Friday, September 7, 2012

Fifty Second Friday: What a Peach!

Photo credit: USDA/ARS
Imagine the sticky sweet nectar of an August peach running down your chin, dripping off your fingers to the blazing pavement below. The taste of ambrosia remains on the tip of your tongue as the last bits of luminescent orange flesh cling to the pit, that rock-like interior you always secretly hoped would grow into a peach tree of its own. But this magic is fleeting, the almost other-worldly sensations evanescent, blink but a second too long and the season may have disappeared before you ever knew it arrived.

The waning of peaches is the true barometer of the arrival of autumn. But it feels more like the loss of a close friend. Unlike many other fruits in this day and age, a good peach is hard to come by outside of the late summer months. According to a recent NPR article, the ephemeral peach is just so because of its frail exterior, so prone to microbial incursions and easily wounded. They don't ship or even transport short distances very well. So we are confronted with a bounty of the summer's best produce, bursting with flavor, and no storage capacity. This is also the time of year during which I head home each Sunday from market laden with 10 lbs of blemished and bruised fruit. Some I eat, some I cut up and freeze, and some I use for baking. 

Power-Packed Peachy Picks
1/4 cup applesauce, homemade preferred
1/4 cup almond milk, vanilla
1 tbs + 1tsp mild-flavored oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1-2 tbs agave nectar
15 drops stevia (or to taste)
3/4 cup red lentils, cooked until tender, puree until smooth as silk

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all-spice
1/2 cup five grain oatmeal, dry
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 peach at the height of ripeness, chopped to bite size chunks
1/4 cup walnuts, broken to pieces (optional)

1. Combine applesauce, oil, vanilla, sugar, stevia, and lentil puree until smooth.
2. Mix in spices, flours, salt, baking powder and soda. Add peach chunks and nuts.
3. Pour into mini muffin tins (makes about a dozen) or little ceramic ramekins (about 6-8).
4. Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes until just setting. Allow to cool. Enjoy for a satisfying breakfast or snack.

Check out more healthful treats on Wellness Weekends.

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