Fresh North Carolina Peaches
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According to Dr. Michael Parker, Extension Horticulture Specialist, with NC State University and N.C. Cooperative Extension, North Carolina harvests over 1,200 acres of peaches each year, resulting in nearly $7 million dollars in annual sales. Who knew? And I bet you all thought it was all about a Georgia peach, but turns out it is all about a North Carolina peach too!
North Carolina is the 7 th top producer of peaches nationally, ant the most common varieties grown in here are Biscoe, Candor, Carolina Belle, Derby, and Norman. The average peach season in NC is about 4 months, spanning from June to September.
Not only do peaches taste amazing, one of my favorites, but are also packed with nutrition. In one medium peach you will see only 60 calories and more than 20 different macro and micronutrients, including fiber, vitamins, A, C, E, potassium and zinc. And of course, they are naturally free of fat, sodium, cholesterol, gluten and trans fats!
Peaches are best known for their contributions to sweet treats, but they actually pair well with many meats especially chicken and pork.
Grilled Peach Quesadillas
- 4 flour or keto tortillas
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 medium fresh peaches remove pits and slice thinly
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Lightly spray one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. On unsprayed side of each of the tortillas, evenly spread the pesto. Add the peaches and mozzarella cheese. Top each with remaining tortilla, sprayed side up, and press together.
- Place quesadillas on directly on the hot grill. Cook for 6-8 minutes, carefully flipping once, until cheese is melted. Remove from grill and cut the quesadillas into quarters. Serve immediately. These can also be made in a skillet.
Five Minute Peach Yogurt
- 3 tablespoons fresh local honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup yogurt, plain, you may use Greek
- 4 cups fresh peaches cut into chunks
- Place frozen peaches, yogurt, lemon juice, and honey to food processor or blender. Blend until creamy texture. Takes around 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately, or pour into an airtight container and place in freezer. Can store in freezer for up to 1 month.
- You can substitute the honey with sweetener of your choice such as agave nectar. If you like your frozen yogurt a little sweeter, you can also add a little extra honey or sweetener.
Balsamic Peach Sauce
(This sauce can be used to brush on grilled meats, or used as a marinade)
- 2 peaches, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches, garlic, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the peaches are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Serves 18. Each serving contains Calories 17, Fat 1g., Carbohydrates 2g., Protein 0g., Sugars 2g.
Fresh Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce
(Modified from a Add A Pinch Blog recipe)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup fresh local honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup low sugar or no sugar added peach preserves
- Combine tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped peaches in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.
- Bring to a low boil and then cook until thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in peach preserves.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Peach BBQ Sauce Wings
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- 1 cup Fresh Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce (from previous recipe)
- Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Place chicken wings onto grill, skin side up, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Turn chicken wings and cook until internal temperature registers about 180º F, about another 10 minutes.
Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil to rest for about 5 minutes.
- Brush Fresh Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce onto chicken wings prior to serving. Serve additional sauce on the side for dipping.
Yields 18 tablespoons.
Blueberry Peach Tart
(Two great fresh Spring flavors combined)
For the Tart
- 1 sheet of puffed pastry, thawed for 20 minutes
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 large fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
For the glaze
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Remove 1 sheet of puffed pastry from the freeze; thaw for 15-20 minutes at room temperature, or until it can easily be unfolded without cracking.
- Preheat oven to 400°(F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the egg and water; beat until well combined; set aside.
- Thinly slice peaches and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cornstarch; toss well, ensuring all peaches are coated in the cinnamon sugar mix; set aside.
- Gently unfold the puffed pastry. If it does crack, gently press the tears back together and mend with slightly wet fingers.
- Place puffed pastry on prepared baking sheet. Layer the peaches evenly (and very tightly) on the puffed pastry, making 3 tidy rows, leaving a 1 inch; border around the pastry. Sprinkle the blueberries on top.
- Lightly brush exposed pastry crust with egg wash.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating once during baking, or until the crust is puffed up and golden brown and the peaches are tender.
- While the tart bakes, make the vanilla glaze! In a small bowl combine the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and cream; whisk until smooth, adding more cream as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over the tart right before serving. Serve warm with vanilla glaze.
Sauteed Pork Tenderloin and Fresh Peaches
- ½ pound pork tenderloin, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons steak seasoning, like Montreal steak, or Sandy Bottom Bandits, Low Ground Grit
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chicken broth, low sodium
- 3 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Pound pork slices to a ¼-inch-thickness in a zip-top plastic bag using the heel of your hand or a meat mallet. Sprinkle with seasoning.
- Cook pork in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Remove from skillet, and keep warm.
- Add onion to skillet; reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is browned and tender.
- Return pork to skillet; add broth and peaches. Simmer 3 minutes or until pork is done. Sprinkle with basil.
Baked BBQ Chicken and Peaches
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 2-3 peaches, thickly sliced
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup BBQ Sauce, your choice; I like a vinegar-based sauce, but some like the sweeter sauces
- Cilantro for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the chicken breasts to a large resealable bag. Using a meat tenderizer or rolling pin, pound out the chicken breasts in the bag until they are 1/2 inch thick.
- Add the BBQ sauce and sliced red onions and squeeze until everything is well coated. If you are prepping this recipe for the next day, store refrigerated at this point.
- Dump the contents of the BBQ chicken bag into a sprayed 9×13-baking dish. Top with thick slices of peaches.
- Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°.
- Serve topped with cilantro and additional BBQ sauce.