Are you a fan of peaches? Do you look forward to that time of year when you can get fresh, juicy peaches? Or, maybe it is the aroma of a fresh peach that makes it irresistible. Peaches are available in South Louisiana from mid-April to mid- August and in North Louisiana from mid-May to mid-September. Their peak season is June 15- July 15.
Peaches are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. One medium peach provides 58 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 17 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, and 10 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin A. They are low in fat and calories and are sodium-free. Peaches are also packed with antioxidants which help reduce the risk of certain cancers and promote healthy aging.
Peaches are either freestone or clingstone depending if the flesh sticks to the stone or not. When looking to purchase this fuzzy fruit, choose firm-ripe peaches or those becoming a bit soft. The base color of the skin between the red areas should be yellow or creamy. The skin should be tight and fresh-looking free of bruises, diseases, and insect damage. If planning to use peaches in a recipe, you will want to keep this in mind: one pound fresh peaches equals 3 to 4 medium peaches, or 2 cups of sliced peaches, or 1 ½ cups pulp or pureed peaches.
Store peaches at room temperature away from direct sunlight until they fully ripen. Spread peaches uncovered in a single layer in a cool place. They should become fully ripe and soft within 3 to 4 days. For best quality, refrigerate soft peaches and use them within 3 to 5 days. If fresh peaches are not an option for you, you might purchase canned peaches. Look for those in their own juices. If you are looking for year- round peaches, consider freezing fresh peaches or purchasing frozen ones.
Looking for a peach recipe, why not try this Fresh Peach Salsa Recipe.
Combine all ingredients.
Cover and chill for several hours, stirring occasionally.
Great with grilled meat or with tortilla chips.
Yield: about 3 1/2 cups
Recipe source: North Carolina Extension Service
Sources: LSU AgCenter pub. # 3083 and www.fruitsandveggies.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture