Seasonal Produce: Peaches

Fuzzy-skinned peaches are part of the stone fruit family. There are hundreds of peach varieties and all fall into two main categories: freestone (the pits are easily removed from the fruit) and clingstone (the pits adhere firmly to the fruit). Most fresh peaches sold in markets are freestone, while the firmer clingstones are used primarily for canning.


  • Select peaches that are free of bruises and have a deep, fruity aroma.
  • Look for yellow or cream background color on skins; avoid any with a green undertone as this indicates the peaches were picked too early and will not ripen properly or be as sweet. (A red blush on the skin indicates variety, not ripeness.)
  • If fruit is to be used immediately, select peaches that yield to gentle pressure along their seams and are slightly soft; avoid any that feel very soft.
  • When ripening fruit at home, select peaches that are firm, but not hard. Peaches will soften and become juicier as they ripen, but will not become sweeter.
  • Purchase only the amount needed since peaches spoil quickly, even when less ripe.
  • Ripen firm peaches in loosely closed paper (not plastic) bag at room temperature for 1 to 2 days; check daily for ripeness. Peaches are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure.
  • Use ripe peaches immediately or refrigerate up to 5 days. For best results, use ripe peaches within a few days.
  • Do not refrigerate unripe peaches as this inhibits ripening and causes the fruit to become dry, mealy and flavorless.


  • Peaches can be eaten with or without the skin, although they are often peeled when used in cooking and baking.
  • If skin is left intact, wash peaches before cutting.
  • While fresh peaches may be served chilled or at room temperature, their flavor intensifies at room temperature.
  • Remove the pits from freestone peaches before slicing. To pit a freestone peach, cut it lengthwise into halves around the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Remove the pit with the tip of a knife.
  • Clingstone peaches cannot be pitted. To slice or quarter them, make cuts with a paring knife toward the center and then around the pit, lifting out each slice.
  • To prevent cut peaches from turning brown, toss them immediately with some lemon, lime or orange juice.


  • Sodium free
  • Good source of vitamin C


  • Add peeled, sliced peaches to the blender while whipping up smoothies and shakes.
  • Top BREAKSTONE’S Cottage Cheese or yogurt with sliced or chopped peaches.
  • Serve sliced or puréed peaches as a topping or sauce over ice cream, pancakes and angel food or pound cake.
  • Toss diced or sliced peaches into fruit or green salads.
  • Substitute chopped peaches for mango or papaya in tropical fruit salsas.
  • Grill peach halves to serve alongside grilled chicken and pork or with ice cream.