Cooking with Hope: Versatile peaches work in everything from salad to salsa


Hope Cusick

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

The very delicious and versatile peach can be found in farm stands and grocery stores. When buying peaches they should feel soft, but not squishy and they should smell sweet and ready to eat. It is recommended, whenever possible, to buy organic peaches because of the pesticides that are used on them to make them look appetizing. Be sure to wash off the peaches before using them. If they need to be ripened, place them in a paper bag for a day or two.

Refrigeration extends the freshness of the peach, but it also takes away from the delicate taste. If refrigerating, bring the peaches to room temperature before eating for best taste.

Peaches are very healthy for you and contain just 70 calories per peach. They contain Vitamins A and C and have antioxidants to help fight cancer cells. They can be eaten raw or cooked and work well in most recipes. They can be eaten with the skin on or peeled. To easily remove the skins, with a sharp paring knife cut a small "X" at the bottom of the peach, plunge into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then immediately remove with a slotted spoon, and plunge into a bowl of ice water.

Peaches can be put into fresh salads, salsas, chutneys, simple peach sugar syrup, cakes, muffins,breads, pies, turnovers, strudels, sauces, grilled, with chicken, pork and/ or shrimp, and many other delights. Try them in almost anything for a sweet delightful added taste.



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