Peaches, Using and Storing Garden Fruit
Peaches can be used to make hundreds of different things. My kids love to eat them raw by the pound. Preserving peaches for flavor throughout the year makes the most of peach season.
We use them to make a scrumptious peach crumble. We use them to make peach syrup for pancakes. We bake peach muffins, peach pancakes, and peach cobbler bread to name a few things. Storing garden fruit helps you enjoy the flavors year round.
You can substitute them for any other fruit in any of your favorite recipes.
Using and Preserving Peaches from the Garden
You can save a ton of money by buying things in season and they taste better because they are fresher. If you buy peaches out of season, they have to come from further away. Also remember places outside of the US have different food growing laws and there are many things they can use on their food such as humanure, that are illegal in the US for safety reasons. Another great reason to buy local.
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We are working hard to grow our own peaches at Little Sprouts. We have two little trees that produce some fruit for us, but we are working on growing more. We love to buy bushels of fresh peaches from our local peach barn and save a bunch of them for winter. We are not allowed by USDA or DHS to serve home canned foods in daycare, so I freeze them for future use. You can also dehydrate them and they are delicious like candy.
What to do with fresh peaches
Any way you preserve them, they will not taste better than when you started. Make sure you get delicious fruit to begin with. Our favorite is Red Haven. At our peach barn, Livesay’s Peach Barn in Porter, Oklahoma, they sell the most delicious Red Havens you can imagine.
Don’t use those yucky Styrofoam tasting grocery store peaches. Make sure you get a quality peach to begin with. If you are within 500 miles of Porter, it’s worth the drive to get them from Livesay’s.
Livesay’s also has their own cookbook with a ton of ways to use peaches. Check it out if you go to the barn to get your peaches.
To freeze peaches, first, you need to get a big stock pot full of water up to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Wash your fruit well. Drop them into the boiling water a few at a time. Let the peaches boil in the salted water for 3 minutes. Remove them. Plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Leave them in the ice water until your next batch of peaches are done blanching. Then drain them.
Slice your peaches, or half them and remove the pits. Be careful because sometimes a little bit of the pit can be left behind inside. Run your finger inside the hole the pit left to make sure it’s all soft. Biting into a pit is not fun.
Once all your peaches are sliced in sizes you like, you can freeze them in quart size freezer bags. I do not peel my peaches. I feel the skins are nutritious and I don’t want to waste them. If you wanted to peel yours, you can slide the skins off easily after they are blanched.
Preserving fresh peaches by freezing them
Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag. Peaches will save for months in the freezer. I thaw them in a bowl and serve them partially slushy. We call them slushy peaches. They taste similar to eating a canned peach, but the flavor is amazing. Canned peaches from the store having nothing on these babies.
In the winter, when there is no tasty produce around, we open a bag of our peaches and thaw them and say, “TASTES LIKE SUMMER TIME”. It’s a tradition.
Check out these other food preservation articles for your garden produce.
Storing garden produce to make it last as long as possible
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