I don’t know about you, but spring and summer produce is one of my favorite things about living in this area. There are farmer’s markets in almost every town and tons of variety in the fruits and vegetables available.
One fruit I’m really excited about is fresh, local peaches. We ate so many of them last summer, and I’ve been waiting patiently for them to begin trickling in. I don’t think anything beats a perfectly ripe peach.
Two summers ago, Nick and I were visiting the farmer’s market in downtown Roanoke and this cute old farmer ripped a white peach in half and gave it to us to sample. They were from his farm, picked that very morning for the market, and he was extremely proud of his peaches. He stood in front of us in his dark denim overalls and white t-shirt, watching us and waiting for our reaction.
That peach – that perfectly ripe white peach – was the epitome of summer. Fresh. Light. Nick and I both had peach juice dripping down our chins and onto our shirts, but we didn’t care. My hands were sticky for the rest of the afternoon, but the only thing I could think about was eating another one. So we bought an entire basket from him. And every single peach in that basket was just as good.
While eating a peach on its own is the best way to enjoy it, I also love using them in other dishes in the summer. It helps me use every peach I have before they go bad and my husband and I get to create new uses for them together.
Some of my favorite ways to use fresh peaches:
• Diced and added to oatmeal for breakfast or yogurt for a snack
• Sliced and dropped into iced tea
• Cut up and added to big salads with fresh veggies, greens, other fruits like berries, and feta or goat cheese
• Diced up and made into a salsa with vine-ripened tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro
• Muddled with fresh mint and sugar and added to rum and sparkling water or club soda for a fresh peach mojito
• Mixed with fresh blackberries and baked into a crumble for an easy dessert
This Peach and Blackberry Crisp was one of my favorite desserts I made last year – I hope you try it with some local peaches and blackberries! It’s especially delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Peach Blackberry Crisp
• 2-3 cups blackberries
• 3 peaches, peeled and diced
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 1 Tbsp flour
• 2/3 cups oats
• 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 canola oil
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Toss fruit with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp flour and pour into greased 8×8 baking dish.
3. In separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon together until combined.
4. Spread crisp topping over the fruit.
5. Bake 35-45 minutes or until the topping is browned and fruit is bubbling around the edges.