Peaches are fully in season and boasting all that juicy, fresh flavor, perfect for summertime snacking. While they’re excellent on their own, there are plenty of delicious ways you can incorporate peaches into your summer feasts and picnics.
We’ll teach you everything we know about selecting peaches and transforming them into incredible-tasting meals, desserts, and snacks. Not sure if you have all the right stuff to do it? No worries! We’ll provide cooking tool recommendations, too.
Let’s jump in! It’s going to be just peachy.
Table of Contents
- Selecting and Storing Peaches
- How to Blanch, Peel, and Slice
- Foods That Pair Well with Peaches
- For Breakfast: Peach Cobbler Coffee Cake
- For Lunch: Summer Peach Spinach Salad with Avocado
- For Dinner: Chili Lime Chicken with Glazed Peaches
- For a Summery Snack: Peach Smoothie
- For Dessert: Peach Cobbler
Selecting and Storing Peaches
You’ve probably heard of Georgia peaches, and there’s a reason for that. These highly prized Southern beauties boast all the fresh fragrance you’ll want in a plump peach, and you’ll know when one is ripe just by giving it a good whiff.
Firmer peaches are best for cooking as they’ll naturally break down just a bit through the cooking process without getting too mushy, but softer peaches won’t keep as well.
For snacking, select a slightly firm yet subtly soft peach with a little bit of give. The bright red and yellow hues presented along the velvety skin is another clue that they are ready to eat. You’ll also know a peach is perfect if it gives off a sweet fragrant aroma.
If the skin has green and the peach is very firm, it’s not quite there yet. If the skin looks wrinkly and the peach is really squishy, you’ve got an overly ripened fruit, which won’t taste very nice.
A bowl on your counter or in the pantry is a great place to store picked peaches, but they’ll continue to ripen over the next few days. So, if you want to slow that process down, stick them in a safe place in your fridge.
How to Blanch, Peel, and Slice
Many recipes call for removing the skin from or slicing peaches. Here’s how you do all three of those things:
- Blanching: While putting together a production line for boiling water and blanching peaches might seem a bit time-consuming, it’s actually the best method for taking the skin off without losing any precious flesh from the fruit. Do so by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, create an ice bath by adding several ice cubes to the bowl of cold water. You’ll be adding peaches to this bowl, so be sure it’s only filled about halfway to account for the weight of the added peaches.
- Peeling: When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, then carefully plunge the peaches into the water. Blanch them for about 30-40 seconds, then transfer them to the ice bath. Once the peach has cooled off from the ice bath, you’ll notice that shocking the fruit will help them peel with ease. Use a pairing knife to score a small slit into the side, then peel back the skin.
- Slicing: Once the peaches are peeled, run a knife around the fruit and into the central pit of the fruit. Once you’ve circled the peach, use both hands to twist and pull apart the sides gently. Remove the pit from one of the sides and discard. From there, slice your peaches however you see it fit. Traditionally, peaches are added to recipes as large slices but feel free to dice for smaller bite-sized portions.
Foods That Pair Well with Peaches
Again, peaches taste delicious independently and really don’t need anything else to accompany them. However, if you’re looking for ways to turn them into something exceptional, here are some ingredients that pair beautifully with peaches:
- Dairy: Add peaches to yogurt, or blend them with half a cup of kefir for a fruity breakfast smoothie. Otherwise, a few slices combined with cottage cheese tastes lovely, but nothing quite beats warm peaches over a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream.
- Spices and herbs: Peaches really come to life when spruced up with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. You can even try mint, rosemary, or basil, a fresh, herby flair.
- Nuts: Like most fruit, nuts pair flawlessly with peaches. The salted savory appeal of nuts goes hand in hand with sweet and juicy peaches making a snack that is both flavorful and filling. Try almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios.
- Other fruits: Slice or dice peaches, then enjoy them combined with other fruits like berries, plums, nectarines, or grapes.
- Other foods: Combine peaches with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomato for a quick Caprese, or make a tasty dessert by pairing peaches with mascarpone cheese. Chicken tastes lovely when paired with sticky peach glazes, but saltier meat varieties like prosciutto make a nice flavor combo, too.
Peaches are in season now, so you better grab some before they’re gone again. When you do, be sure to whip up one of the tasty recipes we’ll cover next.
For Breakfast: Peach Cobbler Coffee Cake
Sliced peaches accompany a savory breakfast really nicely, but there are many other ways to transform these juicy fruits into something quite magical. Peach coffee cake is a great place to start.
The combination of moist cake, combined with the peach’s fruity flavor, work flawlessly, not to mention the cinnamon spice really delivers something nice. This recipe is perfect for taking to the office or a friend’s home, but let’s be serious; you can make it for yourself, too.
Get the Recipe: Lemon Tree Dwelling
This recipe calls for a springform pan, which is just a round cake pan with two separate components: the base and removable ring. This allows you to remove the ring without worrying about your fluffy, hot cake breaking apart.
This Hiware nonstick pan is leak-proof and perfect for getting started if you’ve never used one before.
For Lunch: Summer Peach Spinach Salad with Avocado
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side to fill you up on your lunch break, this salad is a peachy keen option.
Spinach leaves are topped with fresh avocado and creamy goat cheese crumbles, delicately sharp slices of red onion, toasted almonds, and of course, sliced peaches. Once it’s all coated with scratch vinaigrette, you’ll absolutely fall head over heels.
Get the Recipe: Ambitious Kitchen
Making dressings from scratch is also a fantastic way to celebrate those fresh, seasonal flavors. A reliable dressing shaker will help you out immensely with this process. It’s the perfect way to measure, mix, serve, and store dressings all year long.
For Dinner: Chili Lime Chicken with Glazed Peaches
Chili lime chicken topped with glaze peaches is one of the best ways to spice (or sweeten) up dinnertime at home. Like pork and apples, this sweet and savory combo really works in tandem to create a unique and delicious meal.
We love this one-skillet dish. After searing the chicken, you’ll add shallots, lime juice, peaches to the pan, then finish with honey. The browned bits combined with fresh ingredients create a mouthwateringly delicious pan sauce before nestling the chicken back into the pan and enjoying it while hot.
Get the Recipe: Feasting at Home
Cast iron is the perfect kind of skillet to use with this recipe, but it’s also one of those traditional pieces of cookware you’ll use again and again. Lodge is always our top choice for a durable, reliable, and fairly priced cast-iron skillet you’ll use for decades.
For a Summery Snack: Peach Smoothie
Freezing peaches is a great way to save them now and enjoy them later! So when you’re on the go, you can throw them together in a fresh smoothie. Just be sure to remove the skin and pit before freezing.
Mango and banana taste wonderful when blended into a frosty beverage, but berries of all sorts would also work great in this drink. Just don’t leave out the nectar for an extra peachy drink.
Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo
You’ll need a good blender to whip this one up. If you don’t have one or just need to upgrade, we recommend this high-quality model from Vitamix.
From dips and soups to sauces, the Explorian will help you create a plethora of tasty meals. You can create the smoothest or heartiest textures depending on the pulse features or speed you use. Its easy clean-up and high-performance motor make this blender incomparable.
For Dessert: Peach Cobbler
Finally, the course you’ve been waiting for: dessert! And, there’s no better way to show off our star ingredient than with a peach cobbler. You’ll love the way this recipe comes together, starting with melty butter topped with peaches and cinnamon.
All you’ll need is a scoop of vanilla to top it all off. While crisps and buckles are also fantastic, a traditional peach cobbler is a must-make at least once every summer.
Get the Recipe: Tastes Better from Scratch
Before putting together this lovely cobbler, you’ll need the right pan. If you don’t yet own a traditional baking pan, this GreenLife nonstick option is fantastic.
The “healthy” ceramic-coated cookware doesn’t contain any dangerous chemicals that might leach into your food, so you’re guaranteed a safe dessert every time.
Peaches are only in season for a short time each year. With these recipes, though, you can be sure to get peachy while the gettin’s good. Next, we’ll help you use up all those sweet berries.