Although we can increasingly access most fruits year round, peaches remain one treat that just isn't the same until in-season ones arrive in summer. Fresh peaches are bursting with juicy flavour and nutrition.
If they get a touch overripe, perfect: Simply slice them, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Transfer to freezer bags and you'll have golden bursts of summer to add to smoothies, muffin mixes, pancake batter or homemade pancake sauce later in the fall and winter.
If you have the space and are a gardener, save pits from the most amazing peaches you eat this summer. Allow them to dry and then freeze the whole pit.
In the spring, soak them in water and then plant them. If they're in a sunny, sheltered spot, in just three years you'll have your own peach tree.
Peaches are ultimately best as a fresh treat, but if you love peach flavour, give these bright and tasty recipes a try.
Always operate with an 80-20 approach to eating; i.e. wise food choices at least 80 per cent of the time -- and note the caramel sauce falls into the 20 per cent category.
Grilled Lemon Garlic Seafood and Peach Skewers
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive or canola oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 ml) each fresh cilantro and mint, minced salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 jumbo prawns, uncooked
12 large scallops
2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
4 long wooden or metal skewers
Prepare marinade by combining garlic, oil, lemon juice, cilantro, mint, salt and pepper in a large container with lid. Stir to combine.
Add prawns, scallops and peaches. Allow to marinate in fridge overnight or for a minimum of 1 hour. Place prawns, scallops and peaches on skewers in an attractive pattern.
Cook on preheated grill at medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
Per skewer: 145 calories, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 142 mg sodium, 7.8 g fat, 13 g protein
Peaches and Cream with a Warm Caramel Sauce
The sauce is not only great on ice cream in summer, it makes a decadent garnish for apple or pumpkin pie in the fall. Serves 6.
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1 ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream, unwhipped
2 tsp (10 ml) butter
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt, optional
3 cups (750 ml) vanilla frozen yogurt
3 large, ripe peaches, sliced
Prepare sauce: In heavy saucepan, place sugar, lemon juice and water over medium-high heat. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Around the 6-minute mark, the mixture will start to turn a caramel colour. Once amber-coloured, remove from heat. Stirring constantly, very slowly stir in the whipping cream and then butter. If using, add salt. Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
Place ice cream in bowls and arrange peach slices attractively. Drizzle with warm caramel sauce and serve immediately. Optional garnishes: crushed amaretti cookies or toasted chopped pecans.
Per serving: 415 calories, 60 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 80 mg sodium, 19 g fat, 4 g protein
Fresh Cut Peach Salsa
A delicious topper for burgers, pork chops or fish fillets hot off the grill. Makes 4 servings.
2 large ripe fresh or canned peaches, chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) red onion, diced
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro, minced
juice of 1 fresh lime
Place all 4 ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. Place in fridge until serving to allow flavours to mellow.
Per serving: 26 calories, 6.5 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g fibre, 3 mg sodium, 0.2 fat, 0.7 protein.