Last weekend our family visited a local farm for u-pick peaches! Since we drove over an hour, there was no way we were only going to just pick a couple buckets, so of course, we majorly overdid ourselves. After a few hours in the heat, we came home with 45 pounds of peaches!
What exactly does 45 pounds of peachy goodness look like? Let’s just say my 6 foot-long dinning room table was completely buried for days with a blanket of orange fuzz. My kids discovered a new use for peaches as throwing balls, so I quickly got busy using our peaches before casualties occurred.
The easiest way to store peaches long-term is by freezing. There are many great ways you can preserve a bumper crop of peaches, but many are just too labor intensive for a mom like me, with 2 small kids. I have a limited amount of time, yet still want to provide my family with the very best nutritionally-dense food.
My main use for peaches is making smoothies. Smoothies are a fantastic way to get nutrients in my kids with ingredients they may normally pass up. Somehow when ingredients like greens, fruit, and other delicacies are placed in a blender they are more than happy to drink up and even ask for seconds.
I also use peaches regularly to make homemade flavored yogurt. Since you aren’t going to find real peaches in your cup of Yoplait (I’m not sure if there is really much of anything real in that little container), I use my freezer stock of peaches to make my own tasty peach yogurt. I combine semi-defrosted peaches with a little raw honey or sucanat, pulse a few times in the food processor, and finally mix in homemade yogurt.
- lemon juice (preferably from freshly squeezed lemons)
- large bowl
- cookie sheet
- peaches (peaches need to be slightly soft to touch but not too mushy. Mushy peaches do not freeze well)
- Rinse the peaches off under cool water, gently scrub off the dirt.
- If you don't want to keep the skins on the peaches bring a pot of water to a boil and gently place your peaches in the hot bath for about 40 seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl with ice water. The peach skins can then easily be peeled off when in the ice bath. I prefer to keep the skins so I skip this step.
- Cut the peaches. You can either slice the peaches in half, quarter them, or cut them in slices. I prefer smaller chunks of peaches, but this is completely up to you. I toss my peaches in a large bowl while cutting.
- Toss your cut peaches in a lemon/water bath. This will prevent the peaches from developing that yucky brown appearance. Use a 1:4 ratio of lemon juice to water.
- Place your freshly bathed peaches on a cookie sheet. Be sure they each have their own spot on the sheet to prevent peaches from sticking together. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer. I found it generally takes an hour or two for them to fully freeze.
- Once frozen on the cookie sheet, use a spatula to separate the peaches from the sheet. Place the peaches in your freezer-friendly container of choice and enjoy all year long!
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