Glassboro, NJ (June 10, 2019) -- Jersey peaches are undoubtedly delicious eaten in their natural state, sweet and healthy even for sugar-restricted diets. They’re low in calories (According to Rutgers University Agriculture Cooperative Extension, one raw medium peach has 50 calories, low in sugar (less than 13 grams), 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. It provides 6% of your daily vitamin A needs and 15% of daily vitamin C needs. One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper).
Does anything better evoke summer than peach pie or cobbler or galette? But should you crave a little variation with less sugar, peaches are more versatile than you might think. They can be grilled, steamed, chopped in salads, processed into smoothies. They make good company for pork, chicken, shrimp and flat fishes. Freeze peach slices on a cookie sheet, transfer to plastic bag and keep frozen for use as needed, maybe in champagne, or seltzer. Make cold peach soup with yogurt. The internet offers myriad and surprising recipes for fresh peaches. Here are a few really easy recipes for sweets and savories.
Churnless ice cream uses over-ripe or cooked peaches. Chop or process peaches, set aside. Whip heavy cream into stiff peaks. Stir in peaches and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; if you like them sweeter, add sugar to taste. . Pour mixture into glass or metal dish and freeze for several hours.
Aspic is versatile; works for desserts and old-fashioned fruit salads -- easy and low in calories unless you want to turn it into mousse with heavy cream. For basic aspic, steam peaches till very soft, remove pit, put in food processor and grind smooth, Mix one package unflavored gelatin (according to directions, replace water with natural juice (peach, apricot, orange, whatever). Once gelatin mixture is dissolved, add it to processed peaches and stir. If you want it really rich, add some heavy cream and it becomes mousse. Chill until firm. For savory aspics, chop peaches into small bits, combine with chopped cucumber. Very lightly oil dish or pan to prevent sticking, line bottom with cucumber slices, cover with aspic and chill. Turn out onto pretty plate and serve.
New Jersey peach growers continue to develop new products with peaches. Look for Jersey peach cider, jam, salsa and barbecue sauce from Circle M Farms in Mullica Hill, Just Peachy Jersey salsa, from the Food Bank of South Jersey; peach wine from Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, peach sangria from Sharrott Winery in Hammonton.
Sweet, savory, spirited – Jersey peaches are in season from late June through mid-September. They’re good in so many ways. Get them while they last from farm stands, pick-your-own orchards, farm markets, supermarkets and specialty stores.
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland; and to providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the fourth largest peach producing state in the country, with approximately 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-2,5000 tons, valued at approximately $30-million.