Yesterday, I stopped at a local farmers market and purchased some locally grown peaches. There is nothing like a fresh peach that when you bite into it — you have to quickly look for a napkin to catch all the juice.
Local peaches are here only for a short period of time. If you haven’t eaten one yet, put “buy local peaches” on your to-do list for the next week.
Ripe peaches will last, if you refrigerate them. Once a peach is ripe, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. I like to buy them when they are ripe and ready to eat. But, if they need to be ripened, store them in a closed paper bag. It should take about 1-3 days. It’s important not to store unripe peaches in the refrigerator or in a plastic bag or in direct sunlight. This will cause them to turn into mush.
Peaches, like most fruit with the skin on, give us fiber, vitamins and minerals for just a few calories. One medium peach has only 70 calories and is more filling than most sweets. The high water content gives peaches volume, which helps to fill the belly. Peaches will fill you up on those morning and afternoon breaks — more than a candy bar and for a lot less calories.
If you have a sweet tooth at breakfast, and like to enjoy a donut or Danish, try baking a peach crisp. The peaches will fill the fruit component of the USDA myplate and the whole grain crisp will fill the bread. Serve with 6 ounces of vanilla low fat yogurt, or a glass of skim milk to add protein and calcium.
Here is an easy recipe that can be made the night before.
6 medium to large ripe peaches, washed and sliced with the skins on ( or two 15 oz. Cans of peaches drained and rinsed)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch or flour
¼ Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (if you have it on hand)
1 Cup oats
¼ Cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
¼ Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons reduced fat margarine or cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In an 8×8-inch baking dish, place the peaches and then mix the cornstarch, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle over the fruit. Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the fruit. If using cooking spray, mix all the ingredients less the spray, sprinkle over the fruit, and then just very lightly spray the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
Note: Extra topping can be made and kept in the freezer for a quick crisp. Apples and blueberries can be substituted as well. Makes 6-8 servings.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.