Perfect Peaches

Louisiana peaches are at their peak

By Heather R. Breaux
July 09, 2008 at 1:54 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

PEACHES. Dennis Savoie of Raceland sells these sweet fruits at his Highway 90 stand in Boutte.
Photo by Heather R. Breaux
PEACHES. Dennis Savoie of Raceland sells these sweet fruits at his Highway 90 stand in Boutte.
The peak of the Louisiana peach season runs through mid-July, so don’t miss out on this healthful window of opportunity, advises St. Charles Hospital dietician Laurie Acosta.

“Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C,” said Acosta. “And they’re full of fiber, potassium and niacin.”

One medium peach, or 4 ounces, holds approximately 60 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 14 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber.

And in addition to being low in fat, they’re also sodium-free.

Acosta says that there are several easy and healthy ways to incorporate peaches into your diet and reap the benefits this fruit has to offer.

“You can add sliced peaches to cereal or top pancakes and waffles with them,” she said. “You can even make a peach smoothie or shake by mixing peaches in a blender with bananas, 100 percent juice and ice.”

Another way to enjoy the sweet taste of a peach is to mix it with low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, or grill peach halves with barbeque chicken.

Acosta also offers advice on how to pick out the perfect peach.

“Look for peaches with a creamy to gold skin,” she said. “That usually determines the ripeness of the fruit.”

Acosta says that the amount of red coloring on a peach depends on the variety and doesn’t always point to ripeness.

“Look for peaches that have a well-defined crease and a good fragrance,” she said. “Gently squeeze the peach in your palm, and if it gives a little to pressure and smells sweet, then it’s ready to eat.”

“Shriveling at the stem end or excessive softening means that the peach is overripe.”

Other summer fruits that are in season and healthy to eat include blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums.

According to Acosta, a 3/4 cup of blackberries contains 60 calories, 0 fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber and are a good source of vitamins A and C.

Vitamins A and C are also found in a 3/4 cup of blueberries along with 60 calories, 0 fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber.

“Two small plums also contain the same nutritional value as a 3/4 cup of blackberries or blueberries,” said Acosta.

Strawberries are a great way to get your vitamin C and a 1 1/4 cup of whole berries puts out only 60 calories, 0 fat and 15 grams of carbohydrates.




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