“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and it has fresh peaches in it.” ~Alice Walker, author
It was love at first bite when I sampled the peaches at the farmers market.
After I brought them home, I started googling for peach recipes. Then … I thought, why try to improve on perfection. I simply peeled and sliced them. I added a little Fruit-Fresh (R) Produce Protector according to the directions on the container to keep them from browning. Mixing in a small amount of citrus juice (lemon juice, orange juice, etc.) would also help prevent browning.
Caring for Fresh Peaches
For the perfect peach:
- Avoid buying green, brownish, or wrinkled peaches, or peaches that are very soft, or with large bruises or signs of decay. Hard, green peaches will never ripen properly.
- Handle peaches gently to prevent bruising.
- Determine if a peach is ripe by checking if it is firm but yields to gentle pressure and has a strong, sweet smell. A reddish “bloom” on the peach isn’t a sure sign the peach is ripe. Look for a deep yellow or creamy white under color.
- Store peaches in a single layer at room temperature, out of sunlight.
- Ripen peaches by putting them in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature. Check daily. They should ripen in one to three days. Do NOT use plastic bags to ripen peaches.
- Store ripe peaches in the refrigerator up to one week in a perforated plastic bag to prevent water from condensing on the inside of the bag and causing storage rot. The University of Wisconsin Extension gives the following directions for making your own perforated bags: “You can make holes using a standard paper punch or a sharp object such as a pen, pencil, or knife. Punch holes approximately every 6 inches through both sides of the bag. If using a knife to create the openings, make two cuts — in an ‘X’ shape — for each hole to ensure good air circulation.”
- Wash peaches just before eating or cutting them. Washing peaches before storing may promote bacterial growth and speed up spoilage. Wash peaches under running water, rubbing the peach gently with your hands. Do not use use detergent as this may affect taste and safety.
- Quickly skin several peaches by dipping a few peaches at a time in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Plunge into cold water and slip off the skins.Use immediately or toss with citrus juice or use a commercial ascorbic acid mixture, such as Fruit-Fresh (R) Produce Protector. Place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator and use that day.
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- Guide to Washing Fresh Produce. Zander, A. and Bunning, M., Colorado State University Extension. Retrieved 8/6/2012 at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09380.html
- Storing Fruits and Vegetables from the Home Garden. Roper, T., Delahaut, K., and Ingham, B., University of Wisconsin Extension. Retrieved 8/5/2012 at http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A3823.pdf
- Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Peaches. Drake, B. and updated by Shertzer, J., The Ohio State University Extension. Retrieved 8/5/2012 at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/5525.pdf
- Using & Storing Peaches. Clemson Cooperative Extension. Retrieved 8/5/2012 at http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/food_shop_prep/food_prep/hgic4253.html
- Freezing Peaches, National Center for Home Food Preservation
- Canning Peaches, Julie Albrecht, University of Nebraska Extension
- Seasonal Recipes and Food Preservation, University of Nebraska Extension