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Feelin' Peachy!

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As a native Texan, there are very few foods, if any, that make me think of summer more than peaches. Any time my parents saw a peach stand on the side of the road, we would always pull over to buy some. Whether I am having a snack out by the pool or dinner with my family, peaches manage to end up on my plate more than a few times in the hot summer months.

Did you know that you can even cook peaches? In fact, you can cook just about any fruit, and it will actually make them taste sweeter! You can roast them in the oven, throw them on the grill, or cook them in a skillet. That’s one of the things I love so much about peaches - you can eat them in so many different ways! They work great as a snack, in smoothies, on oatmeal, in desserts, and so much more. I’ve even had peaches on pizza before (it’s rather delicious)! The recipe below is just one idea of how you can use grilled peaches either as part of a side dish or the main entrée.

In addition to their delicious, sweet flavor, peaches are also packed with a variety of nutrients. Did you know that one medium peach supplies as much as 15% of your daily vitamin C needs?! Other nutrients in peaches include potassium, vitamin A, magnesium, fiber, and some B vitamins. Peaches also contain high amounts of carotenoids, which are antioxidants that offer protective benefits specifically for your eyes, heart, and cell development throughout your body. One more tip, by eating the peach peel, you will receive even more antioxidants and fiber to provide even more health benefits!

When you are shopping for peaches, avoid those that are bruised or have wrinkled skin because this is a sign that they are overripe. You can tell that a peach is ready to eat when you squeeze it, and it is firm but with a little bit of give. It may also be a good idea to buy peaches with varying degrees of ripeness if you want to have them throughout the week. You can speed up the ripening process by putting the peaches in a brown paper bag on your counter for a day or two. You can also slow the ripening process by keeping them in the refrigerator.

Now without further ado, let’s get into how you can make a delicious grilled peach and arugula salad that your whole family is guaranteed to love!


Grilled Peaches and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz arugula
  • 4 large or 5 medium peaches
  • 3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Honey

Directions:

  1. To make the dressing, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until it gets to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer until the vinegar has reduced to about 3 - 4 Tbsp and has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and mix in the honey. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. (*Expert tip: Immediately soak the saucepan in water once you are done heating the balsamic vinegar so that it is easier to clean)
  2. Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature or heat a grill pan on the stove (I personally used the grill pan).
  3. Slice the peaches in half and remove the seed. Next, slice each half into two to three wedges. Spray a generous amount of cooking oil on the grill or grill pan to keep the peaches from sticking and spread the peaches out on the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until there are grill marks. The peaches should soften slightly but still be firm. Set the peaches aside.
  4. Combine the arugula, walnuts, and goat cheese in a large bowl, and top with the grilled peaches and balsamic dressing. Serve while the peaches are still warm. Enjoy!

Annie Cavalier

Annie Cavalier received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently a graduate student and dietetic intern at Texas Woman’s University. Annie also runs her own website, My Healthful Life, where she shares her passion for delicious, healthy food through recipes, nutrition articles, and healthy travel guides.

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