The peach tree is considered to be the tree of life and those irresistible juicy fruits that blossom so elegantly from it’s branches are symbols of immortality and unity. With more than 300 varieties grown in North America alone, summer farmer’s markets are never short of beautifully sun-kissed, plump and fresh, mouth watering peaches to grace your shopping basket with.
Did you know that August is National peach month? So what better way to celebrate than with 7 succulent summer recipes, both sweet and savoury to suit all tastebuds.
The Crème de la Crème July and August are peak season for fresh peaches. Like any fruit, peaches should feel heavy for their size and be firm to the touch, but with flesh that will yield with gentle pressure. The fruits should be unblemished and free of bruises, with a warm, fragrant aroma that . No smell = no taste. Most peaches will have a rosy blush to the skin, but this is usually just a variety trait and not necessarily an indication of quality. A good indicator of maturity is a well-defined cleft in the shape of the peach. Avoid those with any hint of green as they will never fully ripen. Although peaches will continue to ripen after being picked from the tree, the sugar production ceases once plucked and will not increase even though the fruit may soften.
Peach perfect storage
Since peaches are highly perishable, they must be handled with care. Purchase only the amount you need to use within a few days and do not wash until just before you intend to use them. Peaches like to breathe, so when storing fresh produce at room temperature, be sure there is enough space between them to allow proper air circulation. Refrigeration will extend the life of a peach, but only by a day or two. Peaches need humidity, so refrigerate them in a plastic bag and use within two days. Ideally, let refrigerated peaches come close to room temperature before eating (about 30 minutes), as the flavor will be more full, robust and juicy. Vitasave Tip - You can give your under-ripe peaches a little helping hand by placing them in a paper bag punched with holes at room temperature, in a spot away from sunlight. Check often for ripeness as they can go from under-ripe to overripe in a matter of 24 hours. Adding an apple or banana, both of which exude natural ethylene gas, to the bag will hasten ripening.
Peach Pizza... with Nectarines - Yes nectarines are a type of peach don’t you know!
Ingredients Dough -
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil Cashew Pesto
- 1 Bunch of Basil (about 1 Cup. Save some extra leaves for garnish)
- ¾ Cup Cashews (raw or roasted)
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmasen
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
- Couple Grinds of Pepper Toppings
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- 2 nectarines, sliced thin
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil
- 6 ounces crumble gorgonzola or blue cheese
- 2 jalapeños, sliced (optional) - balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed. Now rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours. Toss everything but the olive oil (basil, cashews, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper), into a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and then drizzle in the olive oil. Add the pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper if desired. Taste and adjust to your liking. Heat a medium skillet over high heat and add the butter or coconut oil. Add the nectarines to a bowl and toss with coconut sugar or honey. Add the nectarines in a single layer to the hot skillet. Sear for 1 minute and then flip and sear another minute more or until lightly caramelized. Remove the nectarines from the skillet and repeat with any remaining nectarines Preheat the grill to high heat or heat a large cast iron grill pan or skillet. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. Divide the dough in half. Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough out until you have a flattened disk. Place the pizzas on a greased baking sheet and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. You may also use a rolling pin for this. Rub each piece of dough with olive oil. Once the grill is hot carefully transfer the pizza doughs to the grill. Grill for 2-3 minutes or until lightly charred. Flip and grill one minute longer. Immediately remove from the grill and place on a baking sheet. Divide the pesto between the two pizzas. Now add the shredded fontina to both pizzas. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and then the nectarines. Sprinkle the blue cheese over then nectarines. Add the sliced jalapeño if desired. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Remove and allow to cool 5 minutes. Slice and serve with a balsamic drizzle.
BBQ Peach Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 to 3 peaches, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cup homemade ketchup
- ¼ cup raw honey; (optional)
- Cooking fat - bacon fat/coconut oil or olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in melted cooking fat over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant, add all the remaining ingredients for the BBQ sauce, and season to taste. Bring the sauce to a boil, lower heat, and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and serve with grilled pork chops or chicken thighs.
Peaches and Greens Smoothie
Ingredients - ½ an avocado - 1 cup peaches, frozen - ½ cup spinach or kale - 1 cup water - 1 serving Vanilla Protein - ½ cup ice Instructions Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Simple!
Honey Peach Lime Salsa
- 3 medium size peaches (or 2 large), diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine the first six ingredients (peaches to jalapeno) in a large bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients (garlic to olive oil) together in a measuring cup then pour into the bowl. Stir until well combined and serve!
Vegan Peach and Walnut Ice Cream
- 4 frozen bananas (cut them in small chunks before freezing to process easier)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
- 2 peaches, cut into halves, stone removed
- ½ cup lightly toasted walnuts, crushed - Optional: 5-6 mint leaves, olive oil
- To garnish: crushed walnuts Instructions Drizzle the peaches with olive oil and grill them for five minutes. Set aside to cool, then cut into small chunks. Add the frozen banana chunks, peaches and mint (optional) into a food processor, and pulse to obtain a smooth texture. Add the coconut milk, and pulse to incorporate. Add the crushed walnuts, and pulse one time to incorporate. Transfer into a freezer friendly container and freeze for 30 minutes. Scoop and serve.
Easy Peachy Gluten Free Crumble
Ingredients - 7-8 ripe peaches, halved, pits removed and chopped (I also threw in a few cherries) - 1 cup (156 g) gluten free rolled oats - 1/4 cup (28 g) almond meal - 1/4 cup (37 g) gluten free flour (or sub all purpose flour, or 1/4 cup more almond meal) - 1/2 cup (54 g) roughly chopped pecans - 2 Tbsp (25 g) packed light brown sugar (or sub 1Tbsp honey) - 2 Tbsp (18 g) coconut sugar (or sub more brown sugar) pinch sea salt - 4 Tbsp (60 ml) olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil will impart a more intense coconut flavor), plus more for coating pan Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly coat an 8x8 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut or olive oil. Add fruit directly to the dish as you chop it and spread flat. To a mixing bowl add crumble ingredients (including 4 Tbsp oil) and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until all everything is evenly distributed. Add to the top of the fruit in an even layer and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is crisp and golden. Serve as is, or with dairy-free ice cream!
Endless Grilled peaches
This recipe is just for perfecting grilled peaches which you can add to anything! We recommend tossing them into your favorite summer salad or with some ice cream as a quick, easy, guilt-free dessert. Instructions Preheat the grill to full whack. Place the whole peaches onto a snug-fitting baking tray and pop under the grill for 8 to 10 minutes, or until soft and blackened on top, then leave aside to cool. Once cool, peel the skin off the peach, then halve, discard the stone and tear the flesh into rough 2cm chunks. So while your local farmer’s markets and green grocers are overflowing with peachy goodness, it’s time to stock up and with these 7 delicious recipes, there’s a peach for every meal!