Premium food doesn’t have to come at a premium price.
Those big perfect peaches in the bags at the farmers market are awesome to look at. They are the “firsts”, the best looking, blemish-free, ripe peaches. They get a premium price.
The next grade down is “seconds”. Seconds have a slight blemish or bruise, a stem scar or cosmetic damage from insects or weather. They taste every bit as good as the firsts do, but at a savings of up to 50%. These are what will allow you to gorge on fresh fruit now and have enough to put up for winter.
Buy a case of seconds and freeze half of them. It’s so easy, you won’t believe it.
- A half-bushel box is 20 pounds of fruit. Organic peaches, seconds, go for about $20/box at the farmers market in my town. If you eat 10 pounds a week fresh, you’ll still be able to freeze 10 pounds each week. In a 6 to 8 week harvest, you can have enough in your freezer to last through the winter.
- Look through the case before you buy it. Any reputable grower will not sell you moldy or mushy fruit, so speak up and get another case if they look like “thirds”.
- Sort the peaches when you get home. Any that are dead ripe should go in the eating bowl, and devoured continuously throughout the day. The firmest ones can go in the fridge for now, and any with big blemishes can go to the sink to be washed in cold water. If you don’t sort them, you might find some mushy surprises later.
- Wash the peaches in cold water. Get freezer bags or containers big enough for one recipe’s worth.
- Slice the peaches. For whole frozen peaches, wash and dry, and place on a pan in the freezer. When fully frozen, place in a container or freezer bag. Rinsing the whole frozen peach in cold water will remove the peel, if you desire.
Pull a bag of frozen peaches out in December to make a cobbler or a pie, and you’ll be a culinary hero.
We won’t tell them how easy it is.
Related posts about fresh peaches:
- The Locaquaffer: Fresh Peach Wine Spritzer Recipe
- Perfect Peach Summer Side
- How to Choose Safe Canning Recipes