Creative uses for peaches

Peaches Galore

by Leanne Ely CNC

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If you are lucky enough to have access to a peach tree, you might quickly find yourself surrounded by more peaches than you can realistically eat before they go bad. Here are a few ways to cook with peaches that you might not have thought of.

One of nature's best accomplishments in the summer, peaches are also quite healthy. A ripe peach is loaded with beta carotene, potassium and a smattering of B vitamins. Further, there are quite a few good folks who believe peaches are good for lowering the cholesterol level in the blood, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases, anemia and renal diseases.

Most people tend to think of peach ice cream and peach pie, but there are some healthier ways to eat peaches. Grilling peaches brings out an incredible depth of flavor. You can cut a peach in half and rub the cut sides with brown sugar before grilling, or else top with whipped cream (homemade so you can control the sweetness) and a few sliced almonds. A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg adds a warm touch to this healthy dessert.

Some of the best uses for peaches aren't desserts at all. Peach is a wonderful complement to the flavor of pork. You can toss some diced peaches in a slow cooker along with a pork loin roast and chopped onions. If you're using pork chops, brown them in a pan and then brown the peaches in the same pan along with some sliced red onions. Combine and bake until the pork is cooked and the peaches are tender.

Peach salsa is the perfect accompaniment to any type of grilled meat, especially chicken or fish. Combine the following ingredients (amounts according to taste) and then chill: diced fresh peaches, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, vinegar, and olive oil. You can even serve this peach salsa with tortilla chips as a snack.

Add some sliced peaches to a green dinner salad. For example, try some baby spinach, sliced peaches, sliced avocado, pistachios, and a few chopped green onions. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and a bit of olive oil to make a memorable salad. You could even throw in leftover chicken or feta cheese to make it more meal-like.

The important thing to remember is that with a little extra planning and thought you can enjoy a huge variety of flavors with your abundance of peaches.

Leanne Ely is a New York Times best selling author of Body Clutter and the popular Saving Dinner cookbook series. According to Woman's Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking.

Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.

In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.

On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular,, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.

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