Getting the peachiest peaches

Fruit is the most weight-friendly foods I know. I can eat fruit anytime I just want to eat something that’s sweet, but don’t want a lot of calories. Fruit is nutritious and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that can protect my body from cell damage that causes cancer and heart disease.

I think I'd take a perfect peach over any cake, pastry, piece of chocolate. There's nothing quite as delightful as a perfect peach!

I think I’d take a perfect peach over any cake, pastry, piece of chocolate. There’s nothing quite as delightful as a perfect peach!

 

Fruits are a good source of fiber and that helps regulate blood sugar levels. A piece of fruit can fill you up better than a handful of cookies for fewer calories! Fruit is fantastic! Some fruit is more fantastic than others.

Since I eat a lot of fresh fruit, especially native fruit in season, I have a lot of experience shopping for fruit. Selecting fruit at its peak is tricky. Experience is necessary because one thing that stops people from enjoying fresh fruit is its unpredictability.

This one is so juicy it's hard to eat without making a mess. That's my idea of a perfect peach!

This one is so juicy it’s hard to eat without making a mess. That’s my idea of a perfect peach!

Unlike processed foods and including processed fruits, that come nicely packaged and ready to eat, and added ingredients including sugar and preservatives, and always taste exactly the way they should every time, there is no guarantee with fresh fruit. It might be sweet and juicy one time, bitter another, and tough, fibrous or mealy another time. It may not even be fresh at all! Most fruits offer clues to help you select the tastiest ones. It’s all about knowing what they are.

A great peach may be my favorite fruit of all, but it took a lot of work to figure out what to look for when buying peaches in the supermarket. Typically, they are very hard or if they’re ripe they’re too ripe – almost moldy.

This one is a little green around the stem. Might be good today but much better tomorrow.

This one is a little green around the stem. Might be good today but much better tomorrow.

The best peaches are the ones you pick off a tree. It’s a little early in the season for peach picking. Maine has far more u-pick apple orchards than peach orchards, so most of the peaches I eat I buy in the supermarket.

I don’t have a surefire system for picking the best peaches like I do with watermelons. They’re much trickier, but worth the search to find the perfect peach. I know that when they’re that perfect peach color they’re very good bets. It’s a hard color to describe – kind of a rosy coral. Look for the one with little or no green around the stem.

Smelling them is your best guarantee. If they smell wonderful, they will be wonderful even if the color isn’t perfect.  Make sure they’re tender to the touch. It’s more common to find them in that delicious condition at a farm stand than in the supermarket. Wherever you find them that way, buy them and eat them right up because they quickly to from perfectly ripe to not-so-perfect-overripe.

If the color is right and the smell is good, but they’re a bit hard, you can ripen them up in a brown paper bag.

Place the paper bag with the opening facing sideways, not the top. Place the peaches inside the bag but be careful they’re not touching each other. Carefully roll the opened end a few times to close the bag but do not disturb the contents. leave them undisturbed and check them in 24 hours. Sometimes they’ll need more time.

I can eat a peach and it's so good I can have a second one without a second thought.

Nothing left but the pitt. I can eat a peach and it’s so good I can have a second one without a second thought.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.