Peachy Keen

Sweet, juicy, and excellent in pies, we are celebrating peaches this month! In 1982 (40 years ago this year), July was designated as Peach Month by President Ronald Reagan, citing contributions peaches make to the American economy – and the American diet.

Made for Peach Other

How do you know what kind of peach is for you? There are a few varieties to keep in mind, like freestone/clingstone, yellow/white, and nectarines.

As you shop at the store or farmers market, if you see a sign that reads “free stone,” that doesn’t mean you get a rock as a bonus with your purchase. It means that peaches can be divided into two categories, freestone and clingstone, referring to the relationship between the flesh of the fruit and the stone (the seed or pit).

For freestone peaches, the pit falls easily from the fruit, the peach is easier to eat “out of hand”, and it’s generally the variety sold at grocery stores. For clingstone peaches, the flesh is more attached to the pit, these peaches are used in commercial canning, and they might be found at the farmers market.

You may also see signs that say “White Peaches” and “Yellow Peaches.” Yellow are more tart and better for baking (like in our pie!), while white are more sweet and better for grilling. The flesh of both freestone and clingstone peaches can be either yellow or white.

Fun fact: Though peaches are sweet, they have about 13g of sugar per peach, which makes them a relatively low sugar fruit. Win!

Maybe you are more of a nectarine person? They are the same species as peaches but with a recessive allele (flashback to biology class) which causes the smooth skin.

Yes, Georgia is the “Peach State,” but did you know that peach trees can grow here in Wisconsin? It’s tricky due to our colder climate, but it is possible. Nearby Apple Holler even offers peach picking! Check out their website for tips on freezing peaches.

Can’t get out that way? The Tree-Ripe Fruit truck has delicious peaches grown in the south brought right to our area within days of harvest. Our staff member Carrie says, “They have the BEST peaches next to Georgia!” The map of their peach stops lists when they’ll be nearby, so mark your calendars!

Let’s get to the fun part – recipes!

We clearly love peaches as part of dessert. If you are a cobbler fan, this recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch is super easy and uses either fresh peaches or canned peaches – a bonus for the colder months! This recipe also includes a tip for peeling peaches: place in boiling water for 30 seconds then in an ice water bath (similar to handling hard boiled eggs).

Since it IS summer, fresh peaches are at our disposal ... as is the backyard grill. Serve those babies up cookout style with a bit of cinnamon sugar!

Steps

  1. Cut the peaches in half, removing the pit. (Remember, freestone white peaches are best for this scenario.)
  2. Brush with olive oil on the cut side; sprinkle oil with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Place cut side down on the grill over medium heat.
  4. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. The cinnamon sugar will caramelize on the grill – yum!
  5. Remove and sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream; we recommend serving the peaches and ice cream in a schaum torte, of course!

For a savory option, try peach salsa. Chop up some fresh peaches (or drained canned ones) with your pico de gallo-style tomato, bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Serve with chips – or on a fish taco!

To choose your fresh peaches for these recipes, try this tip: give them a sniff. If your peach smells peachy, it’s probably a good choice. They should also have a slight give when you press on them. But do be gentle; they bruise easily. If the peaches you bought are firm, set them on the counter and they’ll ripen in a few days. To help ripe peaches keep, you can store them in the fridge. And just like we mentioned in our strawberry blog, don’t wash the fruit until right before using.

At the end of the day, let us be like the peach, knowing when to cling to the things inside us and when to let go.

Fresh from our oven to yours - happy baking!

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