Welcome To FRESH Everyday
Your PRODUCE Resource
Fresh Everyday was created with you in mind. It’s an online resource to help you discover nutrition facts, recipes and resources when it comes to fresh produce. Enjoy a look around on this site where you will find the information needed to make better eating and lifestyle choices.
Within this site you will find:
Featured Produce Profile
Peaches & Nectarines
Peaches have been around for thousands of years. Popular consensus places the origin of the peach in China. While peaches and nectarines are grown in several states, it is California that leads the nation in production supplying approximately 60% of the peaches and over 90% of the nectarines. Other important peach producing states are Washington, South Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and Georgia. Nectarines are not a plum/peach cross as some people may think. They are a genetic variation of a peach separated by only one gene. In a nectarine the gene that causes fuzzy skin is recessive, thus, the “smooth-skinned cousin” to the peach.
Summer peaches and nectarines are available from California and other areas of the country from about the middle of May until October. There are over 200 varieties of peaches and over 175 varieties of nectarines that are commercially grown in California alone. Each variety matures at different times with the harvest of any one variety lasting around ten days. That means that the varieties available at the supermarket will change continually throughout the season. A bit confusing, but actually we can break that down into six primary categories of fruit as follows:
Yellow Flesh Peaches and Nectarines: These are the traditional peaches or nectarines that are available all summer long. They have a red blush over a yellow background. This fruit needs to be fully ripened to be eaten.
White Flesh Peaches and Nectarines: As the name implies the flesh is white as is the background color of the skin. The blush will vary from pink to red. They tend to ripen more quickly than their yellow flesh counterparts and are excellent eating - even when not fully ripe. They are available throughout the summer.
Sub-acid Peaches and Nectarines: These varieties of peaches and nectarines share one common characteristic. The acid level of the fruit is reduced, thus giving the fruit a sweeter flavor profile - even when they are not fully ripe. Most white flesh peaches and nectarine are “sub-acid” and several yellow flesh varieties are also available.
For best ripening results store unripe or firm peaches and nectarines at room temperature. Do not put them on a window sill in direct sunlight as the heat will be too intense and will damage the fruit. To speed up the ripening process, carefully place the fruit in a single layer inside a paper bag with a closed top for a day or two making sure to check them often for ripeness. If you refrigerate unripe fruit between 36 and 49 degrees, you will not only inhibit the ripening process but you also run the risk of causing internal breakdown resulting in fruit that is dry, flavorless and mealy. Once the fruit is soft and ripe, it can safely be refrigerated for up to a week.
Peaches and nectarines contain significant amounts of vitamin C along with vitamin A and potassium. Both of these fruits are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Peaches and nectarines also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that are important in helping to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.