Peaches

Peach season is in full swing and I can’t get enough of them! Peaches are one of my favorite fruits. No, they ARE my favorite. Not just one of them. Ironically, I hated peaches growing up. It was a texture thing. I loved nectarines and sliced peaches that had had their skin removed, but just eating a whole peach made me gag every time. Not anymore!

Peaches are a stone fruit which means they have a pit. Early in peach season you’ll find cling-stone peaches where the flesh quite literally clings to the pit. Cling stone peaches are fine for eating, but can be a pain if you want to slice them to can or cook because the stone is difficult to remove. Wait a few weeks for the free-stone peaches and your life will be much easier. With free-stone peaches, the pit just pops right out with almost no effort.

English: White peach and its cross section iso...

English: White peach and its cross section isolated on a white background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peaches were the first food I ever canned. When I called my grandmom to ask her for advice, she actually laughed at me. That was just a year ago. It’s crazy how much life can change in just 365 days! I made 2 types of peach jam and canned several jars of sliced peaches which I enjoyed all winter long. I will definitely be putting up more peaches this year.

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There are many different varieties of peaches. For eating, I like white peaches, but for baking and canning I prefer yellow. Yellow peaches have a stronger, more tart flavor. Since most canning & baking recipes call for sugar, yellow peaches tend to stand out better than the white variety.

Also, I know people rave about Georgia peaches, but I think Jersey peaches could give their Georgia counterparts a run for their money any day. Jersey may get a bad rap as the armpit of America, but they know how to grow great produce. I guess that’s why they are called “The Garden State.”

When selecting peaches, look for firm, unblemished fruit. If you wind up with peaches that aren’t quite ripe, put them in a brown paper bag in a sunny spot and they’ll be ready to eat in no time. Also, peaches are on the dirty dozen list so be sure to buy organic or from a farmer you trust. Keep in mind that many small farms follow organic practices, but aren’t certified simply because it is such a costly and time-consuming process. Go to the farmers’ market. Ask questions. Get to know the people who grow your food!

Recipes:

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