They're a sweet delight, blissful plucked straight from the fruit bowl, great on the grill, yummy in salsas and other condiments (see our Recipe Revue) and a summer dessert mainstay.
Peaches originally came from China. During his travels there, explorer Marco Polo saw peaches that weighed several pounds. Nowadays, they're mainly grown in the United States, South Africa and Australia.
Peaches do have one pitfallthey can go from unripe, to ripe, to mushy in a heartbeat. Never fearwe have tips on how to keep your peaches peachy.
You're a Peach
Peaches are a good source of fiber and vitamin A and C. A large-sized fruit has only 70 calories which makes it a fantastic snack or guilt-free dessert.
Pick peaches that are fragrant and fairly firm. The skin between the red spots should be yellow or cream colored, but remember the amount of red blush doesn't represent how ripe the fruit is. Hard fruit with green color will never ripen. Also skip very soft peaches or peaches with any flattened bruises or signs of decay, which starts as a pale tan spot, expands in a circle and slowly turns darker. Peaches bruise easily so handle them with care.
Local is better when it comes to peaches (of course that goes for most fruits and vegetables). When peaches are picked too early and kept in cold storage for a couple of weeks they have a woolly texture that is crushing for the aficionado.
To ripen them, put your peaches in a paper bag that has a few holes in it. Once the fruit is ripe, you can keep it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to a couple of days.
Very ripe peaches peel with ease. Otherwise, blanching is a good option. Cut a small X in the end opposite the stem and plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds, then swiftly transfer to ice water. The skin will peel away easily afterwards. Rub or sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the peaches from browning.
Peaches pair well with almonds, oranges, raspberries, strawberries and ginger. The grill is also a good buddy for slightly under ripe peaches. Simply halve them, remove the pit and put the peach to the metal.
Try peaches in these FoodFit recipes:
Grilled Chicken with Ginger-Peach Glaze
Cold Peach Soup
Tropical Fruit Salsa
Rustic Fresh Blueberry Peach Tart
Georgia Peach Cooler