Peaches are members of the rose family that were first cultivated in China, where the peach was revered as a symbol of longevity. Peaches average only 42 calories and are a good source of potassium, vitamins A & C and low in sodium with no saturated fat. This makes them a healthful snack and a smart, low calorie way to end a meal.
The Michigan Peach Sponsors note that peaches are grown in many counties in the lower peninsula of Michigan, with the major peach production area are found on the west side of the lower half of the lower peninsula along Lake Michigan where the weather conditions are most favorable for fruit bud survival during the winter. Another small production area is on the east side of Michigan next to Lake Erie, Lake St. Claire, and lower Lake Huron.
Don’t miss A Peach of a Man on Absolute Michigan for information about Stanley Johnston, “the Picasso of the Peach” who developed numerous peach varieties including the famous Redhaven peach. See more peach articles & links from Absolute Michigan.
Peaches make everything (cereal, yogurt, ice cream…) better! Thanks Taste the Local Difference for the recipes!!
Sultry Summer Salad
A generous amount of fresh spinach or Romaine lettuce
4-5 peaches, sliced (it’s okay to leave the peel on)
2 cups strawberries (sliced), raspberries or blackberries (whatever’s in season)
2 cups blueberries
2 grapefruits, sectioned, with white membrane cut off (see method below)
2 oranges, sectioned, with white membrane cut off (see method below)
4-5 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 avocadoes, sliced
3 bananas, sliced
1-2 shoots of green onions, thinly sliced
Seeds from one pomegranate (if you can’t find one, or don’t have the patience to pick all those luscious, ruby-red seeds out, you can skip this ingredient.)
Pineapple slices are also nice, especially in the dead of winter when local fruit is hard to come by.
Rinse the spinach or lettuce leaves.
Cut up all the fruit (cut the bananas last, so they won’t have time to turn brown).
Stick the damp spinach/lettuce to the sides of a medium size bowl so that the top of the leaves peek over the edge, then spoon the fruit into the bowl.
Voilá! You now have a gorgeous fruit salad surrounded by fresh green leaves.
Shallot and Peach Chutney
Adapted from the “Frieda of California” shallot package.
3 cups chopped peaches
1/3 cups shallots or green onions, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins – a combination of gold and black raisins is pretty
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
In a large saucepan, combine the peaches, shallots or onions, vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients to pan; simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill.
Serve chilled or at room temperature with roasts, barbecued meats, on burgers, or with fish. Vegetarians, try spooning the chutney over rice and/or chickpeas sauteed with onions and curry.
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
5 cups peaches, sliced
2 cups blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all topping ingredients and stir thoroughly. Put the peach slices and blueberries into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes or so, or until the topping is golden brown.
Taste the Local Difference is part of the Michigan Land Use Institute’s Entrepreneurial Agriculture Project, which aims to grow jobs, save farmland, and build healthier communities with food that’s thousands of miles fresher. Find more than 160 farms and fishers who sell fresh foods on their farms, in farmers markets, and to restaurants and stores at www.LocalDifference.org. TLD lead sponsors are Traverse City State Bank and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
The Great Lakes Bulletin News Service features news and commentary about transportation, land use, agriculture, and efforts to contain sprawl, reported and written by the Michigan Land Use InstituteÃs corps of accomplished journalists and other top writers from around the state and nation.
Photo Credits: Bill Shane, Michigan State University Extension courtesy Michigan Peach Sponsors