Here in Arizona the sun shines and the fruit grows all year long. We are blessed with bountiful harvests that span longer growing seasons than most other states. The long growing season is especially true for peaches. Our local peach growers, like Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, boast some of the first peaches in the nation with varieties available as early as April. August, which is National Peach Month, farms like Apple Annie’s in Wilcox host their Peach Mania event as they wrap up their peach growing season. Where most peach seasons last only 6-8 weeks, Arizona has fresh local peaches from spring to fall.
Celebrate National Peach Month by finding ways to incorporate the third most popular fruit in the country in new and different ways over the course of the month. While peaches make wonderful desserts, there are so many other ways this flavorful fruit can bring variety and color to your meals. To help you out, here are some home-grown Arizona ideas you can use to fill your plate with perfect locally grown peaches.
Whether cooked in a muffin or served atop waffles, peaches make a great addition to almost every breakfast. Dice them and add them to your morning cereal. Toss a handful of sliced peaches in your oatmeal or add them to a plate of eggs and toast. Make peach pancakes or try something different and make the Oatmeal Peach Muffins by Arizona’s Chef Amee featured on the azfamily.com website.
Soup & Salad
Chef Stan Reinhold, named Arizona Chef of the Year in 2008 by the American Culinary Foundation’s Chef Association of Arizona, was featured on inthesoup.com for his Cold Peach Soup recipe. This delicious dish is perfectly suited for the August heat and offers you a new and interesting way to bring peaches into your meal. This soup is great for a weekend lunch or to start of a Sunday dinner.
Try-out the recipe for Green Bean & Balsamic-Roasted Peach Salad with Hazelnuts featured on the Green Living magazine website for a great salad with peaches as its star. This scrumptious salad uses peaches roasted with balsamic vinegar for a twist on the traditional flavor of the sweet fruit. Paired with fresh green beans, which are also in season right now, this salad is perfect for lunch at the office, a Saturday dinner on the deck, or as your potluck contribution to the neighborhood picnic.
Show off your culinary prowess and impress your dinner guests with Chef Eddie Matney’s recipe for Moroccan Halibut with Peach and Jicama Fresca available from the Mesa Food Examiner website. Served on a bed of lightly seasoned greens, the Moroccan spices used to flavor the halibut combine with the peaches and jicama to create a unique, flavor-filled dish that is as pretty to look at as it is to eat.
Go traditional and bake up a batch of peach-filled goodness with Chef Bear’s Peach Cobbler recipe available from Kim and Don’s Culinary Confessions radio show website. This is the recipe made famous by Regis Philbin when he dubbed it the best peach cobbler in the world after eating it at Robert’s Creekside Restaurant in Sedona.
For a fabulous treat that everyone will love, try the Peach Paradise recipe from Carrie Schnepf of Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek brought to you right here on Fill Your Plate. A twist on a traditional pie, this dish has a tasty vanilla wafer crust that is filled with fresh peaches and topped with a heaping helping of whip cream. Peach Paradise is the perfect way to finish off a beautiful August day in Arizona.
- Fill Your Plate is a Work in Progress (fillyourplate.org)
- Celebrate National Peach Month: Interesting Peach Facts (fillyourplate.org)
- Fresh Arizona Peaches Available Now! (fillyourplate.org)