Peaches are the third most popular fruit in the USA. They rank right behind apples and oranges. The time to eat peaches is now. Farmers' markets and grocery stores are loaded with blushing, sweet, fragrant, juicy peaches.
The peach is a member of the rose family and should have a pleasingly sweet fragrance. Beyond that sweet smell, peaches are virtually fat free, and naturally sodium and cholesterol free. They contain vitamin A which helps us see in dim light and they are also considered a good source of fiber.
Interestingly, peaches are also great for your skin. They contain phytochemicals, which are compounds produced by plants that are important for healthy skin and may offer enhanced protection against the sun. Peaches also contain large amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. AHAs are a buzzword in the world of spa treatments. The AHAs in peaches help soften wrinkles, sun spots, age spots, blemishes and can even unclog pores.
Age to introduce: About 6-8 months (cooked and pureeed).
Toddler Treat: Peach Parfait
Parfaits are bit old fashioned, but still lots of fun. Instead of using grandma's fancy parfait glasses, try the using a small clear plastic container (1/4 cup size). You can purchase the semi-disposable plastic ones in the grocery store. They come with a lid and are great for day care or a snack-on-the go.
- 1 peach, peeled and pitted
- 2 crushed graham cracker squares
- ¼ cup of vanilla or plain yogurt (soy or dairy-based)
Puree to the peach in a blender until smooth. (for older kids, you can use diced peaches)
Layer the ingredients in the cup - peaches, yogurt, graham cracker, yogurt, peaches, yogurt and graham crackers - viola!
Age to introduce: Over 12 months
Storage: Refrigerate for a few hours.
Peaches for the whole family
Peaches are commonly used in desserts, such as pies, cobblers, crisp, crumbles, etc. But the peach is actually much more versatile and can be used in many ways to enhance your family meals.
- Pizza: Add sliced peaches to your pepperoni pizza before cooking.
- Pita sandwich: Spread cream cheese (or goat cheese), sliced peaches, roasted peppers, and chopped basil on pita bread.
- Grilled peaches. Cut peaches in half, remove pit. Place cut side down on BBQ grill for 5-10 minutes. Serve a side dish.
- Peach Salsa: Dice peaches, tomatoes, onions, and chop cilantro. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Toss with a squeeze of lime juice. (add a little honey for sweetness or a little jalapeno for spice - or both!). Serve with grilled meat, fish, tofu, or chicken.
- Peach cubes: Puree fresh, pitted, peeled peaches in a blender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to preserve the color. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Use these instead of ice cubes with lemonade, juice, white wine or champagne!
Peeling Peaches: To peel a peach, dip it into boiling water for 30 seconds, then in cold water. The peel should slide off easily.
Preserve the color: To keep sliced peaches from darkening, add a little lemon juice to them.