Season for Peaches May – October

Peaches Described

We were all secretly jealous of James and his giant peach. And now, every time we bite into the flesh of a juicy, sweet organic peach, we remember why. Peaches have been propagated for centuries, so lucky for us, there are now hundreds of varieties, all varying in color, flavor, shape and texture. In general, yellow peaches have a higher acid content, which gives them a hint of tartness. White peaches, on the other hand, have very low acid and taste strikingly sweet. Those relative newcomers you’ve likely seen around that look almost squashed – the donut or Saturn peaches – are also very sweet and low in acid.

How to Buy and Store Peaches

Let your nose be your guide as you snuff out the best peaches. Keep in mind that peaches need to ripen on the tree in order to be fully mature and scrumptous, so those picked prematurely will never develop into peach greatness. Make sure your peaches emit a fragrant aroma from the stem end. Also, look for specimens with smooth, unbruised skin, void of any green tints that indicate it was prematurely picked. Keep in mind that if a peach is bruised or has soft spots, it will go bad very quickly.

How to Cook Peaches

Peaches are best as nature intended them; eaten raw, out of hand on a warn summer day. When they are cooked or boiled, they lose up to 80% of their nutrients, especially Vitamin C. But, because peaches are highly perishable, cooking them can be both useful and delicious. Cobbler, pie and Melba are the most well-known dishes using peaches. The basic melba recipe consists of half of a peach poached in syrup, topped with vanilla ice cream, and garnished with raspberry puree. Yum! Peaches can also be used in jellies, jams, ice creams and liqueurs, and pair well with mascarpone cheese. 

When cooking, you may want to remove the peach’s skin as it tends to get tough. Otherwise, enjoy the skin’s bountiful nutrients. A good rinse can get a lot of the fuzz off. 

Health Benefits of Peaches

Peaches are far more than simply delicious. They provide a good dose of phytochemicals that work hard at keeping you healthy. Lutein and lycopene give peaches their characteristic red, orange and yellow hues. Couple that with carotenes and flavonoids, and peaches show promise in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration and cancer. Peaches are also high in vital nutrients including niacin, thiamine, potassium and calcium. And their high fiber content makes them great for digestive issues. 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Peaches

We would never buy canned peaches at the supermarket, for they shame the greatness of this fresh, delicious fruit, and contain the harmful chemical BPA that’s used in canning. We would, however, consider exercising our own culinary throwback: Canning & Preserving: Revival of the Lost Art. Also, avoid dried peaches that contain sulfur, which unfortunately are most of them. When shopping for fresh peaches, be sure to opt for those that were grown organically. Not only will they taste better, but peaches are known for holding on to pesticide residues, with vehemence. According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 96 percent of conventional peaches tested positive for pesticides!