Are you moving to the country? We got a lot of peaches…and nectarines! Your Dietitian’s Choice this week are peaches and nectarines for $3.29 per pound.
Peaches versus Nectarines
Peaches are related to the rose family and are grown in warm climates of the northern and southern hemispheres of the world.
Peaches often have one side of the fruit that is larger than the other. That is due to peaches producing from two ovaries of the flower to which one of the ovaries becomes the pit, or stone.
In regards to the pits, the peaches can become freestone or clingstones. Freestones mean that the pit separates easily from the peach while clingstones adhere strongly.
When peaches are ripe, the skin is downy or fuzzy.
Nectarines in the other hand are peaches without downy or fuzzy skin. It was believed that this variant was cultivated by China about 4,000 years ago through cross-selection for a fruit without the fuzz.
Mealy Peaches and Nectarines
Happen to bite into a peach or nectarine that did not taste good?
Peaches and nectarines contain a fiber called pectin which is the same fiber used people purchase to make homemade canned jam or jelly. During the ripening process, pectin breaks down to strengthen the structure of the peach or nectarine. This also increases the juiciness of the fruit. When peaches and nectarines are stored in a cool environment at a temperature of below 45F, this prevents the pectin from developing properly. That is why it is recommended to store peaches and nectarines when they are ripe in the fridge. The cooler temps slows down the ripening process even more as even overripe peaches and nectarines can be mealy.
Health and Wellness Benefits
Peaches and nectarines are a high source of potassium. These fruits are often known for their diuretic effect which helps support kidney health and reduce risk of urinary tract infections.
Given the variety of colors that peaches and nectarines come in as, they are rich in polyphenols. Studies show menopausal women who eat at least 2 peaches or nectarines a week have a reduced risk for breast cancer.
Peaches and nectarines are one of the fruits with highest concentrations of Vitamin A variations: beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. All of these Vitamin A variations help reduce the risk for eye disorders including nighttime blindness and macular degeneration.
Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream by Love and Lemons
- 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, toasted and crushed
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- Brush the cut side of the peaches with a little olive oil and grill cut-side down for 3 minutes, until char marks form.
- In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, cinnamon, and salt.
- Remove the peaches from the grill and serve with vanilla ice cream and sprinkle with the walnut mixture.