Peaches are a delicious summer treat. A native of China, peaches traveled to Persia before making their way to the Americas with the Spaniards in the 1700’s. Thomas Jefferson grew peaches at Monticello. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that commercial peach growing began in the United States.

A member of the rose family, and classified as a stone fruit due to the large seed in the middle, peaches have a fuzzy skin, with either yellow or white flesh. Two varieties are available: Freestone (flesh separates from seed) or Clingstone (flesh sticks to seed).

When we think of peaches we usually think of Georgia peaches, but peaches are also grown in South Carolina, New Jersey, California and Florida. Yes, Florida! The University of Florida developed a peach that needs fewer chill hours (amount of cold temperature weather to produce peach blossoms) in the 1960’s. Florida peaches are harvested in the spring between late March and May before Georgia peaches are ripe and ready for market.

Nutritionally, one small peach (4.5 oz) contains approximately 50 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber. Peaches are also a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and A.  Fresh, canned or frozen — you just can’t beat a peach for a tasty summer treat! In honor of National Eat a Peach Day, all Child Nutrition Cafeterias will be offering peaches as a fruit selection with student meals (August 22, 2018).

Enjoy this recipe for Peach Salsa adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Prep: 15 minutes   Serves: 6

Ingredients

2 – 28 oz. cans peaches in juice, drained, juice reserved

1 medium red onion, diced very fine

1 medium red pepper, seeded, diced very fine

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

¼ tsp chili powder

Dash of salt

Juice of one lime

Preparation

Chop peaches into small pieces and place into a bowl with all the other ingredients. Stir and add a splash of the reserved juice.  Adjust seasonings to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled fish.