August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason to enjoy the delicate summer fruit.
“My favorite part about summer is the abundance of fresh produce, and the warm weather, of course,” says the lifestyle maven of TheChicWife.com. “Time spent at the beach, outdoor cooking, bare feet — Shoes are optional starting Memorial Day through Labor Day.”
Now at the peak of their growing season, peaches are rich in vitamin C, vision-protecting beta carotene, potassium and fiber. And for Schoels, peaches also carry a special significance.
“I grew up on a farm, and our family had peach trees,” she says. “There was nothing better than walking through the fields on a beautiful day and grabbing a fresh peach right off of the tree.”
Her mother would then turn those peaches into ice cream throughout the summer, which they would enjoy on the porch during warm nights on the family’s rural Virginia farmstead.
Nowadays, Schoels calls New York City home and makes do with visiting farmers markets during weekends in the Hamptons, then spends the afternoon preparing dinner “because in our house, it’s the more, the merrier.”
When it comes to peaches, it’s their versatility in both savory and sweet dishes that makes them a staple during summer: “You can grill them and drizzle with a balsamic glaze, or serve with ice cream to add another sweet texture. Peaches also make for a great snack and can be chopped up and used in salsas, salads and as garnishes.”
How to pick a good peach
• You want the fruit to give a little when squeezed; avoid hard peaches.
• To tell if a peach ripe, don’t go by the pinkness of its skin — you’re looking for a golden yellow color. Green spots mean it was picked too early.
• The best way to tell a peach’s flavor: Smell it!
• Ripe peaches spoil quickly, so put them in the fridge if you won’t eat them right away.
For more tips, followKris Schoels on Twitter:@Chic_Wife.
Recipe: Peaches & Cream Smoothie
• 1 cup milk
• 1 fresh peach plus ice (or 1 cup frozen peaches)
• ½ cup of Greekyogurt
• 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
• 1 tbsp of honey
Toppings: raspberries, chopped peach slices or granola.
Directions:Blend all ingredients until smooth, adding some ice if you want a thicker smoothie. Sprinkle with toppings and enjoy with a spoon!