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Peak Season for Stone Fruits

By Alana Sugar, August 20, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

Whole Wheat Couscous with Nectarines and PistachiosNectarines, cherries, mangoes, apricots, peaches and plums all fall under the name “stone fruits.” That’s because they contain large hard seeds (relative to the size of their fruit). Feel free to call them by whatever name you please. I like to call them delicious, nutritious and beautifully versatile! Right now is the best time to enjoy stone fruits because they’re native to warm climates and are at their peak from June through September.

Stone fruits can be grilled, sautéed, poached, baked, broiled and glazed, adding extra dimension to a wonderful meal. This Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Peaches is simply perfect for summertime backyard dining. Buffalo Mozzarella with Balsamic Glazed Plums, Pine Nuts and Mint is made with fresh purple plums gently poached in a reduction of balsamic vinegar. Pork Chops with Cherry Mustard Sauce is made with either fresh or dried cherries deglazed in white wine. 

Wilted Kale with Cherries

Whether fresh or cooked, stone fruits are mostly interchangeable in recipes, so feel free to experiment and have fun. Here are my tips and ideas, plus more recipes:

  • Eat out of hand as often as desired (over the sink- they’re pretty darn juicy!)
  • Chop and generously garnish ice cream, frozen yogurt or any favorite non-dairy alternative.
  • Add to hot or cold cereal.
  • Add to smoothies and cold fruit soups.
  • Marinate, skewer, grill and serve. If desired, baste while grilling with favorite vinaigrette.
  • Use fresh or dried in pancakes, waffles, muffins and quick breads. Or chop fresh and use as a topping. 
  • Mash fresh and add a little lemon juice, raw sugar or honey and pinch of spice such as nutmeg or cinnamon; use as you would jam or jelly on biscuits, toast, French toast, scones and muffins.
  • Chop fresh or use dried in salsa recipes. Serve with grilled meats, fish, tempeh or tofu.
  • Enjoy some of our many stone fruit recipes:

Sweet Corn Soup with PeachesPeaches

Apricots

Cherries

Mango Tea BreadMangoes

Nectarines

Plums

 

While stone fruits are awesome when eaten fresh, ripe and raw, dried varieties such as cherries and apricots add flavor, chewiness and natural sweetness to baked goods, desserts, salads, main dishes, trail mixes, jams, jellies and preserves. Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Apricots, Dried Cherry Pecan Scones, Mango Tea Bread, and Wheat Berry, Apricot and Arugula Salad are good examples.

What’s your favorite stone fruit?  Got a good tip or recipe? Let me know.

Category: Food & Recipes, Produce

 

6 Comments

Comments

Kate says ...
With an abundance of peaches, a bit of basil, and a mason jar, you can make infused vodka that tastes like summer. <a href="http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2013/08/fruit-cocktail-peach-basil-and.html">http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2013/08/fruit-cocktail-peach-basil...</a>
08/20/2013 10:06:50 AM CDT
Heather says ...
Great ideas to incorporate fresh fruits in your daily routine! It is so important to take advantage of the fruit/ veggies when they are in season!
08/22/2013 3:30:20 PM CDT
Joan says ...
A question for Whole Foods: Are any of your stone fruits organic? Thin-skinned fruits are on a list of produce items that should be purchased as organic. This is because thin-skinned produce is so susceptible to pesticides. Since Whole Foods is so conscious of growth hormones, antibiotics, etc., in its beef and poultry offerings, should not the same careful consideration be given to its produce insofar as pesticides are concerned?
08/24/2013 3:31:12 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JOAN - Our specific products vary between stores. We should definitely have some organic options at your local store. Check with them to see what they have in stock!
08/26/2013 12:31:34 PM CDT
Mimi says ...
Interesting brilliant ideas!!! I can't wait to try some of those recipes :)
08/26/2013 1:01:52 PM CDT
Sharon D says ...
Too bad I didn't see any Vegan recipes.
08/28/2013 1:31:13 PM CDT