Pretty as a Kentucky peach
There is nothing better than a fresh ripe peach. There was evidence of that when the peach truck arrived in Winchester recently.
Although peaches are available year round, they are grown in Kentucky from July through September.
Peaches are a fuzzy fruit and come in many varieties that can be pinkish white to red-tinged or gold in color, with white to yellow flesh.
Peaches fall into two categories: clingstone and freestone. Clingstone peaches have a pit that “clings” to the flesh, while the freestone peach pits fall away easily. Fresh varieties are usually freestone, while the clingstone are usually used for canning.
Peaches have an acidic and sugary sweet flavor. They contain many nutrients, but are most important for their fiber and vitamins A and C. They are low in calories — one medium peach contains about 35 calories.
When selecting peaches, they should be soft to the touch, blemish-free and have a fragrant smell.
Avoid peaches that are green, shriveled or bruised. Under-ripe peaches will soften and become juicer and more flavorful when stored at room temperature for one or two days. Refrigerate ripe peaches for up to five days. Peaches are highly perishable, so don’t buy more than you can use. When purchasing canned peaches, choose those labeled “packed in juice” and “no added sugar,” these are the healthier choices.
A great way to fix fresh peaches is to grill them over hot coals and serve them with ice cream or try them in this delicious “Peachy Breakfast Bake.”
Peachy Breakfast Bake
— 3 Tablespoons salted butter
— 3 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
— 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
— 2 Tablespoons white sugar
— 1 teaspoon cinnamon
— 2 whole eggs
— 2 egg whites
— 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
— 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
— 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
— 1/4 cup teaspoon salt
— 2 Tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in an 8×8 baking dish and place in oven on the center rack to melt.
Add peaches and brown sugar to melted butter in baking dish, stir to coat. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg whites with a whisk, add almond milk and vanilla. Whisk together. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until blended.
Remove peaches from oven, pour batter slowly and evenly over baked peaches. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes, until the center of the batter is firm, puffed up and browned.
Serve warm with whipped cream. Yield: 9, 1/2 cup servings. Nutritional analysis: 140 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugars, 3 g protein.
For more delicious recipes and information on preserving summer peaches or other “Kentucky Proud” fruits and vegetables, visit us on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark
Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for family and consumer sciences.