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Cooking with Extension Arkansas Fresh Series: Peaches
by Original Author: JoAnn Vann, Clark County | Adapted for Blog: Torrie Smith, Van Buren County
Arkansas peaches are available from early June through August.
Peaches are classified as clingstone or freestone. The fruit is easily separated from the stone or pit in freestone varieties. In clingstones, the flesh adheres tightly to the pit.
Select peaches that are slightly soft to firm and free from bruises. Avoid green-colored peaches because they are unripe and will not become sweeter as the color changes.
Ripe peaches have a creamy or golden undertone. The amount of rosy “blush” on the surface is a characteristic of the variety, not ripeness. Fragrance is also an indicator of ripeness.
Approximately 3 to 4 peaches equals 1 pound. One pound yields 2 cups sliced peaches or 1 1/2 cups of pulp or puree.
The amount of time required to ripen peaches will vary depending on the firmness of peaches, but expect about 2 to 4 days.
Ripe peaches can be stored for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator at 40°F.
To peel peaches, dip in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds. Immediately dip in cold water and skin will slide right off. Riper fruit needs less scalding time to loosen peels.
Peaches brown rapidly when exposed to air. To prevent this, dip halves or slices in 1 quart of water with 3 tablespoons lemon juice or three crushed 500 milligram vitamin C tablets or use a commercial ascorbic acid mixture such as FruitFresh®.
Peaches are delicious in recipes or eaten right out of your hand. Slice over cereal, ice cream or plain cake.
Fresh Peach Salsa
- 3 1/2 cups diced peeled peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
Serves 14. Serving size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 22 Carbohydrate: 6 g Protein: 0 g Fiber: 1 g Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1 mg