To call someone “a peach” suggests that they are all things good, bundled up in one near-perfect package. There’s good reason for that: Not only are the sunny orange flesh and sweet taste of a peach synonymous with summer, but this fuzzy stone fruit also contains a variety of nutrients. The ancient Chinese may have been onto this. Peaches appeared regularly in their folklore as symbols of immortality and vitality. Today, the Chinese still associate peaches with a long life.
Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C and provide dietary fiber especially when eaten with the skin on. Vitamin A supports healthy mucus production to maintain barriers between your tissues and the outside world; thus, helping to protect you from invading pathogens. Vitamin A also joins vitamin C in fortifying your immune cells as they fight infections.
Adequate dietary fiber supports a healthy gut, which in turn supports healthy immune function. Peaches also contain phytonutrients that help to support our immune system and our normal cell growth which can help to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Choose peaches that are blemish-free and give just a little when you press into them. They should have that distinct peach smell, as well. Avoid buying peaches that are bruised as they won’t last.
Though peaches with a reddish color may look riper, there is actually no difference between those that have a blush and those that don’t. Peaches that are not yet ready at the market can be ripened on a sunny windowsill or on the countertop in a brown paper bag. Once ripe, they will last in the refrigerator for about a week.
Peaches are great poached, or in summer pies and cobblers, but they can also be included as a sweet and tangy complement to more savory dishes. Our Peach Salsa is a great addition to any summer menu; use tomatoes, onions, peaches, pears, and bell peppers and mix in some granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and vinegar to add a dose of color to any plate.
Also, like many fruits, peaches can be grilled and used to top a lively summer salad, as in our tasty Peach & Arugula Salad. For a refreshing summer drink, try our Peach Sweet Tea Granita, a real crowd pleaser!