by Chelsea Fisher on June 29, 2017

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Just Peachy

By Chelsea Fisher

To call someone “a peach” suggests that they are all good things, bundled up in one near-perfect package. There’s good reason for that. The sunny orange flesh and sweet taste of a peach are almost synonymous with summer, and this fuzzy sovereign of the stone fruits is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, niacin, potassium, and vitamin C.

According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, extracts from both peaches and plums have the potential to kill breast-cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Cancer-staving phenolic acids, common in most fruits, are found in highest concentration in pitted fruits like cherries, peaches, and apricots.

The ancient Chinese may have been onto this. Peaches appeared regularly in their folklore as symbols of immortality and vitality. Today, the Chinese still associate peaches with a long life.

Ann’s Tips

Buy local, organic peaches from your greenmarket whenever you can. Choose peaches that are blemish-free and give just a little when you press into them. They should have that distinct peach smell, as well. Avoid buying peaches that are bruised. Though peaches with a reddish color may look riper, there is actually no difference between those that have blush and those that don’t. Peaches can be ripened on the countertop in a brown paper bag if they are not yet ready at the market. Once ripe, they will last in the refrigerator for about a week.

Recipe Tips

Peaches are great poached, or in summer pies and cobblers, but they can also be included as a sweet and tangy compliment to more savory dishes. Peach salsa is a great addition to any summer menu; use tomatoes, onions, peaches, pears, and bell peppers and mix in some granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and vinegar to add a dose of color to any plate. Also, like many fruits, peaches can be grilled and used to top a lively summer salad, as in our tasty Peach and Arugula Salad. For a cooling summer drink, try this Peach Sweet Tea Granita, a real crowd pleaser!

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