Summer Sun Peaches

Delivered Fresh To You This Month

Compliments of Mother Nature & Your Favorite Fruit of the Month Club!

Summer Sun Peaches —

In China, where peaches originated, the peach supposedly brings luck, abundance and protection. Wild peaches traveled widely and developed into many strains. The peach spread to the New World on Spanish explorers’ ships. Several tribes of Native American Indians were particularly fond of peaches. In the 1800′s, Georgia was named “the Peach State” for its abundant output. During the Gold Rush, the demand for peaches in California outweighed their availability, prompting the planting of peach orchards in the Golden State. Today, California is the major producer of U.S. peaches, followed by South Carolina, then Georgia.

This fruit is great eaten out of hand — just wash thoroughly and rub with a paper towel to remove the fuzz. Sliced or chopped peaches will discolor; toss with lemon juice to retard browning. They are wonderful in salads, smoothies, and lend themselves to a myriad of recipes.

Ripening & Storage: Peaches are easily bruised so handle carefully. To ripen, store in a paper bag in a single layer. When ripe, store in the refrigerator for up to a week depending on the degree of ripeness. For full succulence, bring them to room temperature, then enjoy both the flavor and aroma!

Peaches and Yogurt

A wholesome version of peaches and cream, serve as a snack or after meal dessert. Transports well in make-ahead lunches, or as a dish-to-pass item!

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 t. vanilla

1/4 t. nutmeg

1-1/2 T. honey

4 large or 5 medium peaches, sliced

1/4 c. walnuts, chopped

Mint sprigs for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, vanilla, nutmeg and honey. Stir well to distribute the honey evenly. Stir in a few peach slices and mash to release the juices.  Add the remainder of the peaches and walnut pieces. Stir to         combine. Garnish with sprigs of mint, if desired.

Fantasia Nectarines —

Early varieties of nectarines, which were believed to have originated in China, were nothing like the nectarines we know today. They were small, white-fleshed and very delicate. In Greece, residents called nectarine juice the “drink of the Gods” or “nektar,” from which its name is derived. The nectarine did not arrive in the United States until the 19th century.

In 1942, a yellow-fleshed variety of nectarine developed in California which was much heartier and could withstand shipping. At least 100 varieties have been created since then, and the nectarine has become an increasingly popular fruit. California is responsible for nearly 98% of the crop in the U.S.

Ripening & Storage: Store nectarines at room temperature until fully ripe. It’s important that you store them in a single layer to prevent bruising. Refrigerate when fully ripe, but for no longer than a couple of days. Otherwise, the chill may rob the fruit of its juices and flavor. Bring nectarines to room temperature to enjoy maximum flavor.

Roasted Chicken Breasts

Stuffed with Nectarines

Serves 4

2 Nectarines, ripe but firm

1-1/2 c. dessert wine

Salt and pepper to taste

4 chicken breast halves, on bone, with skin intact

Halve nectarines, slitting along the seam to the pit. Twist, releasing the halves. Remove pit with a knife tip. With the cut side down, cut each half into 5 slices, lengthwise. Put slices in a shallow bowl and add wine; marinate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Loosen the skin on the chicken breasts. Season flesh with salt and pepper. Place 4 nectarine slices between the skin and breast, covering the slices with the skin and securing the skin, nectarines and flesh together with toothpicks. (You will have nectarine slices left over.)

Reserve marinade. Put breasts on a sheet pan lined with foil, drizzle a tablespoon of wine marinade over each and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until temperature reaches 160°F. Remove to a platter, keep warm. Put marinade and remaining slices in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to a light, syrup-like glaze, about 15 minutes. Pour over breasts and serve.

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