This time of year I get excited about corn. Corn on the cob. I can eat a dozen in one sitting! But as wonderful as it is, I am not going to write about it this month. Just know that you should eat as much of it as you can, preferably dripping in real butter and liberally salted. Fancy it up if you must with some parmesan cheese, then cut it off the cob and freeze it for January. Much better than buying it on the cob from the grocery store!
I’m going to write about the other market staple I get excited about, and that is stone fruits. I do enjoy them all, but I especially love peaches.
They are in full force now. We are especially glad to see the ones from Snowy Mountain Organics. Lauren and her family on high alert as the Cawston fires are burning perilously close to their property. We are so thankful that they are safe and able to bring their amazing Champagne peaches to us. Find them at Close to Home Organics. Okanagan Fresh Fruit have delicious peaches too.
Did you know peaches are native to China? And that more than half the world’s peach production comes from China? Aren’t we fortunate to have the Okanagan and the Niagara Peninsula? Both freestone (the pit pops out) and clingstone ( the pit sticks to the peach flesh) are grown in Canada. Here is another interesting fact. Peaches are actually a member of the rose family! And like a rose, smell is everything. Peaches are ready to eat when there is a little “give” to the flesh and the fragrance is peachy.
Peaches are a moderate source of both Vitamin A and C, and they are super low in calories. Surprisingly, they also provide a decent amount of Vitamin E, Iron, Copper, Niacin, potassium and b-carotene.
Peaches are best when eaten out of hand with all those lovely juices dripping down your chin and onto your shirt! The added laundry is well worth it. However, if you would like a tidier peach snack, a fresh peach salsa is super easy. Dice a peach, toss in a bit of diced red onion and diced red pepper, perhaps a bit of tomato, definitely some fresh basil, season with a bit of salt and pepper and grab a spoon! Or serve it over grilled chicken. Either way, all that lovely fresh peach flavour shines through. That is one of the great things about peaches. They can be used for sweet or savoury dishes. Here are two more quick ideas. Peach crisp is as simple as peeling ( place peaches in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute and the skins will slide right off ) and pitting 6 peaches, roughly chopping them and tossing them with 3 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp flour and a squeeze of lemon juice ( or KICS of course!) and placing the fruit in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle your favourite granola from Gaby and Jules over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 mins or so. Top it with a scoop of Dolce Amore gelato just to take it over the top! A green salad topped with peach slices, basil, slivered almonds and fresh mozzarella is so good, and even better if it’s drizzled with a balsamic vinegar from Amazing Foods.
As much as I love peaches, the other stone fruits are wonderful too. Nectarines, apricot and plums all shine this time of year and are just as easy to work with as peaches.
Peaches are also rather tasty with alcohol! Here is one last recipe in case you don’t want to eat your peaches !
Peach Raspberry White Wine Sangria
1 750 ml bottle Viognier (try the one from Blackwood Lane)
½ bottle of Fraser Valley Cider House Cider
2 peeled and sliced peaches
1 C fresh raspberries
½ c KICS Raspberry Lemonade Syrup
Combine all the ingredients and let sit for an hour or so.
Written by: Karen Curtis
Head Lemon Lady
Kics Lemonade – Website