One medium peach contains around 60 calories, 15g carbohydrates, and 2g fiber, and contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Peaches contain very little fat, sodium, and protein.
- Buy: Look for fresh peaches that are firm and round. Avoid peaches with wrinkled or soft spots, which indicates over-ripeness.
For canned and plastic-packed cups of peaches, look for those canned in 100% juice rather than syrup. Note that "lite" peaches may have alternative sweeteners added, if that is a concern for you.
For frozen peaches, buy those without added sugar.
- Price: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh peaches average about $1.60 per pound. Around 3 medium peaches will equal a pound, so each peach would be around $0.50.
- Store: Store fresh peaches at room temperature. When peaches give gently to pressure, eat them soon or refrigerate for a few days.
- Prepare: Wash peaches before eating. Remember there is a pit inside each peach. Some peaches twist off of their pits easily ("freestone"), while others tend to cling to the pit ("clingstone"). Cut around the pit on clingstone peaches as best you can.
As peaches ripen, their skin may start to wrinkle. This is not a problem of safety, but rather of quality. If it is bothersome, peel the skin off. For peaches that are mealy when ripened, try in a smoothie or muffin recipe. For peaches that never seem to ripen, try cooking in a dish like cobbler. Or try your hand at home canning of peach halves, with instructions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
- Eat: Enjoy peaches raw as a snack, pureed into dishes like smoothies, on salads, and in hot and cold desserts.
- FoodLink, Purdue Extension, Peaches
- Clemson Cooperative Extension, Using & Storing Peaches
- National Center for Home Food Preservation, Peaches
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27
This recipe is a great mix of most food groups, and is a quick meal. For more about MyPlate, visit choosemyplate.gov.
MyPlate Summer Bowl (Serves 1)
Such a quick meal for a hot summer day.
1/4 cup quinoa (or other small grain like rice, couscous, etc.)
4 oz can lower-sodium cubed chicken or tuna, drained
1 fresh peach, cubed
1 cup salad greens (spinach, spring mix, etc.)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1. Cook quinoa or grain according to package directions. Drain any remaining liquid.
2. To a bowl, add cooked quinoa, chicken, peach, and salad greens.
3. Sprinkle with vinegar or lemon juice, and top with walnuts.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 420 calories, 13g fat, 300mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 33g protein