Dear Summer – I just thought you should know I’m incredibly happy you’re here on so many levels. The weather is perfect (thank you so much!) and the food you bring is the best of the whole year. Ripe tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob, perfect blackberries and sweet peaches. If I had time I’d write a haiku just for you.
You’re the most versatile of fruit and good in almost everything. We can enjoy you in sweet desserts or savory salsas and salads. You’re perfect for pies, Popsicles and icy drinks and you marry beautifully with raspberries, blackberries & blueberries.
When peach season arrives in Georgia I take full advantage of the bounty! Today I’m sharing my 3 favorite ways to enjoy ripe peaches in a myriad of ways–an icy refreshing drink, a spicy appetizer, and a healthy main dish salad. Enjoy!
Peach Raspberry Lemonade
Here’s an easy, oh-so-refreshing twist on classic lemonade. Perfect for your next picnic or barbecue and guaranteed to cool you off on a hot summer day!
Makes 4 servings
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 cups chopped peaches
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- ¾ cup organic sugar or honey, or use stevia to taste. This is the stevia I use and love: NuNaturals Stevia
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (5 or 6 lemons)
- Bring water, peaches, raspberries, and sugar or honey to a gentle simmer for three minutes. Don’t let the mixture boil. If you’re using stevia, add it at the end after you’ve tasted the lemonade. You’ll need a couple of dropperfuls.
- Cool mixture.
- Blend using a hand held immersion or stick blender like this: Hand Blender
or put in your blender or bullet.
- Strain mixture into a pitcher and discard solids.
- Add lemon juice.
- Pour over ice and add water to taste.
- Garnish with a few raspberries or peach slices and a sprig of fresh mint. 🙂
Peach Mango Salsa
Sweet, spicy and absolutely the perfect match for grilled meats or delicious as a savory side!
- 2 ripe peaches
- 1 ripe mango
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- ½ small red onion
- Juice of 1 lime
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme or several basil leaves
- Wash peaches well, slice and chop into small pieces and put in a bowl.
- To chop a mango, I stand the mango up straight and slice all the way down about ⅓ of the width just grazing the side of the long, flat pit. Then I hold the piece I sliced in my hand skin side down and score the mango into small pieces. Next I turn the whole thing inside out. Using a sharp knife, I cut all those pieces out and chop them into small dice. Put all those pieces in the bowl.
- Cut the jalapeño lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds and chop into small dice. I wear disposable plastic gloves to do this because they’re hot! Add to bowl.
- Chop the onion into small dice. Add to bowl.
- Pull leaves off of thyme sprigs or chop the basil into small pieces. Add to bowl.
- Juice the lime and pour the juice in the bowl. Mix well. Serve alongside grilled chicken or fish or scoop up with tortilla chips.
Quinoa Salad with Kale, Fresh Peaches and Toasted Pecans
This has jumped to the top of my list for favorite summer salads and it’s so easy to make, the only thing you have to cook is the quinoa. It’s loaded with fresh veggies, crunchy pecans, cheese, quinoa and juicy peaches. Bring this to a potluck or summer barbecue and I’m pretty sure it will be the star of the show! Last time I made this, Mike and I devoured the whole bowl! Leave out the cheese and you have a great vegan option 🙂
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side
- 1 cup uncooked organic white or Red Quinoa
- 8 cups fresh organic kale or leafy green of your choice, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 ripe peaches washed and sliced
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- ½ red or Vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ cup pecans, roasted and chopped (or any roasted nut you like)
- ½ cup of your favorite cheese, crumbled or grated
- ½ cup Organic Dried Cranberries or cherries
- Place quinoa in a mesh strainer placed in a medium bowl of water and soak quinoa at least 15 minutes to remove bitter coating. Drain and rinse quinoa and bring to a boil in fresh water. Cook for 15 minutes or so, just until al dente. I don’t really follow what the box says, I just keep an eye on it and when it begins to release those little white squiggly things, (you can see what I mean in the photo above) I give it another 5 minutes then I take it off the heat. You don’t want it mushy. Drain in a mesh colander, cool and place in a big bowl.
- Add the fresh greens to the bowl and toss. Add each additional ingredient scattering across the kale or, if you’re having dinner guests or taking the salad to a pot-luck, arrange the ingredients decoratively.
- Pour balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) all over and toss. Serve as a light but satisfying vegetarian meal or as a side for grilled chicken or fish.
I love this recipe and always have a jar of it in my fridge. Salad dressing is so incredibly easy to make and I promise, you, once you make your own, you won’t go back to store-bought!
- ¼ cup organic balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 large clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons honey, agave syrup or Raw Coconut Nectar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Whisk all ingredients except for the olive oil together in a bowl or a mason jar.
- Add the olive oil and mix thoroughly with a fork till fully emulsified. Or, what I do is use a handy little Milk Frother or whizzer to make short work of emulsifying. It’s one of my all-time favorite kitchen gadgets.
- Pour over salad, toss and serve.
- You could try diced pineapple instead of mango in this salsa, or, try peaches and chopped watermelon.
- No matter what the package may say, I always, always soak my quinoa. It can be bitter otherwise.
- You can get as creative as you like with this salad, for example, when fresh cherries come in, I switch out the peaches for the cherries and it’s really fabulous. You can use nectarines, apricots, blackberries or whatever fruit you like. Avocados are a great addition too. Try feta cheese, goat cheese, even blue cheese to add some spark.
- Sometimes I use half quinoa and half wild rice. It looks pretty, especially for a party, and tastes amazing!
- To make a delicious raspberry vinaigrette, add ½ cup fresh raspberries to the recipe above.
- For dessert, to keep the peach theme going, try making homemade Peach Ice Cream.