The Health-Loaded Peach Makes Incredible Desserts!
In my book there’s only one fruit better than watermelon. And that’s a fresh, ripe and juicy peach. ‘Tis the season, so let’s talk peaches.
Sweet peaches with their multitude of health benefits are a great and yummy addition to our diet. I consider them a key power-food along with staples like apples and pears. I just wish they were available longer! Just for drill, take a look at all the good things peaches do for the body (a big THANK YOU to the researchers at a favorite site, Care2, for this information):
Peaches are the perfect weight-loss snack. A peach makes you feel full and keeps you from overeating. The bonus: one peach only contains about 35-50 calories and no fat!
They help fight obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This is because they are rich in phytochemicals called phenols that act as antioxidants.
Peaches help keep the skin healthy. Vitamin A and C make peaches a great natural moisturizer; they’re often used in cosmetics. These vitamins can help regenerate skin tissue.
Peaches help reduce hair loss. They nurture the scalp.
They are a healthy stress-reliever that helps reduce anxiety. In some countries peaches are often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness.’
Peaches help prevent cancer due to the high amount of selenium they contain (a mineral with antioxidant properties that helps protect cells from damage).
Peaches can help remove worms from the intestines.
They a have a diuretic effect which helps cleanse the kidneys and bladder.
Peaches can calm an upset stomach and are easy to digest.
Peaches contain compounds that help with “metabolic syndrome,” according to Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, AgriLife Research food scientist involved in a study at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia. Cisneros-Zevallos says, “Our work indicates that phenolic compounds present in these fruits have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which is associated with cardiovascular disease.”
They soothe gout and rheumatism because they tend to have a diuretic and a light laxative effect.
Peach blossoms have sedative properties. A remedy for restlessness includes boiling peach flowers in water along with some honey.
Peaches inhibit tumor growth activity. Research says this is because they have excellent antimicrobial and antioxidant activity.
Peaches help with chronic bronchitis, coughs and gastritis.
Peach puree added to herbal tea is used as a kidney cleanser in many countries.
But aside of how good they are for the body, you just can’t fight how good they taste! Over the years we’ve had our own peach tree and made jam and nectar from our peaches. Apricot nectar is a common favorite, but peach nectar is beyond amazing. I bottle my peach puree with a little lemon juice to keep it from darkening.
And then there’s always sliced peaches atop ice cream. And for another simple and incredible dessert, line a square baking pan with short bread cookies (Lorna Doone, for instance). Mash up 5 or 6 ripe and peeled peaches. Spoon this over the cookies and cover the entire things with a thick layer of sweetened whipped cream. Refrigerate overnight. The cookies absorb the peach juices and the whipped cream blends into it all. You can garnish with cookie crumbles, if desired. This is divine.
And I’ll close with another easy peach dessert. This can be made ahead of time if need be. We love it hot out of the oven though, slathered in either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. No doubt about it, the health-loaded peach makes incredible desserts!
FRESH PEACH AND BERRY CRUMBLE
3 large, fresh peaches
1 cup blueberries (OR blackberries, strawberries, or a combination), fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon raw honey
Slice peaches. Mix in berries. Drizzle honey over fruit. Place berry/peach mixture in a baking dish.
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour (or if gluten sensitive, non-wheat flour)
1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
3/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix oil, coconut sugar and stevia/water together in a bowl. Add flour and salt to wet mixture. Mix in well. Add oatmeal and mix in well. Mix thoroughly with fingers.
Sprinkle on top of fruit. Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of the flour mixture. Pat down firmly. Bake at 350º F. oven for approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm or cool with either vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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