July and August are peak season months for fresh peaches. There are two varieties of peaches: clingstone and freestone, referring to the ease of removing the fruit from the pit.
Nectarines are a variety of peach.
Be fussy when choosing peaches. Look for unblemished fruits with little or no green coloration to them. They are very perishable, even when unripened, so purchase just what you plan to use. 3-4 peaches equals 1 pound.
Peaches are a very versatile fruit. They can be simply rinsed and served, sliced over pancakes and waffles, canned, dried (dip in pineapple juice first to help preserve their color), made into jams, jellies, and preserves, used for desserts like pies and ice creams, grilled and served as an accompaniment to beef, pork, chicken or ice cream, to name a few uses.
Peaches will peel easily if blanched for a minute in boiling water then chocked in cold water to stop the cooking process, then peel. Peaches discolor quickly when exposed to the air, so should be tossed with lemon, lime, pineapple, orange juice or a fresh fruit preservative if not used right away.
Grilled Peaches- for meats
1 # peaches- peeled (see above note)
3 T vegetable oil
1 T honey
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes (opt)
1) Toss peeled peaches with the vegetable oil. Grill over medium heat, turning often to avoid scorching, until tender, 6-8 minutes.
2)Coarsely chop peaches and stir in rest of ingredients. Yields 2 c
Serve warm with grilled meats such as sirloin steak, pork chops or chicken.
Grilled Peaches- for dessert/breakfast
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Follow above recipe through step 1. Slice peaches, toss with brown sugar and cinnamon. Serve over vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, crepes, pancakes, waffles. Serves 4
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