Peaches are an incredibly nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in many ways. As a refreshing summer snack or to add flavor to salads, smoothies, and desserts alike, peaches make an ideal snack.
One medium peach provides 11% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps heal wounds and boosts your immunity.
Summers in the South are a time for fun and relaxation, but one of the best parts is biting into a fresh peach from your garden. Whether you’re away on vacation or spending quality family time at the local farm stand, make sure you pick your peaches at the right time so they’re sweet and flavorful.
When your peaches are ripe, there are several easy ways to tell: smell and taste the fruit for signs that they have become fully ripe; look at their color if they have bright golden hues with no green spots or bruises and you can be pretty certain they’ve reached peak ripeness!
Peaches can be enjoyed raw or cooked, and they provide a good source of fiber. Plus, they’re packed full of vitamins A, C and E for extra vitality. Not only that but peaches also have low calories as well as phytochemicals which act as antioxidants.
Before baking or eating peaches, it’s essential to prepare them properly for optimal flavor and texture. Here are a few easy steps you can take to guarantee your sliced peaches have maximum flavor and texture.
- Choose ripe peaches with a sweet fragrance and an attractive creamy gold to yellow background color. Red or “blush” on a peach indicates variety rather than ripeness.When you’re ready to enjoy your peaches, make sure they are thoroughly washed to remove dirt and debris. After that, place them in the fridge to ripen for several days.Once they’re ripe, cut them in half with a sharp paring knife. Make a cut down to the pit, then make another parallel to that first cut. With minimal effort, flick the blade in the direction of your first cut to separate each segment evenly.
- Slice or dice the peaches for an irresistible breakfast or snack. You can also add diced peaches to smoothies or serve them on top of yogurt or ice cream.
- Brush the peaches with lemon juice to prevent browning. Freshly cut peaches tend to brown quickly, so for best results, dip them in either 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or use a commercial ascorbic acid mixture as described above. This will help prevent the fruit from turning black.
- Freeze Peaches for Later UseAfter thawing in the refrigerator, you can freeze peaches in thin slices to use in recipes that call for sliced fruit or cut them into wedges to create preserves or peach pie and tarts.
- Create syrup for canning peaches. With just one to four cups of sugar per two cups of peaches, you can create an exquisite syrup!
If your peaches don’t look perfect when you get them home, don’t fret — there are still ways to make them delicious even if they are imperfect. Here are a few tips on how to cook peaches:
Blanching Peaches to Loosen Their Skins: Bring a pot of water to boil and add your peaches. After about 10-20 seconds, remove them from the boiling water and place in an ice water bath to stop cooking. According to Jenny Friedman, a registered dietitian in Pennsylvania, this helps slow down enzymes that cause peach peels to become tough and dry.
Peel them: Use a hand peeler to carefully and precisely peel away the peach skin with downward strokes starting at the top and working your way down until there is no trace of skin remaining. Repeat this step until all traces of peel have been eliminated.
You could also cut them open and use their insides to make an amazing dessert like this:
These Baked Peaches offer a delectable alternative to pie. Roasted peaches are stuffed with cinnamon-honey mixture for an extra special summer snack that makes them extra delish!
Roasted Peaches make for an easy dinner when served with cheese and cinnamon. A drizzle of brown sugar and mascarpone cheese adds the perfect finishing touch.
Freeze Them: Once you’ve made these recipes, it’s time to stock up on freezer bags for all of your frozen peach needs. Choose containers that are durable and easy to seal, resistant to cracking at low temperatures, as well as moisture- and vapor-resistant.
You can freeze whole peaches in a jar to prevent them from oxidizing and losing their shape when you’re ready to consume them. Plus, freezing is great for storing leftovers!
When it comes to preserving peaches, there are various methods you can choose from. Some are quick and easy, while others require more effort for optimal results. No matter which option you opt for, make sure your produce remains safe from spoilage by following tested recipes and procedures for preservation.
The most popular way to preserve peaches is by canning them whole. This involves filling jars with peaches and then pouring a sugar syrup over them; once sealed with lids, they are placed into a canner filled with water for preservation.
Before canning peaches, be sure to sterilize all jars and other equipment. Wash all tools in hot, soapy water in order to prevent contamination from food or bacteria. Rinse jars thoroughly then wipe them down with a paper towel or cloth. If using metal jars, make sure they have been sterilized prior to using.
Next, fill the jars with peaches, leaving about 3/4 inch headspace between their tops and the rims of the jars. Use a small, non-metallic spatula to remove air bubbles as they rise to the top (metal may scratch inside of jar).
Once all the peaches are in the jars, add the hot liquid used for canning. Tighten the lids securely and wipe down the rims with a paper towel or cloth to remove any food that might have become trapped there.