Peaches have taken over my kitchen. Some sit along the edge of the counter to ripen, while others are perched on top of the bananas in the fruit bowl’plus there’s an untouched fresh basket in the cold cellar waiting for its chance to move upstairs.
Why all these peaches? For me, they are a summertime treat. I like to eat them at almost every meal while they are in season, and then wait an entire year for Ontario peaches to arrive back in the market. They make perfect snacks, are easy to tuck into my lunch bag and are low in calories’about 60 in the medium-size one sitting on my desk (Did I mention I had a peach, banana and blueberry smoothie for breakfast?).
These stone fruit are also nutritious. As well as being a good source of vitamin C, a medium peach has almost 10 percent of my daily fibre (I leave the skin on for a smoothie), and contains 6 percent of my niacin‘a B vitamin involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Peach (and plum) extracts were also the subject of some interesting research on breast cancer cells published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry last year. Scientists at Texas A&M University found that phenolic compounds in these stone-fruit extracts inhibited the growth of the breast cancer cells, including estrogen-dependent cancer cells. Of course, many more studies will be needed to determine whether these compounds have potential to prevent or treat cancer.
In the meantime, I’d love to learn your favourite ways to use up (lots of) ripe peaches!