We’re approaching the end of summer and I am loving the fact that most of my favorite fruits are stll in season. It’s not difficult for my family (4 kids, 1 hubby, and me) to go through 3-5 pieces of fruit for each of us A DAY! We’re feasting on mango, pineapple, peaches, nectarine, pluots, and blueberries at every meal and snack. And yes, we do fight over the offerings, as these sweet jewels are like a little piece of heaven. My trip to the farmer’s market on Friday had us up to our eyeballs in peaches, nectarines, and pluots (plum-apricot hybrid) all weekend and we love that they will stay in season through September (only getting better as the weeks go by!).
Peaches and nectarines are native of China and came to the United states back in the 1500s. These fruits, along with plums, apricots, cherries, and almonds, are members of the stone fruit category. Both fruits come in either yellow-flesh or white flesh varieties. The major difference between a peach and a nectarine is their skin – fuzzy peach vs. smooth nectarine. Peaches can be further subdivided into freestone or cling varieties. In freestone peaches, the flesh falls away from the pit when you slice it, which makes it great for a snack. Clingstone peaches have to have the flesh sliced away from the pit. Generally, early season offerings are clingstone and later season availability is freestone.
Nutritionally speaking, a whole peach or nectarine has about 60 calories and is a great source of fiber (2 grams), potassium (250 mg), vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
There’s so much more to do with peaches and nectarines that just slicing and eating them. You can turn them into jam, you can slice them and layer them on a sandwich, you can add them to a salad, you can make them into a salsa, you can cook them on the BBQ, you can bake them into a cobbler, crisp, or pie, or fold them into muffin batter for a healthy breakfast.
Peach, Plum, Nectarine Salsa
- 1 peach, sliced
- 1 nectarine, sliced
- 1 plum, sliced
- 1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed (use more if you want it hotter)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion or sweet yellow onion
- Heat a grill pan on the stove. When hot, add the slices of peaches, plums, nectarines, and jalapeno and cook about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan to a cutting board. Allow to cool, then chop and place into a bowl.
- Add the lime juice, cilantro, and onion. Stir to combine and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve as a dip with baked tortilla chips OR over freshly grilled fish, such as red snapper, trout, halibut, or salmon.
Peach and Nectarine Crisp
This recipe comes together very quickly and also works great if your fruit is not yet ripe. You can use yellow-or white peaches and nectarines, or a whole variety of them.
- 3 peaches, sliced and chopped
- 3 nectarines, sliced and chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1-2 cups Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal or Nature’s Path Organic Hemp Plus granola
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare a large glass or ceramic baking dish (8×11 or 9×13).
- In a large bowl, combine peaches, nectarines, and cinnamon. Toss to thoroughly coat. Pour into the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and pour the cereal over the top of the fruit. return to the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Serve in with freshly whipped cream or nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt.