Naturally sweet and juicy, fresh peaches are a real summer treat. The fuzzy peach skin ranges in colour from gold and pink hues to deep red, while the flesh is either golden yellow or a sweeter, less acidic creamy-white. The lesser known blackboy peaches have a deep purple-red skin and flesh and are delicious stewed. Look out for Flatto™ peaches, named for their flat top and bottom.
Ripe peaches give off a sweet fragrance. Look for firm, unbruised skin. Take care as mishandled peaches spoil quickly.
Peaches can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge but this may dull the flavour if eaten cold. Storing peaches with ethylene- producing fruits such as apples or bananas will speed ripening.
Peaches are a good source of carotenoids which give them strong antioxidant properties.
- Alternate cubes of peach, pork, capsicum and red onion on skewers. Brush with oil and hoisin sauce and barbecue.
- Add sliced peaches to salad greens with shredded chicken, slivered almonds, feta cheese and a little balsamic dressing.
- Cut peaches in small cubes and mix with diced onion and capsicums, garlic, coriander, a little liquid honey and a dash of lime juice for a summery salsa to liven up fish, chicken or pork.
- Complement a cheese board with a ginger and peach chutney and crusty breads.
- Cut peaches in half, remove the stone and brush with a little oil. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes for a tasty barbecue accompaniment.
- Make individual peach crumbles. Make the crumble mixture with reduced-fat spread, oats, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Top peach halves with 2 tablespoons crumble mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with ricotta cheese or sprinkle with icing sugar.
- Try this delicious recipe idea: Grilled peaches with berry sauce and pistachio crumble topping