Late July into August is when peaches taste as they should — no more buying them hard as rocks and waiting for them to ripen into mush! Look for locally grown (and organic) peaches, if at all possible. They should have a little give when you press them. Aside from eating out of hand, consider some of these fresh peach recipes for your summer pleasure. By the way — any recipe that calls for peaches is just as good with nectarines as long as you remember the ideal trio: local, organic, and ripe.
Summer Tomato and Peach Salad: This late summer salad, shown at top, is perfect for using ripe tomatoes and peaches of the garden or farm market variety— not the kind that come with stickers on them! Fresh local tomatoes and peaches seem to reach their peak of flavor at the same time, and are a surprisingly compatible duo. Walnuts or pecans add a surprising twist to this easy salad. more→
Peach season is frustratingly short — that is, that brief period when fresh peaches from your local area are available, not the perfect-looking fruit that’s shipped across the country hard as rocks. These ripen into mush, often not very flavorful mush as well. Look for peaches at your local farm markets that already have some give when pressed lightly. They’re just right for making fresh peach chutney.
Lots of chutneys are cooked down, but why go there? This combination of fresh fruit (nectarines are just as good here as peaches) and chile peppers strikes just the right balance of sweet and spicy, making a fantastic relish to serve alongside grilled vegetables, curries, and samosas (we used frozen samosas for this delicacy — no way we could have made better ones from scratch!). more→
This is the best (and healthiest) “pizza” ever! Kids love making this fun recipe, and you may just find that you do too. Although the recipe calls for specific amounts and ingredients that go nicely together, the truth is it’s highly flexible, and you can easily omit, swap, or add your kids’ favorite fruits and ingredients. Or just put all the ingredients on the table to create a “pizza factory,” and let the kids assemble their own pizza—a wonderful way to get children excited about vibrantly healthy food. Reprinted with permission from Superfood Snacks © 2015 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photos by Oliver Barth. more→
Bowls of nondairy yogurt, dried and fresh fruit, and granola can be a quick light lunch or nutritious snack. It’s great for kids — especially young children who balk at dishes in which ingredients are “touching.” But if they decide for themselves what’s touching what, they don’t seem to mind a mixed dish. When my kids were young and had friends over, they created patterns in their yogurt with the other items, and often asked for seconds. This is great for adults, too. Why let kids have all the fun? Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
I think I have had apricots in just about every recipe imaginable. One all time favorite is chevre stuffed apricots as an antipasto. Since this busy-bee does not indulge in animal cheese like this but once or twice a year, I decided to create a cashew chevre to stuff them with. It still has the smooth texture and tanginess that we all crave in an artisan chevre, but is made with raw cashews instead. more→
Holiday meals, whether at home or at my grandmother’s, always concluded with a small bowl of stewed dried fruits perfectly sweetened and laced with cinnamon. Homemade chocolate wafers turn this delicious, unpretentious pear and cranberry compote into an elegant, alluring dessert perfect for holidays or company meals. Recipe contributed by Zel Allen, from Vegan for the Holidays.* Photos by Jennifer Strohmeyer of Virtually Vegan Mama.
If it’s not quite the time for summery fruits, this medley makes the most of winter and early spring fruits for a luscious and refreshing finale to a meal. It makes a nice breakfast or brunch offering as well. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
This simple and pretty combination of winter fruits — pears, apples, oranges, and pineapple, spiced with crystallized ginger — is a refreshing finish to any meal. It’s pretty enough to serve as a Christmas dinner dessert, accompanied by your favorite cookies. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.
Peaches are at their best from mid- to late summer. Make sure to get them already almost or perfectly ripe. Rock-hard peach that have traveled a great distance never seem to develop much flavor as they ripen, and often go to mush. This quick dessert can be enjoyed shortly after you make it — no baking or chilling required! Out of season, frozen organic peaches are a good alternative to fresh. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet. more→
Fresh fruit platters are the best kind of dessert for summer evenings, with berries, melons, and other fruits at their peak. They can also be the main feature of a light brunch served with muffins or other baked goods. Here, quantities are given just as a guideline — they aren’t as important as arrangement—and of course, the fruit should be ripe and luscious. Vary the kind of fruit used according to what’s available. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
Summer desserts need not be fancy; in fact, when the short season of summer fruit is upon us, that’s the best dessert of all. These past few summers I’ve enjoyed teaming two or three fruits whose colors and flavors contrast and complement well. Honestly, you don’t need a formal recipe or even quantities, but I give some only as a guideline in the ideas that follow. Once fruit is washed and/or cut up, it should be eaten as soon as possible. You can serve any of these combinations on their own, or over nondairy ice cream or coconut yogurt. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
This dessert of amaretto-soaked strawberries is almost embarrassingly simple, yet luscious and low in fat. Amaretto is a liqueur made from almonds. It’s a good way to serve this fruit during strawberry season. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→