Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Peach of a Peach

A Peach of a Peach

The peach has been valued for thousands of years in its native China. It signifies luck, abundance, and protection. Peaches are one of summer’s greatest fruits.

Peaches come in two main varieties – clingstone, where the flesh sticks to the pit and freestone, where it separates easily. A peach has only 68 calories. They contain 10 percent of the Daily Value of dietary fiber, 19 percent of vitamin C, and 11 percent of vitamin A.

For the sweetest flavor, choose fruit with unblemished creamy yellow to gold skin. A fragrant aroma and slight “give” when lightly squeezed is a sign of ripeness. Peaches that are not quite ripe will continue to ripen a room temperature. Here is a great way to showcase peaches. This recipe is printed in the UW-Extension Cooperative Extension Canning Salsa Safely bulletin .

Peach Apple Salsa
6 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped (three pounds whole)
2 ½ cups yellow onions, diced (2 large whole)
2 cups green bell peppers, chopped (1 ½ large whole)
10 cups unripe peaches, chopped (4 ½ pounds whole)
2 cups Granny Smith apples, chopped (2 whole large)
4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
1 tablespoon canning salt
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 ¾ cups packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ cups cider vinegar (5 percent acetic acid)

Yield: 6 to 8 pints
To peel tomatoes, dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins split. Then dip in cool water and remove skins. Chop into ½-inch pieces. Peel, wash, and dice onions into ¼ inch pieces. Wash, core, and seed bell peppers; chop into ¼ inch pieces. Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers in an 8- to 10- quart Dutch oven or saucepan.

To prevent browning of peaches and apples, prepare an ascorbic acid solution by crushing three 500-mg tablets of vitamin C and placing in on-half gallon of water. Wash, peel and pit peaches; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in an ascorbic acid solution. Drain. Wash, peel and core apples; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution.

Drain. Quickly chopped peaches and apples into ½-inch cubes to prevent browning. Add chopped peaches and apples to the saucepot with the vegetables.

Place pickling spices in a muslin square and tie ends to make a spice bag. Add the pickling spice bag to the saucepan; stir in salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to boiling, stirring gently to mix ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove spice bag from pan and discard.

With a slotted spoon, place salsa solids into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1 ¼ inch headspace. Cover with cooking liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and place lid and ring in place. Process in a boiling water canner. Process time in a boiling water canner for pint jars at the following elevations:
0-1,000 feet, 15 minutes
1,001–6,000 feet, 20 minutes

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