Summertime in America means warmer temperatures and sun; it also signals that it’s peach season! It begins in May and continues until late September, but the season is at its peak in July and August. Perfectly ripe peaches are definitely delicious, but they also have nutritional benefits. They freeze well and are perfect for many recipes that are easy to preserve like jams and compotes, so this delicious fruit can be available and part of your family’s diet all year long.
It’s important to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet, and peaches are not only delicious, but they are full of vitamin C and are also a good source of potassium and fiber. In addition, they contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
One raw medium peach has 50 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. It provides 6% of your daily vitamin A needs and 15% of daily vitamin C needs. One medium peach also contains 2% or more of your daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper.
Now that you know peaches are definitely a healthy choice, it’s important to know how to choose the best, ripen them, and store them for later use. Peaches get softer and juicier after picking, but they only develop flavor and sweetness on the tree. Choose fruit that yields slightly to pressure: firmish fruit are fine, but hard fruit should be avoided. The amount and depth of pink coverage on the skin varies and does not signify ripeness, but any sign of green reveals fruit that has been picked prematurely. Smell is a very good indicator of the level of flavor.
Firm peaches can be kept at room temperature until soft (storing in a paper bag will accelerate this process). Soft fruit can be refrigerated to help maintain its condition, but very ripe peaches go from peak to overly ripe quickly and need to be eaten promptly. Like many peeled or cut fruits, peaches will turn brown as they oxidize. A little lemon juice will help prevent this.
Peaches are now in season across much of the United States, and there are so many yummy ways to include them in your diet:
- Peach Salsa! Salsa makes a delicious accompaniment to many different meats and a great dip for tortilla chips. Try a new salsa recipe and spoon it over grilled chicken or fish.
- Beverage Blast. Add an extra flavor surge to your tea or lemonade. Just muddle fresh or frozen peaches in the bottom of a glass before pouring.
- Cobbler or Compote. Don’t forget the dessert!
- Bake, Broil, Grill, or Sauté. For a delicious snack or side dish, warm some peach slices using one of these cooking methods then add a little cinnamon.
- Peach Preserves. Try your hand at making some delicious peach preserves! It keeps the flavor of summer in your pantry all year round.
- Drink ‘em. Toss fresh or frozen peaches into a blender with some low-fat yogurt (or milk), bananas, and ice. Then blend away for a delicious smoothie.
- A Peachy Breakfast. Peach slices are a great addition to hot or cold cereals, pancakes and waffles, and plain or vanilla yogurt, or cottage cheese.
We have several recipes for peaches on our website. Visit https://bit.ly/30iNbY9 to find ways to combine Bellisari’s sauces and spreads and delicious, ripe peaches. All of us at Bellisari’s wish you a “peachy” summer! 😉