7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime

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Few things are better than biting into a ripe and juicy peach. This fragrant stone fruit, with its pink-yellow flesh, has come to embody the carefree spirit of summer. Lucky for us, peaches are at their prime at this very moment, with their peak season beginning in July and lasting through August.

If you’re heading to the farmers market, choose peaches with a fresh and floral aroma. The flesh should yield a bit when pressed gently, so avoid any peaches that are rock-hard or mushy. Even if you aren’t working with fresh fruit straight from the tree (frozen peaches and preserves can add great flavor to dishes), it’s still a good time to play up the universally recognized flavor, whether you’re making a cobbler, salad or smoothie.

Give summer the last hurrah it deserves with these seven good-for-you meals featuring one of the season’s most-loved fruits.

Tomato-Peach Salad with Ricotta

Celebrate what’s left of summer with not one but two of the season’s defining fruits: tomatoes and peaches. The milky ricotta cuts the peaches’ sweetness for a well-balanced and refreshing lunch or side dish. Top it off with some toasted almonds for a satisfying crunch.

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon-Sugar Butter

You’ve probably had grilled vegetables more times than you can count, but how about grilled peaches? Bobby Flay turns to the sweet ripe fruit to make this low-calorie dessert in just 15 minutes. After a quick turn on the grill, each peach half is topped with cinnamon-sugar butter for a juicy, no-fuss treat.

Peach Pie Smoothie

Pie for breakfast sounds too good to be true. But this guilt-free morning indulgence tastes just like the classic summer dessert; best of all, it’s ready in 10 minutes and is made with low-fat milk and yogurt.

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Savory Peach Chicken

Another way to play up the sweet-and-savory combination is to use peaches as a topping for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Ellie Krieger cooks fresh sliced peaches in a garlicky ginger-soy sauce after browning the chicken in her skillet. This is a dish you can easily enjoy well into the fall season by simply swapping frozen peaches for fresh ones.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

If you’re keen on using your grill as much as possible before summer’s over, then try Bobby’s basted and grilled chicken breasts featuring a sweet-and-spicy peach glaze. The glaze calls for peach preserves instead of fresh whole peaches, but the time you’ll save makes the shortcut well worth it. Plus, the preserves are essential to creating the glaze’s caramel-like consistency. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own homemade Peach Jam.

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Individual Peach Cobblers

Warm peaches tossed in sugar lie in wait beneath a buttery crumb topping in Food Network Kitchen’s take on the quintessential cookout dessert. Serving the cobbler in individual portions means you can enjoy this classic summer dessert — with a scoop of frozen yogurt too — while keeping calories in check.

Vegan Peach Cobbler

If you’re serving a crowd with dairy restrictions, try this vegan twist on the classic peach cobbler, where almond milk is used in place of buttermilk and coconut oil stands in for butter. When you use ripe, succulent fruit, this dessert bakes in just 20 to 25 minutes. If your fruit is not perfectly ripe, try covering the cobbler and baking it until the fruit is easily pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes, then uncover and bake until the topping is beginning to brown around the edges.

For more ideas on how to savor peaches in their prime, check out these recipes from our friends:

Virtually Homemade: Mixed Summer Fruit Baked Oatmeal

Homemade Delish: Bite-Sized Peach Panini

The Heritage Cook: Grilled Chicken with Peach Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free)

Weelicious: Peach and Ricotta Crostini

Creative Culinary: Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate Dipped Peaches with Sea Salt

Red or Green: Summer Peach & Tomato Salad

The Mom 100: Sour Cream Peach Cobbler

Domesticate Me: Peach Crumble Smoothie

Daisy at Home: Creamy Peach Popsicles

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Six Ways to Savor Peaches

Taste with the Eyes: Grilled Peach Salad, Over-The-Top Maple Bourbon Dressing

Swing Eats: Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla

Dishin and Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese and Aged Balsamic