Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Delicious/Nutritious: Peachy keen

August 13, 2014


Juicy and sweet, peaches are the dribble-down-your-chin favorite of summer. They work well in pretty much every course of an August dinner menu, adding warm-weather flavor to everything from salad to soup to entrees or dessert. You can even grill them!


Peach cobbler and peach crisp are probably my favorite summer desserts.

In season peaches are second only to fresh pineapple in my estimation. It’s nature’s candy. But for this application I wanted to use the peach in a way that my family would eat, and Mr. Meat and Potatoes just isn’t into dessert unless it’s a brownie. He’s crazy, but after six years of marriage I’ve come to accept it.

Peach salsa

Peach salsa

So everyone loves a good chip in our house. And even better is a chip with an excellent salsa. And since it’s totally salsa season, I couldn’t think of anything better to do with a bag of farm fresh peaches than to make them into the world’s freshest salsa. I like to use small tomatoes for this, and thankfully a friend had recently gifted me a bag of little multi-colored heirloom tomatoes from his garden. Sweet and beautiful, they were bound to make an amazing salsa.

Peach Salsa

2 cups heirloom tomatoes, halved

3 or 4 peaches, peeled and diced

Handful of cilantro, stems removed and chopped fine

1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

A dusting of garlic powder and cumin

1 teaspoon lime juice (fresh is best)

Healthy pinch of kosher salt

Stir it all together and refrigerate. It will get saucy and taste better as it sits, so give it a minute before you serve.

Be sure to serve good corn tortilla chips with this — good salsa deserves a good chip.

This is easy peasy and good to impress a guest with something unexpected!


Peaches are probably hands down my favorite fruit. I love their tartness, their sweetness, even their fuzziness. In fact, I usually only eat nectarines when someone else buys them because their lack of fuzz is completely disheartening.

I’ve been known to cut up four to five peaches in a sitting and down them after a run. No frills. Just plain deliciousness and vitamin C. In fact, one large peach provides about 19 percent of your daily vitamin C, 11 percent of your daily vitamin A, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein to go with just 68 calories and zero grams of fat.

Peaches and cream

Peaches and cream

So, yeah, you can eat five and not feel guilty.

But for all the time I’ve spent loving peaches, I’d never (to my memory) had the iconic dessert peaches and cream. Sure, I’d had the instant oatmeal that purported to taste like the famous pairing, but I’d never had the honest-to-goodness thing.

I decided I’d make it for this round of Delicious/Nutritious. But, of course, rather than using heavy cream and sugar, I’ve gone a healthier route. The cream here is based on full-fat coconut milk (do NOT sub with light coconut milk) and maple syrup. Coconut milk is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are good-for-you fats, plus fat might boost your absorption of the vitamins in the peaches. Win-win.

Healthy Peaches and Cream

4 peaches, pitted and chopped

1 5.46-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled in fridge for 6 hours or more

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 splash vanilla

About an hour before serving, place a mixing bowl in the freezer.

Just before serving, divide peaches in four individual bowls.

Pull chilled can of coconut milk out of the fridge. Turn upside down and open the can bottom with a can opener. Poor the “water” off the top and scoop the solidish coconut “cream” out of the can and into the pre-chilled mixing bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Whip with a hand mixer until cream.

Divide the cream among the four individual peach bowls. If you can’t use it all, place the remainder of the cream in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Serves four.

Note: If you can’t find a small can of coconut milk, you can use a 15-ounce can and just triple the amount of maple syrup.

— Megan Stuke (delicious) is a working mom, a practical cook and an impractical hostess. Sarah Henning (nutritious) is a writer, blogger, vegetarian and mom. You’ll usually find her eating something with kale in it.


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