Tip, Trick & a Recipe: Sweet, sweet nectarines!

There’s really no way to describe the experience of biting into a ripe nectarine. The way the flesh gives under your teeth, releasing the sweet juice into your mouth . . . well, it’s one of life’s great indulgences!

Peaches and nectarines—both delicious stone fruits—are often used interchangeably in the kitchen, but these two orange orbs are, indeed, different.

From appearances only, the one difference between peaches and nectarines is the fuzz factor (nectarines don’t have any), but on the inside nectarines have a better nutritional profile.

Nectarines contain a bit more Vitamin C than peaches do, but they also contain more potassium and twice as much Vitamin A. So if you’re going to choose one over the other in a cobbler or in your lunchbox, you may wish to reach for the nectarine.

These sweet stone fruits are also chock full of antioxidants and fiber. In addition to these nutritional benefits, nectarines contain a bit more protein than other fruits do, at 1.51 grams per average-sized fruit.

I love nectarines sliced into my salads and tossed into my daily juice. They’re also delicious cut in half and grilled, topped with some Greek yogurt. Mmm!

And with that, it’s time for your Trick!

The best nectarine is a ripe nectarine. To tell when it’s ripe, follow your nose! A ripe nectarine will smell good enough to eat! Gently press the fruit with your thumb and if there’s some give to it, you should be good to go.

Your Tip:

Be sure to opt for organic nectarines. Nectarines (and peaches) are on the Dirty Dozen list, so if you can’t find organic, then choose something else.

And your Recipe:

Nectarine Cherry Chicken Salad

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Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup Leanne’s Basic Vinaigrette below
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey preferably local
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

SALAD:

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 3 cups chopped nectarine about 3 medium
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted chopped sweet cherries fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 8 cups Baby greens

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together Leanne’s vinaigrette, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, curry powder, ginger and salt in a small mixing bowl, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl add the chopped chicken breast meat, celery, nectarine, cherries, and green onion. Pour dressing over the top of chicken salad, and toss to coat. Divide and serve on a bed of baby greens topped with toasted almonds.
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