What To Do With A Bushel of Summer Peaches

by Jimmie

A bushel of peaches is a lot, but there is no need to let them go to waste. Here are recipes and ideas for using every one of those peaches.

Because American grocery stories sell imported fruits and vegetables from all over the world, enjoying seasonal produce has lost some of its excitement. But peaches are one fruit that is very hard to find except in the summer. I actually am thankful for that scarcity since it makes peaches so much more precious to me.

When you find a source for locally grown peaches, stock up! Don't be afraid to buy a half bushel or a whole bushel. The price is signifigantly lower than what you pay at the supermarket, and you will have plenty to share with friends and family.

A gift of fresh fruit is thoughtful of your friend's health and well being. He will love you for it. So share your peaches generously. Then use these ideas for enjoying the rest of your bushel of peaches.

Make the Most of Your Bushel of Peaches

Peaches ripen quickly when left at room temperature, so you have a window of probably two to three days to eat fresh peaches from your bushel or half bushel. Make the most of those few days by highlighting peaches in every meal. 

Eating Peaches at Every Meal

Day 1 Peach Menu

Breakfast

Peach smoothies

Lunch

Grilled chicken salad with fresh peaches and peach vinagrette dressing

Dinner

Peach pie or cobbler for dessert

Day 2 Peach Menu

Breakfast

Fresh peaches, macerated, over waffles or pancakes

Lunch

Pork chops with rosemary and peaches

Dinner

Congealed salad with peaches as a side dish

Amco Peach Pitter/Slicer
Amco
$13.99  $11.99

1. Eating Fresh Peaches

Obviously, you are going to want to eat some peaches in hand, peel and all. Others you can peel, slice, and use in fresh dishes:

Preparing peaches is easy. Simply wash, peel, and slice. Add a squeeze of citrus juice such as orange, lemon, or lime. If desired, sprinkle with sugar to add sweetness and macerate the fruit. The peaches will release juices that mix with the sugar to form a delicious syrup that is 100% natural. 

2. Baking Sweet Peach Desserts

Peach Cobbler or Pie

The standard peach desserts are such a treat when made from scratch with fresh peaches.

As a bonus, peach pies freeze well. Make a couple of pies or a batch of individual fried peach pies to store in the freezer for later. If you have a favorite recipe for apple pie, simply substitute peaches for the apples. Just be sure to omit the spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are not as complementary to peaches as they are to apples.

Peach Pastries

Peach Cobbler
Peach Cobbler

3. Cooking Up Savory Pork & Peach Entrees

Peaches pair perfectly with pork. In fact, any recipe that you have for pork and apples will probably work with peaches instead. Your peaches will probably not need quite as long to cook, though, so take the time difference into account.

If you have some rosemary growing in your herb garden, try this delicious Pork Chops with Rosemary Peaches. Or fire up the grill and make Raspberry Chicken Salad with Grilled Peaches.

How about Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa from Annie's Eats? That looks amazing!

Savory Peach and Pork Dish

Pork Loin Roast with Fresh Peaches
Pork Loin Roast with Fresh Peaches

More Savory Main Dishes Featuring Fresh Peaches

Salmon, Pork and Chicken Entrees

Pork Chops and Fresh Peaches
This recipe uses the crockpot for super easy preparation. (Peaches you've previously frozen will also work in this recipe. No need to even thaw. Just put them directly into the crockpot.)

Baked Chicken With Fresh Peaches
This dish uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts and is cooked in the oven. Frozen peaches could be substituted for the fresh in this recipe.

Grilled Balsamic Chicken and Peaches
Fire up the grill for this easy dish featuring fresh peaches.

Gingery Salmon With Peaches
We all should be getting more fish into our diets. This is a good recipe for people who don't otherwise enjoy fish.

4. Storing Peaches for Fall and Winter

After making some savory peach entrees, a fabulous peach dessert, and eating many fresh peaches, you've probably got a lot of peaches left in your bushel. The best course is to prepare them for storage so that none are wasted

Peaches ripen very quickly. Leave them on your kitchen counter for just two days and you will be needing to deal with them before they begin to rot.

I prefer to freeze peaches because canning is a bit cumbersome to me and requires more equipment.

How to Freeze Peaches

Juice two to three lemons and put the juice (and pulp, if desired) into a large bowl. Alternatively you can use orange juice.

Wash and peel the peaches. Cut them in half and remove the pit and any unsightly areas. Slice the peaches into the bowl of citrus juice.Toss the peaches lightly to cover with the juice. (The juice prevents the browning and keeps the peaches looking pretty.)

If you want a sweeter taste, toss up to a cup of sugar onto the peach slices. This will macerate the fruit and create a delicious fruity syrup.

Put the peaches into freezer bags or plastic containers. Label and freeze.

How to Use Frozen Peaches

Frozen peaches can be thawed and eaten as topping for ice cream or cake. They can also be used in cooked main courses, such as with chicken or pork.

Add them directly to the blender for making delicious peach smoothies that taste like summer any time of the year.

How do You Prefer to Preserve Peaches?

Canned Peaches
Canned Peaches
by ralph and jenny at Flickr
by ralph and jenny at Flickr
Updated: on 02/27/2012, Jimmie
 
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barbarab on 09/05/2011

my favorite is yours, Jimmie :) fried peach pies is anything more delectable? do you use lard or crisco? type up your recipe will you please?

Sara @ breville smart oven on 08/06/2011

Peaches can help with anemia, high blood pressure, constipation, and dry cough.
My favorite is peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Ramkitten on 07/25/2011

There's no fruit I like better than a perfectly ripe, juicy peach, so much better if they're from the local farmers market than the grocery store. Peach cobbler is my recipe of choice -- and it's easy -- when I want to make use of extra peaches before they get over-ripe or go bad. This page is making me think about the three peaches ripening on my kitchen counter. Not quite there yet!

dustytoes on 07/23/2011

Would my apple corer work for a peach??? You've got me wondering.
I bought fresh peaches from an orchard two years ago and they wouldn't let us pick since the peaches are so delicate, but they were so yummy. Beautiful page to drool over.

CorreenK on 07/09/2011

We have a peach guy that comes round our area each year...it is definitely something I look forward to and enjoy the bounty from the freezer. Loved all your ideas on here.

Holistic_Health on 07/06/2011

Peach pie is my specialty. Makes my mouth water just looking at them.

Guest on 07/04/2011

Nothing like a juicy peach in the middle of summer!

Pukeko on 07/04/2011

I love peaches. Wrong season for us. This page really has me craving summer stone fruit. Nicely done. (we already used up all that we froze).

nightbear on 07/03/2011

I really love peaches too. I make a nice peach chutney and serve it over pork or even salmon. It is so good. But peach cobbler is a perfect dessert and really pleases Jim.

ohcaroline on 07/03/2011

I had a nice bowl of freshly sliced peaches with some vanilla frozen yogurt on top last night. Yum! I have some more that I going to put either in a pie or try some baked empanadas. They are such a treat. I'll keep these recipes in mind for the next batch I get.




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