There's nothing like biting into a perfectly ripened peach. This luscious, juicy fruit offers an unbeatable flavor every time, especially on hot days when you want a sweet burst of freshness.
You may assume you can only enjoy fruit before it starts to turn soft, mushy and bruised. However, overripe peaches are still useful, so don't let a few imperfections scare you!
You can save the tasty, nutritious fruit and use it in several ways. Instead of throwing your produce out, savor the softened texture by adding peaches to various recipes and avoiding food waste. There are plenty of ways to use overripe peaches, from adding them as toppings to your dinner dishes to baking them into desserts to freezing them to extend their freshness.
How to Store Peaches Properly So They Last Longer
Depending on their harvest date, your fresh peaches will last a few days once they're ripe. If you have some ripe peaches but aren't quite ready to eat or cook with them, you can put them in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process. The cold temperature will prevent them from spoiling for about three to five days.
If you have unripe peaches you aren't ready to eat, you can keep them at room temperature, stem-side down and away from other produce, to give them a few extra days to ripen. You can also store them in the freezer, where they will last several months.
If you want to ripen your unripe peaches faster, try putting them on a windowsill with direct sunlight for a day or so, or put them in a plastic bag with other produce, such as bananas or apples. Fruits and vegetables naturally emit ethylene gas, which helps them ripen. Trapping this gas in a plastic bag will encourage your peaches or other fruits to ripen faster. To help your peaches last longer, keep them in a cool, dark environment away from other produce, such as in the fridge or on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight.
Breakfast Recipes With Peaches
Here's what to do with old peaches that have already ripened to create some delicious breakfasts.
- Peach pancakes: Using standard pancake ingredients, such as flour, butter, sugar and baking soda, you can create these delicious seared peach pancakes for a burst of sweetness in the mornings. Whisk all the ingredients together and grill your overripe peaches on a skillet or add them as a topping.
- Breakfast smoothies: Fruit smoothies are an excellent way to get your daily vitamins and nutrients. You can customize these smoothies to your liking or combine strawberries, milk, honey, banana and peanut butter for a strawberry peach smoothie. For a crisp, cool texture, freeze your overripe peaches first before adding them to the blender.
- Jams, jellies and preserves: If your peaches are soft and overripe, they're perfect for cooking into a sweet spread for biscuits and toast. The softer the fruit, the faster it will cook down. To make peach jam or jelly, chop up the fruit and boil it with sugar, then bring to a simmer until it thickens. If desired, use a strainer to remove any larger pieces of peach.
Dinner Recipes With Peaches
When you picture peaches, you may not immediately consider using them for your savory dinner dishes. Fortunately, you can still cook with overripe peaches and create a delicious addition to any meal.
- Salads: You can use soft peaches and other pantry staples to whip up a quick peach vinaigrette salad dressing. Blend olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, rice vinegar, salt and your overripe peaches in a bowl. Drizzle the mixture over your salads and top with other sweet and salty ingredients like fresh fruits, cheeses and nuts.
- Salas: Have you ever heard of peach salsa? Overripe peaches are perfect for chopping up and combining with tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, green onion, honey, cilantro and lime juice for a crisp, sweet and spicy snack everyone will enjoy.
- Glazes: Take the peach preserves or jam you made and put it on top of pork tenderloin, salmon or chicken for a combination of sweet and savory flavors. You can also get creative and use your peach glaze as a marinade before you throw the meat on the grill.
Dessert Recipes With Peaches
Do you have fond memories of eating peach cobbler as a kid? You can use overripe peaches to cook this mouthwatering traditional dessert and several other baked goods and desserts.
- Peach cobbler: For an easy, fun twist on the classic dish, try this coffee cup peach cobbler. Start by adding cinnamon, brown sugar, baking powder, flour and milk to your favorite mug. Carefully place peach slices on top, but do not stir. Put the mixture in the microwave for two minutes. Once cooled, top with your favorite ice cream or granola.
- Peach ice cream: Making a batch of homemade ice cream is a delightful way to use overripe peaches. You can use the childhood plastic bag method with ice and rock salt, or chop up your peaches and add them to strawberry or vanilla ice cream.
- Peach pie: If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, try this caramel peach pie. You can buy a premade oatmeal pie crust or create your own. Boil milk for one hour and chill until you can slice it into layers. Use these milk layers and slices of peaches to make your filling. Bake in the oven and top with caramel drizzle and whipped cream.
- Peach bread or cake: If you prefer baked goods, try chopping up your peaches and adding them to your bread dough or cake batter next time you want something sweet. You can even add slices of softened peaches to your morning coffee cake to add a burst of fruity flavor.
If you're wondering what to do with overripe peaches after you've used the fleshy parts, you can use virtually all your kitchen produce scraps to create a compost pile and reap many benefits. Some of these benefits include reducing waste, conserving water, promoting plant growth, preventing soil erosion and combating climate change. Once you finish eating your overripe peaches, you can use them to start a composting system or add them to your existing compost pile or garden.
Rest assured, you can safely compost peach pits, skin and scraps. However, remember that peach pits' hard exterior means it will take much longer for them to decompose, perhaps even years. The time it takes for your peach pits to decompose will depend on the composting system you have, but you can speed up the process slightly by boiling the pits to soften the hard outer shell before tossing them in your compost pile. You can also place your peach pits at the bottom of your compost pile to help them break down faster.
Visit Our Market Today!
Peaches have a wide range of uses in your kitchen, whether they're unripe, ripe or ready for your home compost heap. At Lane Southern Orchards, we know nothing is better than freshly picked, local produce to boost any recipe you want to make. Since 1908, we've been proud to provide our community and beyond with over 35 varieties of peaches and their many uses, including fresh syrups, jams, muffin mixes and sauces.
Our Georgia farm provides the perfect conditions for sweet summer peaches, picked within hours of your purchase. We invite you to come down and visit our farm for fresh produce and delicious Southern treats. You can also shop our peach products online and have them shipped to your door to inspire your sweet and savory recipes.