Peaches in Season | Tips for Picking, Storing, Serving & 4 Recipes

Peaches-in-season-tricks-tips

My produce pick for the week is definitely Peaches.  You can get them for just 79 cents per pound during the two day sale at Shop N Save PA.  The deals make sense since prime season in PA for peaches is July to September and buying produce in season is a great way to save money.

So with that in mind here are some great tips and tricks to make the most of your peaches.

Varieties of Peaches

Did you know that there are over 2000 cultivated varieties of peaches worldwide?  However thee are two broad categories that the majority fit into

  • Clingtone Peaches – Often found earlier in the season, these peaches have flesh that clings to the pits.
  • Freestone Peaches – Found later in summer, the flesh of these peaches pulls freely from the pits.  These are the variety most often found in the supermarket.

In addition, little white peaches tend to be sweeter and juicier than yellow peaches.

Peach Nutrition Facts

While not a super food, peaches do offer good amounts of potassium, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C.  In fact one fresh peach offers 2.2 grams of dietary fiber and 21% of the RDA of Vitamin A for a women and 13% of the VItamin C a woman needs.

Dried peaches have three times as much vitamin A ounce for ounce as fresh peach.

In addition to the vitamins and fiber, peaches are also a good source of glutathione.  This is an antioxidant that older adults often have lower levels of than younger people.  If you suffer from sinusitis, you also might be low in glutathione, so consider grabbing a yummy peach.

The most nutritious way to serve a peach is fresh and ripe.

Picking Your Peaches

Look For peaches deep yellow or creamy background
Avoid – Peaches with a green hue – these probably won’t ripen
Touch and check for a flesh that should yield slightly when lightly pressed.  Choose between moderately hard  for peaches ready to eat in a few days to slightly soft for peaches that are ready now.
Smell the Peach – A ripe peach will have a warm, intense aroma

Storing Your Peaches

  • Keep in fruit bowl at room temperature until ripened.
  • Once ripe, place in refrigerator to extend freshenss
  • Be gentle, peaches bruise easily

Solving Peach Problems

Need to ripen quicker – Place peaches in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature for 1 to 3 days.   Check at least twice a day since they can go from rock-hard to rotten very quickly.

Prevent from discoloring – If you cut a peach and don’t get to eat it right away, it will turn brown.  Just spritz the peach with some citrus juice or dip them into a mixture of 1 TBSP Citrus Juice to 1 cup water and they will stay looking fresh.

Slicing a Soft Peach – When a peach gets really ripe, they can be very hard to slice.  To help this place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to avoid mush when slicing.

Peeling a Peach – Due to the fuzzy skin on a peach, most recipes where the peaches are to be cooked required it to be peeled.  This can be a real task if you try to do it manually.  Instead follow these two steps

  1. Immerse the peach in hot (even boiling) water for about 30 second.
  2. Lift it out with slotted spoon and immediately plunge into cold water
  3. Slip off the skin

Pit a Peach – I know if I give the kids a whole peach a lot will be thrown away because they don’t get close to the pit.  Since you pay per pound this is like throwing away cash.  To avoid this, it’s best to hand them a pitted peach, which really isn’t that hard in the case of a Freestone Peach which are what you most likely pick up at the grocery store..

Just slice around the peach, perpendicular to the crease line.  Twist the two halves apart.  Then dislodge the pit out of the half that held on to it.

Tasty Ways to Eat Your Peaches

There are some great peach pie and cobbler recipes out there, but here are 4 great simple ways to enjoy your fresh peaches:

Peach Cream Dessert – Just Mix bite size peach pieces with low-fat whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg

Cinnamon Peaches – For a great and tasty healthy snack, simple sprinkle cold peach wedges with cinnamon.

Grilled Peaches  and Ice Cream  – Top a half pitted peach with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp chopped crystallized ginger, 1 tsp unsalted butter and 1 tsp honey.  Wrap completely in foil.  Grill over medium fire for 5 minutes.  Serve on top of ice cream

If you have some fruit that is getting a bit past ripe, you could also consider using them for Fruit Leathers.

You can find more great produce tips here including cabbage, cantaloupe, cherries and more.

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