7 Aug 2009

Everything is Just Peachy!

There is nothing like a freshly picked organic peach, warm from the tree. Sadly many of us are not able to either grow them, or buy them at local farmers markets due to our climate. All is not lost though as whichever way we do manage to obtain them.... fresh, dried, frozen, tinned or juiced they have that special flavour that makes one's mouth water at the thought of them.

Peaches are said to have originally been cultivated in China a couple of thousand years ago, and were considered a symbol of longevity. They were further developed in Persia and Italy and finally arrived in Western Europe and the Colonies around the 16th Century. There are two main types of peach, the clingstone and the freestone, and they come in over 700 varieties.

Nutritionally the peach is high in vitamin C and A, dietary fibre, niacin and potassium. They contain carbohydrates and have a low glycemic load which are make them an excellent source of energy. Their phytonutrient, antioxidant and beta carotene content, assist in maintaining optimum health by fighting free radicals and disease. A medium peach is around 40 calories and with their dietary fibre make them an excellent slimming food. Peaches have a slight laxative and a strong diuretic effect on the body so are also recommended to people suffering from rheumatism and gout.

When selecting fruit to eat within a couple of days, note that a red colour does not indicate ripeness. Look for a deep yellow colour in varieties like yellow cling peaches and a creamy white colour in the whiter flesh varieties. They should have a sweet smell and give slightly to pressure when gently squeezed. If buying firm peaches for eating later in the week it is better to ripen at room temperature, in a paper bag, before chilling. They can be stored in the fridge for around 5 days.

Once cut peaches do oxidise, so to prevent them browning, dip in a mix of water and lemon juice. It is not necessary to peel peaches but if you do this can be done the same as with tomatoes, put in boiling water for a few seconds, then plunge into icy water and the skins will slide off. Be adventurous with peaches and add them to both sweet and savoury dishes whether served at breakfast, lunch or supper.


Fresh Ontario Peach Relish
From Ontario Tender Fruit
This fresh topping is absolutely perfect on veggie burgers.

2 tbsp / 30mls orange juice
2 tbsp / 30mls red wine vinegar
2 tbsp / 30mls extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp / 10mls raw brown sugar
1 tsp / 5mls dried hot red pepper flakes
2 cups / 500mls fresh Ontario peaches, chopped
1/2 cup / 125mls roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup / 125mls cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup / 50mls shallots or spring onions, minced
1/4 cup / 50mls mint, chopped
1/4 cup / 50mls cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In bowl, whisk together, orange juice, vinegar, oil, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. In another bowl, combine peaches, roasted red peppers, cucumber, shallots, mint and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to combine. Mix in salt and pepper. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

Peach & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Home-Made Teriyaki Sauce
From the Vegetarian Times
A teriyaki sauce comes together quickly and easily, so make your own at home rather than buying a commercial brand.

Teriyaki Sauce
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry or sake
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp cornstarch

8 oz/230gms water chestnuts
2 oz/60gms teriyaki-flavored baked tofu
8 oz/230gms sliced bamboo shoots
4 oz/115gms round or flat rice stick noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 peach, sliced
3 oz/80gms snow pea pods, trimmed

To make Teriyaki Sauce: Combine all ingredients in small bowl, and set aside. To make Stir-Fry: Place water chestnuts, tofu and bamboo shoots in Teriyaki Sauce, and set aside. Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil, and cook noodles until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse and drain again. Set aside. Heat oil in large wok or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add water chestnuts, tofu, bamboo shoots and Teriyaki Sauce, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add peach slices and snow pea pods, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat, and set aside. To serve, portion noodles on individual plates, and spoon Stir-Fry over top. Serves 4.
Wine Suggestions : A suitable wine match for teriyaki is often Riesling; and one of the flavour characteristics often attributed to fruit-forward Riesling is "peachy."

Spinach Salad with Peaches and Pecans
From All Recipes
Submitted By: Robin Durawa
Crisp spinach, succulent peaches and aromatic pecans pair with poppyseed dressing in this terrific salad ~ Robin

3/4 cup pecans
2 ripe peaches
4 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup poppyseed salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange pecans on a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until they just begin to darken. Remove from oven and set aside. Peel peaches (if desired) and slice into bite-sized segments. Combine peaches, spinach and pecans in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Serves 4.

Tomato and Peach Salad
From Meals Matter
Submitted by: gretchenalice

2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
4 large peaches, pitted and cut up
1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, peaches and onions. Mix vinegar and olive oil and toss with tomatoe peach mixture. Season with freshly ground pepper. Cover and set aside, at room temperature, for one hour.
Cook's Notes : I think it is best to start with cold tomatoes and peaches and then let set at room temperature.

Peach Sorbet
From the VeggieTable
You can make sweet and refreshing peach sorbet without an ice cream machine.

1 lb / 450gms peaches, unpeeled
1 cup orange juice
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp orange liqueur
1 tbsp lemon juice

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and place peach pieces in blender. Add remaining ingredients and purée. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. Pour into container
and freeze. After four hours, remove from freezer and blend again. Return to freezer for at least a half hour before serving. Yield 3 cups
Notes : This basic recipe can be adapted with apricots in place of or in addition to peaches, and/or apple or white grape juice instead of orange.

Wheat-Free, Sugar-Free Peach Cobbler
From Recipe ZAAR Recipe #180187
Submitted by: XxXxkittykat

2 tbsp vegan butter
1 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp stevia powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Substitute, mixed in 2 tbsps water
1/3 cup rice milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

3 cups unsweetened sliced peaches
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp stevia powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps vegan butter

Preheat oven to 350F / 175C. Crust: combine rice flour, butter, stevia, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl, beat egg replacer, rice milk, and
vanilla. Slowly mix wet ingredients into the dry. Set aside. Filling: In a medium sized bowl combine all ingredients except vegan butter plus 2 tbsps water(or juice if canned peaches were used). Place filling in a baking dish and dot with vegan butter. Spoon crust on top layer of peaches. Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden. Serves 4.

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Candi said...

Spinach Salad with Peaches and Pecans! Yum!! I often forget about putting different fruits in salad! peaches sound great with the pecans!

Mike Foster said...

The peaches are falling off the grocery shelves this time of year and I love it! Wonderful post, filled with lots of peachy stuff, thanks.


Lynda said...

We can't get fresh peaches easily here in Tanzania, but I love the sound of the recipes you've posted - especially the relish - yum !
Lynda, Kilimanjaro, East Africa

Medical Billing Software said...

Sounds the fruit did not know it had so much goodness.

Toni said...

What an informative blog! I <3 peaches and this just gave me a whole slew of new ideas to try. I'm just starting to give up meat and eat more vegetarian entrees and I'll definitely be bookmarking your site and checking back often for ideas and information. Thanks so much!

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