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Peaches

Peaches

You've got to hand it to the peach — it's luscious, sweet and probably the only fruit with a state nickname and three timeless desserts to its credit!

Nutritional Highlights

  • Want vitamin C? Peaches are a good source of it. One medium peach - or about 150 grams of the fruit — will give you 16percent of your daily value of this nutrient.
  • A medium peach has about 60 calories.

History

The peach is Asia's gift to the world. Ancient Chinese emperors favored the peach above all other fruits. Today, California and Georgia (a.k.a. the Peach State) grow millions of pounds of peaches every year, which are perfect for making Peach Melba, peaches and cream or Peach Cobbler. That's just peachy!

Varieties

Different seasons see different types of peaches peaking. Queencrests dominate the spring, while Elegant Ladies are the big summertime peach. In the autumn and winter, other varieties of peaches get imported from Chile and Mexico. One of the main differences between all varieties is whether they are clingstone or freestone — that is, whether or not the pit sticks to the flesh when a peach is cut open.

When are Peaches in Season?

Between California, Georgia, and Central and South America, you can find a source for your peaches all year.

How to Choose Peaches

Picking out a good peach means using your eyes, your nose and your hands. First, heft a peach in your palm, and give it a little squeeze. It should feel firm yet soft, with a little give under your fingertips. Now, look at the skin. A good peach will be blushing a pinkish-orange and be covered with a faint fuzz. Finally, sniff the peach. The best ones will have a rich, unmistakable scent.

How to Store Peaches

To ripen your peaches, store them at room temperature in a cabinet, pantry or fruit bowl. Once they have softened a bit, you can eat them or pop them into your fridge's fruit drawer.

How to Cook with Peaches

Lots of recipes will call for fresh, ripe peaches, but you'll occasionally get to stir it up by baking, blending or pan-searing them. To get peaches ready to cook, simply wash them under the tap. You don't even need to peel a peach (unless the recipe calls for it), since a lot of the fruit's flavor and nutrients can be found in the skin. If you do need to peel your peaches, a trick for making it easier is to drop them into boiling water for about a minute, then into ice water to cool them off.

Key Measurements

Cups, slices or whole peaches are the usual measurements.

Substitutions

The best alternative to a peach is the nectarine, which is a sweeter, fuzz-free variety. Mangoes, apricots or papaya will also do.

Peaches in Recipes

They're good for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so why not have peaches at all three meals? Start your day by making hot, hearty Peach Melba Pancakes and drizzling them with cool raspberry syrup.

For lunch, Grilled Chicken Breasts with Cucumber-Peach Salsa tastes great, especially if you mix the salsa the day before to let its flavors blend.

Finally, Strip Steaks with Chipotle-Peach Glaze make a dazzling grilled dinner. Afterward, you can settle into the evening with bowl of hot-and-cold Healthified Peach Cobbler.

Related Recipes

Reviews & Comments

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