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Ingredient of the Week, July 7: Peaches

Posted by on Jul. 7, 2013 at 7:32 AM
  • 6 Replies

  

                                

Peaches have been a popular fruit since the Spaniards first brought them to North America. California, Georgia and South Carolina are the largest producers of peaches in the United States.

Peaches can be dried, canned, made into jams, jellies, and preserves, used as filling for desserts, and used as an ingredient in many other dishes, from appetizers to entrees.

When shopping for peaches, choose fragrant fruits which are unblemished and not overly firm. Because fresh peaches are highly perishable, don't buy more than you plan to use. Even when unripe, they spoil easily. Peaches that are greenish colored were probably picked too early should be avoided. Sweetness does not increase after picking, so ripe-picked fruit is always the tastiest.

Peaches will peel more easily if blanched for a minute in boiling water then plunged in cold water for a minute to stop the effect of the heat. Peaches discolor quickly when exposed to the air, so should be sprinkled with lemon or lime juice, or a fruit "keeper" if not eaten or cooked immediately.

How to Peel a Peach by Blanching



Select Ripe Peaches

Start by selecting peaches that are fragrant and give just a little to the touch, and that are free of bruises or soft spots.

To properly peel a peach we're going to use a technique called, "blanching," which actually comes up pretty often the more explore new recipes.

Never blanched anything before? Don't sweat it - it's basically just boiling stuff.

Boil the Peaches

Set a small saucepan of water on your stove top burner and set it to high. While you wait for the water to boil, take another dish and fill it with ice, then add water.

Once the water on the stove reaches a boil, turn off the heat and submerge your peach for about 45 seconds.

Carefully remove the peach with a spoon and plunge it into the ice-bath, which halts any cooking of the actual fruit.

                              canning peaches

Cut Into the Peach Peel

Carefully cut into the peel with a paring knife; it should easily fall right off the fruit as you make your incision.

Return the fruit to the ice water, which activates an enzyme that will keep the peach from discoloring right away.

Remove Stubborn Peach Peels

If the peel is still giving you trouble, toss it back in the hot water for another 30 seconds, and give it another shot.

Or, you could also try microwaving your peach for 15 seconds on high, then letting it sit for about two minutes before removing the peel.

                               

Do you like peaches? How do eat them fresh or use them in things like peach cobbler, peach pie or smoothies?

by on Jul. 7, 2013 at 7:32 AM
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Replies (1-6):
swdesigns
by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Great information! Thanks for sharing.  My daughter and I are the only ones who eat peaches in our house and we usually have them fresh or in a smoothie. 

LindaClement
by on Jul. 8, 2013 at 2:07 PM

I like peaches two ways:

raw or in ginger-peach jam

SarahSuzyQ
by Member on Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Ooh, no thanks, I do not care for peaches... Texture or flavor.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:46 AM

We love the summery taste of peaches!  We eat them fresh, in peach pies, on top of our grain-free pancakes or crepes, and I'll even make freezer jam with them.

clmsmom
by on Jul. 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Love peaches! I can them - make jams out of them - eat them fresh - but my favorite is in cobblers..yum.

 

ablackdolphin
by on Jul. 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Yum!  I've been finding lots of peaches at farmer's markets the last few weeks.  They are so darn good!

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