When you bite into a good peach, you can taste the sunshine.
It’s so sweet and ripe inside its soft, fuzzy, reddish-golden skin. So juicy and dripping with nectar.
So good. Call me biased, but I will argue that a really good peach offers an unbeatable fruit-eating experience. Nothing against apples, oranges and the like, but a good peach stands on its own.
Unfortunately, peaches can go south pretty quickly. Before you know it, your perfectly firm, luscious peach has turned soft, bruised and mushy. Past its prime, it’s too far gone to enjoy it the way you normally would.
Stop right there. Don’t do it. Don’t you throw those peaches away.
Of course, it’s better to store your food so it stays fresh as long as possible. But those mushy peaches don’t need to go to waste. You can still save all of that yummy, nutritious deliciousness. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, peaches are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Step away from the garbage can. Instead, check out these 14 ways to use overripe peaches.
14 Ways to Use Overripe Peaches
These 14 recipes cover breakfast, drinks, dessert and more.
Let’s kick things off with my favorite recipe of all. I mean, why wait?
1. Peach Pie Biscuit Bombs
Hello, you had me at “Peach Pie Biscuit Bombs.” Heather Tullos at Sugar Dish Me describes these as “unbelievably simple, totally delicious little treats perfect for breakfast, brunch, or with a little ice cream for dessert.”
You split flaky, refrigerated biscuits — the kind you buy in a tube at the grocery store — and fill them with peach slices, cinnamon and Brie. It won’t matter if your peaches have gone a bit soft, because you’ll be baking them anyway. All of this bakes into crusty, gooey goodness.
Just for starters, overripe fruit is ideal for freezing and using in smoothies. Cut off any bits that have gone bad, chop up the rest, seal it in a zip-close bag and toss it in the freezer. That said, we’re venturing well beyond smoothies here.
2. Peach Smoothies
No shortage of peach smoothie recipes out there. Most are simple and delicious, so it’s hard to get this wrong. You can choose one based solely on what other ingredients you have handy. Taste of Home’s recipe requires only milk, sugar, OJ concentrate and ice cubes. Betty Crocker calls for yogurt, orange juice and honey.
For the beginner, WikiHow has a step-by-step tutorial using OJ, yogurt and ice. For the ambitious, the Food Network demands cinnamon, honey, milk, yogurt, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla extract.
3. Peach Sangria
Crisp, clean and sweet. Tori Avey has the right idea. Cut up your overripe peaches, and drop them into a pitcher. The rest of the story involves ginger ale, sugar, peach schnapps and a bottle of white wine.
4. Easy Peach Lemonade
We’re including this recipe from The Cookie Rookie because it’s so shockingly easy, yet it will impress the heck out of your guests at any summer gathering. It’s like cheating and getting away with it. You can add alcohol if you want, but you don’t have to.
5. Bourbon Peach Slush
You’ve got to check out this photo at Recipe Runner. You’ve just got to. (Go ahead, we’ll wait.) OK, now that you’ve seen it for yourself, clearly you’re going to have to make this concoction as soon as possible. Sorry, not sorry.
6. Peach Wine Slushies
Another slushie, this one at Dessert for Two is staggeringly easy, using all of two ingredients: frozen peaches and a bottle of fruity white wine. OFFICIALLY READY FOR SUMMER.
Jams, Fixins, Etc.
Again, overripe fruit isn’t an issue here because you’re cooking these peaches and breaking them down. It’s the opposite of freezing them.
7. Peach Preserves
You’ll need peaches, sugar and a little lemon juice for this super-simple Country Living recipe. Oh, and a saucepan. That’s it.
8. Peach Jam
No, not Pearl Jam. Let’s not get sidetracked. We’re talking about peach jam here. Easy homemade peach jam, courtesy of Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.
9. Peach Puree
Writing for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper, chef David Lee says: “I’ve used this puree to make cocktails (Bellinis and Peach Mojitos), peach iced tea, peach and sparkling icewine dessert soup, peach sorbet and peach ice cream. It also makes a lovely condiment for vanilla ice cream with no further labour involved.”
You know he’s Canadian because he puts in that cool British “u” when he spells “labour.”
10. Crockpot Peach Butter
You’ll need a slow cooker for this Frugal Girls recipe. This stuff is awesome for spreading on biscuits.
More cooking of peaches here. Let no peach go to waste, we say.
11. Almond- and Peach-Crusted Pork Chops
Take those Peach Preserves you made, and put them to good use with this dish from Betty Crocker.
12. Grilled Salmon With Curried Peach Sauce
Don’t worry for a second that this recipe calls for “two fresh peaches, peeled and diced.” Your less-than-fresh peaches will do juuuuuuust fine for this culinary masterpiece from Allrecipes.
Saved this category for last. You just skipped right ahead to this category, didn’t you? No, it’s OK, that’s cool.
13. Peach Ice Cream
You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe from Country Living. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, skip ahead to the next dessert. If you do have one, then my God you need to try this.
14. Mini Spiced Rum Peach Pies
For serious bakers only. Real Simple guesstimates the preparation time for these babies at 40 minutes. Also, you’ll need rum, ginger, light brown sugar, cornstarch, rum, nutmeg, an egg, pastry dough, rum, turbinado sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and rum. Still, these look awesome. Did we mention you’ll need rum?
There you have it — 14 ways to use overripe peaches. They’ll never go to waste in your kitchen again.
My favorite fruit. Yummy, flavorful, delicious. Luscious and delectable. Glorious.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at Codetic. After writing this, he is so hungry right now.