If you are lucky enough to have access to a peach tree, you might quickly find yourself surrounded by more peaches than you can realistically eat before they go bad. Here are a few ways to cook with peaches that you might not have thought of.
One of nature’s best accomplishments in the summer, peaches are also quite healthy. A ripe peach is loaded with beta carotene, potassium and a smattering of B vitamins. Further, there are quite a few good folks who believe peaches are good for lowering the cholesterol level in the blood, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases, anemia and renal diseases.
Most people tend to think of peach ice cream and peach pie but there are some healthier ways to eat peaches. Grilling peaches brings out an incredible depth of flavor. You can cut a peach in half and rub the cut sides with brown sugar before grilling, or else top with whipped cream (homemade so you can control the sweetness) and a few sliced almonds. A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg adds a warm touch to this healthy dessert.
Some of the best uses for peaches aren’t desserts at all. Peach is a wonderful complement to the flavor of pork. You can toss some diced peaches in a slow cooker along with a pork loin roast and chopped onions. If you’re using pork chops, brown them in a pan and then brown the peaches in the same pan along with some sliced red onions. Combine and bake until the pork is cooked and the peaches are tender.
Peach salsa is the perfect accompaniment to any type of grilled meat, especially chicken or fish. Combine the following ingredients (amounts according to taste) and then chill: diced fresh peaches, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, vinegar, and olive oil. You can even serve this peach salsa with tortilla chips as a snack.
Add some sliced peaches to a green dinner salad. For example, try some baby spinach, sliced peaches, sliced avocado, pistachios, and a few chopped green onions. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and a bit of olive oil to make a memorable salad. You could even throw in leftover chicken or feta cheese to make it more meal-like.
The important thing to remember is that with a little extra planning and thought you can enjoy a huge variety of flavors with your abundance of peaches.
You can tell by the bright yellow or orange flesh of winter squash (well, depending on the variety), that this fall harvest fruit is good for you. (Yes, squash is a fruit!) Winter squash, like acorn and butternut, are the more substantial varieties. And I’m sure you already knew it, but zucchini is considered a summer squash.
If you’re looking for some ideas about how to get more of this delicious fruit that’s easy to find, easy to cook and easy on the budget, I happen to have some fab suggestions for you. 😉
The following are five ways you can prepare squash to enjoy with your dinner this evening:
Roasted with root vegetables. If you’re roasting beets, parsnips or carrots, toss in some squash. You can also make it even easier and simply slice your squash in half, remove the seeds (save them to roast later), and roast in its skin at 375 for about 30–40 minutes, depending on the squash and its size. When dinner’s ready, scoop out the flesh of the squash and enjoy with some butter.
Mashed or puréed. You can steam your squash and mash it, just like you would with potatoes. I personally don’t care for this method as it’s not nearly as flavorful as roasting, but it’s a good way to bulk up a serving of mashed vegetables. Puréed squash also looks very pretty on a plate.
Souped up. Make a simple soup from your squash, and serve it as an appetizer. Or, bulk it up with more veggies and serve it as a main course.
Stuffed. You can stuff and roast just about any squash you would like. Imagine a beautiful spaghetti squash, sliced in half and stuffed with tomato sauce and meatballs. Or an acorn squash sliced and stuffed with sausage and apples. Use your imagination (and Google—you can find endless ideas for roasting squash.)
As noodles. You may already know that you can roast a spaghetti squash and scoop out its noodly flesh to eat as you would any traditional noodle. But if you have a vegetable spiralizer, you can also make noodles out of other types of squash like acorn or butternut, and gently steam them to serve for dinner. (You can find veggie spiralizers on Amazon.) The accord squash “noodles” are wonderful!
I hope I’ve inspired you to add squash to your menu this evening. 🙂
In life, it’s the little things that count. Not the great big momentous occasions, but the daily moments that all strung together, make up your own personal circle of life. We cannot measure the quality of our lives by the big events like birthday celebrations, weddings, baptisms and graduations. It’s the day-to-day stuff that makes up your life.
This is also true with eating. It’s not just the big meal occasions—dinner out, Thanksgiving, birthday cake and such. Becoming a healthy eater has everything to do with daily decision making over what will go in your mouth, rather than worrying about a special occasion (I say, splurge and enjoy it! The next day, do penance and throw in a little extra exercise and pare a few calories off your daily intake for the next few days.)
But it’s those daily decisions that count; to choose not to drive thru and wait an extra 15 minutes to get home to real food. It’s choosing fruit over donuts; water over soda and not to have that bowl of ice cream watching TV. Those are the little decisions that matter much more so than eating an extra piece of pie at Thanksgiving. Yeah, overindulging is hard on your body and we talk about being “Thanksgiving full” as the ultimate test of fullness, but the daily awareness of what you put in your body is what the definitive cause and effect of how your body looks, feels and operates.
Sometimes it’s easy (like the above example of fruit over donuts). Other times, it’s harder to know what to do. Here are some easy swaps to help you to save calories, your health and your sanity, too, so you know that what you’re doing will make a difference!
Instead of a blueberry muffin (which, let’s be honest, is really a cupcake with blueberries in it!) have a cup of Greek yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries stirred in. Save yourself 249 calories (and some considerable carbs!).
Instead of a 2 slices of whole wheat bread, have 1 Orowheat Sandwich Round (whole wheat also), saving yourself 140 calories!
Instead of 1 cup of white rice, have 1/2 cup of brown rice mixed with chopped steamed broccoli. You’ve just saved yourself nearly 100 calories (and ratcheted up the fiber count, too!).
Instead of a pork chop, go for an equal serving of pork tenderloin and save yourself 50 calories (plus a lot of fat grams!).
It’s not that difficult to make a big difference a little bit at a time. Awareness counts as much as calories do. Keep that in mind as you hit the grocery store this week!
Our Dinner Answers menu planner allows you to completely personalize your grocery list and do your grocery shopping from your PHONE! Check it out!