The soft, velvety skin of a peach has long been the benchmark of beauty. Versatile when hard and sour as well as when ripe and sweet, peaches can be grilled and tossed into savoury salads, baked in sweet pies and crumbles, and even transformed (as Mrs Ball has so famously done) into delicious, tangy chutney.
Fresh peaches are a super source of vitamin C and also contain vitamin A and ß-carotene. They are rich in vital minerals like potassium, fluoride and iron, and their antioxidants work against free radicals that play a role in aging and in the development of various diseases. This fuzzy fruit’s high fibre content make it a healthy addition to your diet, and peach tea (made from the pits) is known in Eastern cultures to be a kidney cleanser and detoxifier.
Summertime means peaches are in season, so try these quick ideas:
– Overripe or dried peaches can easily be turned into chutney, which is perfect for moreish sandwiches, to marinade meat or to add to curries.
– For a decadent breakfast, poach peaches in cranberry juice. Top warm brioche or French toast with the peaches and syrup, and serve with crème fraîche.
– Peaches are perfect for summer salads – especially when combined with crisp leaves, mint, goat’s cheese and caramelised macadamia nuts. Alternatively, try this beautiful peach and salami salad.
– Sliced peaches, chunks of mozzarella, pistachios, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil make a delicious topping for warm flatbreads.
– Roasted pork asks for a peachy salsa. Make it by tearing ripe peaches into chunks and mixing them with roughly chopped coriander, a fresh chopped red chilli and lemon juice.
– For a quick and sinless dessert, poach peaches in water with some castor sugar, vanilla beans and a stick of cinnamon. Serve with a dollop of Greek-style yoghurt.
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