. Quince is rich in fiber, helping to keep your bowel movements regular, reduce your cholesterol, and reduce your risk for certain cancers. And overall, introducing new fruits into your diet like quince, increases the variety of fruits and vegetables you have in your diet = more vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants!
How to pick and store a quince:
Choose a quince that is bright golden yellow. Store them in the refrigerator. Or pick up quince jam spreads, also delicious!
What do they taste like?
Quince have a tart taste when raw but when cooked, quince tastes like a tart (green) apple with the texture of a pear.
Quince Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas:
- Serve quince jam with manchego cheese and whole wheat crackers as an appetizer
- Glaze meats and poultry (like your turkey) with quince syrup – Cook 2 lbs of quartered fresh quince in 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of water with 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Simmer until pale pink in color. Strain and marinade meats or poultry in syrup and roast with cooked quince! Try this great Quince Turkey recipe from Martha Stewart:
- Make roasted pears, apples, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, parsnips and quince for an easy side dish
- Try this spin on cranberry sauce
- Try roasting quince with your sweet potatoes
- Want to try a new spin on a traditional Thanksgiving classic? Try apple and quince pie this year
- For a fancy fake-out, try making poached quince for a low-calorie dessert
Other recipe ideas with quince:
- For a traditional Mediterranean dish using quince, try Moraccan Lamb Stew
- Spread quince jam with almond butter on whole wheat bread for a fancy spin on pb and j
- Try making quince applesauce to top on whole wheat pancakes, waffles, to mix into oatmeal, or for the little ones!
So look to quince for a great new spin on a Thanksgiving favorite this year. Adding some new spice to an old classic makes the holidays just that much more fun!
--Amy Santo, MS RD CDN