With the peak season for peaches coming up in July and August, we’re likely to see peaches on sale frequently throughout the next couple of months. At Sunflower Market this week, yellow and white flesh peaches are on sale for $0.47/lb!
The quality of peaches available at any given time will vary, but here are some tips for choosing the best out of the bunch:
- Look for peaches that are completely free of bruises and blemishes.
- Choose peaches that are firm, but yield under gentle pressure.
- Avoid peaches that have any hint of green to their skin.
- A defined cleft in the peach’s shape is a good indicator that the peach is ripe.
- If you buy underripe peaches, try placing them in a paper bag with a few holes punched in it. (Be sure to check the peaches every 12 hours or so, as they may ripen quickly in the bag.)
Because peaches are so perishable, be sure to buy only the amount you plan to consume in a few days; otherwise, peaches are wonderful for freezing or canning. Here’s a great tutorial from Laura on how to freeze and can peaches.
If you’re not into canning but would like to preserve your peaches in a refrigerated jam, try this simple recipe for Chunky Peach Spread. The author of the recipe says “you’ll want to try it on everything from bagels to waffles!”
In case you end up with overripe peaches, try finely chopping or pureeing the fruit and storing it in a freezer bag with a bit of acidic juice (such as lemon). Frozen pureed peaches are perfect for smoothies, or as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or pancakes!
If you’re looking for a good dessert recipe for all those fresh peaches, try this one for Southern Peach Cobbler, which has a dense, cake-like topping–or this one for Grilled Peach Cobbler, which uses granola for a crunchier texture.
Peaches are also a flavorful and interesting addition to savory dishes. This Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Barbecue Sauce looks fantastic! The recipe includes a homemade barbecue sauce made with fresh peaches, which would be great to double (or triple!) and save for later use in other pork or poultry recipes.
What’s your favorite way to use peaches? Do you have any special tips for preserving them?