Jena DeMoss: Is your health peachy-keen? Eat peaches!

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, August 25, 2021

There is nothing more synonymous with summer than peaches. August is National Peach Month, and you’ll find many of us are enjoying a ripe, fragrant sweet peach as a snack, mixed into our favorite smoothie, or atop a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Peaches provide many health benefits including improved digestion, smoother skin and antioxidants that help protect the body against aging and disease. Enjoy the peak season of the best peach flavors and health benefits through the end of August.

Peaches 101

Peaches come in many varieties with either white or yellow fruit flesh. You can buy two main varieties of peaches: clingstone and freestone. It is harder to remove the flesh from the pit on a clingstone peach.

All peaches have a velvet-like exterior and sweet interior. Nectarines are almost identical in flavor to peaches, so you can use them interchangeably.

Peaches are drupes, or stone fruit, because their flesh surrounds a pit that has a single seed.

Peaches promote eye health because of their vitamin A content, and they are a great source of vitamin C, which will give your immune system a boost.

A Buyer’s Guide

BUY locally grown peaches when you can, as they are fresher. Select peaches with vibrant colors that don’t have any green tones. Ripe peaches should give a little when you gently squeeze them.

STORE ripe peaches at room temperature for up to a week; after that, store them in the fridge. If peaches aren’t ripe yet, let them sit out on the counter for a couple of days before enjoying.

PREP peaches for baking and cooking by removing the skin with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. For ripe peaches, blanch (boil) then shock (add to ice bath).

Peachy-Keen Flavors

Breakfast: Use fresh peaches in muffins and coffee cake, or use them in jam to spread on toast or warm Hy-Vee Bakery baguettes.

Lunch: Peaches are a refreshing addition to salads. Make a flavorful peach, tomato and corn pasta salad or grill peaches for a spinach salad.

Dinner: Make a sweet and spicy peach salsa to snack on with chips as an appetizer, and top pork chops with a peach chutney.

Snack: Pair a juicy peach with a hard-boiled egg, a cheese stick or a handful of nuts for a snack that is sure to satisfy on a hot summer day.

The information is not intended to be medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.