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Everything You Need To Know About Peaches 2019 - Rip-Off or Worth To Try? Here is Why..

Everything You Need To Know About Peaches
Reading Time: 6 minutesThe peach is one of those summer time fruits that can be craved and enjoyed year round depending on where you live. Whether you eat them plain off the peach tree, in a peach pie, or in a delicious cobbler, you are in for a real treat!  Its fuzzy outer skin makes it unique from any other fruit out there today. It has the same genetic makeup as a nectarine, but the skin is the only difference. James and the Giant Peach was a fun kid’s movie that made your mouth water if you are a peach lover of any kind! Go grab yourself a Georgia peach and sit back to read all of the wonderful and exciting facts about this scrumptious fruit!

Peach Fun Facts

  • “’The Peach State’ is Georgia’s nickname.
  • Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C.
  • “The World’s Largest Peach Cobbler” is made every year in Georgia. The cobbler measures 11 feet by 5 feet.
  • A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber.” [1]
  • “The peach tree belongs to the same family of trees as roses and almonds. That’s a pretty diverse family tree (pun intended).
  • Peaches originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 3,000 years, and China is still the number one producer of peaches in the world. The peach was then brought to and cultivated in India and the Middle East where they were introduced to the Europeans. Spanish settlers brought the peach to the Americas in the 16th century.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, the Water Honey Peach, which is grown in Yangshan China, is reportedly the best peach in the world. It would also be the most expensive if peaches had a long enough shelf life to cross the Pacific Ocean. These peaches have white flesh, a light green skin, are soft, and incredibly juicy.” [2]
  • “A peach seed is large, oval in shape, and protected with a woody husk. Even though seeds can be consumed, large doses are not recommended because they contains hydrocyanic acid, which is poisonous.
  • The peach symbolizes immortality and unity in Chinese culture. Brides use peach flowers to decorate their hair during wedding ceremonies in China.” [3]
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Peach History/Mythology

Known as a stone fruit, peaches first originated in China and to this day China still leads as the mass producer of peaches all around the world. They date as far back as the 10th century, and were once referred to as the Persian apple because they were thought to come from Persia. [4] It wasn’t until the Spanish explorers that the peach was brought over to the other side of the world; South America, as well as England and France via Alexander the Great. It was a rare occurrence to have a peach in England, and the Queen at the time liked the peaches served on a fancy napkin to make the treat even more enjoyable. It wasn’t until the 17th century that colonist George Minifie brought the peach to North America where he started growing them himself at his Virginia estate.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the other states started catching on about the greatness of peaches, and they were then mass produced and grown. Today, California is the lead producer of peaches in the United States, contrary to belief that Georgia is. [5] Peaches were not always easy to cultivate and keep from disease, however, and a lot of learning has taken place over the years.

According to Matrix,

“Peach trees grown in the United States differ greatly from the aggressive, disease resistant, tasty, aromatic fruits grown by the early Americans. Over the centuries, the immune qualities of the peach trees to insects and diseases have been bred out by hybridizers, and these qualities have been replaced by inferior genes that make it difficult to buy a good flavorful peach at the store. The alternative to this problem is to buy tree ripened soft fruit at a fruit stand, pick-your-own orchard, or to grow your own backyard garden peaches concentrating on planting and growing old cultivars of the non-commercial home garden types.” [6]

So how did California become the lead producer of peaches in the United States? It has been said that Spanish missionaries from Mexico were building different missions in California all up the coastline. At first, the eastern states would ship peaches to California, but when the gold rush hit in 1849, the Eastern states couldn’t keep up with the demand for peaches. Around this time is when peach production began to thrive and flourish when they were planted and cultivated on the west coast.

According to California Peach History,

“There are two types of peaches, Freestone and Clingstone, both descendants of the first wild peaches from China. The Freestone peach, usually enjoyed fresh, is distinguished by the ease with which the fruit separates from the pit. Conversely, the fruit of the Clingstone peach “clings” to the pit. Clingstone peaches are therefore processed (the pit is removed) and preserved to ensure yearlong availability, convenience, and nutrition.” [7]

To this day we know peaches as being a normal part of our everyday fruity lives. It is hard not to take for granted this amazing fruit and all of the hard work it took to have it disease free and cultivated all around the world. There are so many nutritional and health benefits that come with consuming a peach that I will touch on below! Whether you like grilled peaches or cobbler, they are rich in antioxidants and free of disease.

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Peach Nutrition Facts

Peaches are loaded with many different vitamins and minerals that will greatly benefit your overall health and wellness. Some notable vitamins are: A, E, K, and C. They are also rich in folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin, and riboflavin. Some key minerals to note are: calcium, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. [8] These juicy fruits are loaded with healthy fibers and antioxidants, which will rid the body of any harmful free radicals. Another notable mineral to remember is fluoride, which is present in the peach, and it helps protect your bones and teeth. Low in calories and containing little to no saturated fats, these small fruits are mighty and carry quite the nutritional punch!

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Peach Health Benefits

Peaches do contain sugar, but it is all natural! Do not fret about your sugar levels when eating a peach because they contain so many other important health benefits for your body when you eat them. Not to mention they are so tasty and go with a variety of desserts and foods, no matter the season or time of year.

According to Organic Facts,

“The health benefits of peach fruit include relief from hypokalemia, cancer, obesity, cholesterol, blood stasis, and neurodegenerative diseases. It helps in maintaining healthy vision, skin care, nervous system, healthy bones, and teeth. It has anti-aging properties and also helps in detoxification, as well as improving digestion and cellular health.” [9]

The velvety skin on peaches appeals to some, and then others prefer to peel it off. No matter how you like to enjoy your peach, they are equally delicious and nutritious.

Another fun benefit of peaches are the fact that they can be a natural stress reliever. [10] Known as the fruit of calmness in Hungary, these fruits have been said to lower anxiety and stress levels significantly in the body due to their chemical make up. Please note that eating peaches will not be the cure to all of your stressful situations, but they do help in balancing out the brain! [11] However you decide to enjoy peaches, your body will reap the benefits of this healthy food.

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Peach Varieties

There are a variety of different peaches that are grown commercially today. With over 200 different varieties, there is no doubt that I’ll be presenting a shorter list below, but I will highlight some of the most popular varieties of peaches consumed and grown today.

Yellow 

The yellow peach is one of the most common peaches grown in the United States today. Most of the trees in the United States produce peaches with yellow flesh. “Examples of yellow-fleshed peaches include cultivars such as “Autumn Gold,” “Earligrande,” “O’Henry,” “Suncrest,” and “Tropi-berta.” [12]

White

On the contrary to the United States, most Asian countries produce peaches with white flesh. You can still find them in the United States, just not as often. “Common white peach tree cultivars are “Babcock,” “Nectar,” “Belle of Georgia,” “Strawberry Free,” and “Arctic Supreme.” [12]

Clingstone

Just as the name describes, clingstone peaches have a pit that literally clings to the fruit, making it harder to remove. If you are wondering how to cut a peach with a pit that clings, you will have to work around the pit. “Examples of clingstone peaches include “Indian Blood,” “Independence,” and “Sims.” [12]

Freestone

Opposite of the clingstone, the freestone peach has a pit that easily separates from the fruit making it a more popular option. “Common freestone peach cultivars are “Elberta,” “Golden Jubilee,” “Red Baron,” “Frost,” and “Santa Barbara.”[12]

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Peach Uses

The uses for peaches go far beyond our imagination, with peaches being a huge part of our favorite desserts and skin care lines. You can add them into your smoothies, top your breakfast waffles with them, dry them out and add them to trail mix, or simply enjoy them plain. Some folks even can and preserve peaches for different jellies and jams, as well as dry them for a tasty fruit leather snack. [13] Whatever way you choose to enjoy peaches, know you are reaping healthy benefits every time you take a bite. There is a scrumptious peach cobbler recipe I wanted to share with you, and it is set to impress!

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Peach Cobbler Recipe

By: The Food Network Paula Dean

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional

Instructions

  1. “Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
  4. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.” [14]
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