In some areas you can get peaches year-round, but the best are available in late July and August. These are the peaches you dream about all year long. Fragrant and juicy, this fruit can be used in a number of recipes. Whether you want a dessert or even something new to add to the breakfast table, there are many delicious uses for this summer fruit. But before we get to that, let’s start with how you can save money on peaches along with some storage tips for preserving them.
How to Save Money, Preserve and Use Peaches
Interesting Facts About Peaches
Peach season starts in May and goes through September. This means you’ll be able to find the fruit throughout that period, but the best fruit can be found in July and August.
Chances are you’ve heard of Georgia peaches, but the largest producer of the fruit is China followed by Italy.
One medium peach has 60 calories and roughly half a gram of fat.
How to Save Peaches
Peaches can be preserved in different ways. One way to save peaches is to dehydrate them. This can be done with a dehydrator or in your oven. SparkPeople has an amazing article on dehydrating peaches, along with other types of fruit, in the oven.
You can also can peaches. This is a more involved process. I’ll be perfectly honest. I’ve never canned in my life. I watched my mom do it, but never tried it myself. Delish has an awesome article that walks you through the process step by step.
Freezing peaches is another option. To freeze, peel, cut the fruit in half and remove the pit, and slice. You can then toss the peaches in sugar and stir every 30 minutes or so until a juice forms and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to freezer bags or containers along with the juice and freeze.
Can I freeze peaches without sugar? Yes! Instead of tossing with sugar. Slice the fruit and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone sheet. Place in your freezer until frozen and then transfer the slices to a freezer bag.
How to Save Money on Peaches
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive. Thankfully, there are a few different ways that you can save money on peaches.
Shop Farmer’s Markets
One of the easiest ways to save on money on peaches is to shop at farmer’s markets. When you buy directly from farmers, you’re cutting out the middleman. Not only that but you’re getting the ripest, most delicious fruit possible when not growing it yourself.
Purchase in Larger Quantities
The more peaches you buy, the better. Don’t be afraid to purchase a half or full bushel. You can always preserve peaches to use later, which is always nice during the fall and winter months. Just be sure to look through the fruit as closely as possible to make sure you’re getting the best fruit possible.
Look for Sales
If you have to purchase in a grocery store, make sure to wait until there’s a sale. You can often find peaches for less than $1 per pound, especially during the peak season. Because these peaches may not be local, you may find that the fruit is a bit hard. You can place them in a brown paper bag and roll down the top to help the fruit ripen.
Delicious Uses for Peaches
We all know about peach cobbler and peach pie. The following suggestions will give you a few more ideas to make the most of this delicious summer fruit.
Peach Upside Down Cake
Pineapple upside down cake is a longtime favorite, but why limit yourself to pineapple. When the seasons change, use the seasonal fruit. Simply fill two 8-inch round cake pans with 1 cup brown sugar and half stick of melted butter each and then add your peeled and sliced peaches. If you want, you can even create a beautiful pattern with the fruit slices. Then pour your favorite cake batter on top and bake per the instructions of your favorite pineapple upside down cake.
Peach Pancake or Waffle Topping
This recipe is super simple. Melt a half stick of butter in a large skillet and add a cup of brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Once the sugar is melted, fold in 4 cups of sliced peaches (unpeeled) and cook until the desired tenderness is achieved. Serve over pancakes, waffles, or even French toast with a dollop of whipped cream.
Peachy Ice Cream Sundaes
The hot peach topping listed above is also delicious served over vanilla ice cream. To make the sundae more decadent, top the sundaes with crushed gingersnap cookies and whipped cream.
Last, but not least, take a break from strawberry shortcake to enjoy a peach version of this beloved recipe. Fold peeled and sliced peaches with peach glaze (found in the produce section) and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Once cool, top a layer of shortcake with half the peach mixture and whipped cream. Add a second layer of cake and repeat the peach and whipped cream layers. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Peaches are one the best summer fruits and their uses are endless. However, you aren’t limited by the traditional peach pie or cobbler. Branch out and try something new. You also don’t have to spend a lot of money or let the fruit go to waste. There are many ways to save money and preserve peaches for later use.