Sara Kelly

Sara Kelly, Hy-Vee dietician

In my nearly four years in the grocery store, I have come to realize there are a few produce items that only come around at certain times of the year and are eagerly awaited by our customers.

Colorado peaches are one of them. These juicy fruits are usually only available in August through early September, and have the reputation of being the “best of the best” when it comes to peaches. Colorado peaches are especially ripe and juicy, and the type we typically receive are freestone — meaning the pit separates easily from the flesh, making them ideal for canning and freezing.

Recently, I made the mistake of storing my peaches on top of each other on the counter; in under 2 days, they were all heavily bruised. To avoid this mistake, store peaches in a single layer, stem side down.

If fully ripe, peaches can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. (However, they will be juiciest if consumed as quickly as possible, as the cold fridge air tends to be dehydrating.)

When shopping, it’s best to buy a variety of ripe and under-ripe peaches, and consume the ripest ones first. The background color of the fruit indicates ripeness — it will be dark yellow when ripe.

If you would like to speed up the ripening process, place under-ripe peaches in a brown paper sack with an apple. The ethylene gas released by the apple will speed up the ripening process.

Peaches are also a great fruit to throw on the grill. This healthy peach and tofu kebab recipe is the perfect sweet end to the summer grilling season.

Sara Kelly is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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