Peachy Keen

Ahhhh, it’s late summer and in Colorado its Palisade peach harvest time. If you’ve never had a Palisade peach you just don’t know what you’re missing. The hot days and cool nights of Colorado make it a perfect growing environment for these delectable delights, making them sweet, juicy, and delicious.

However, the harvest season is short, so I have a tendency to over-purchase. As a result, a lot of my peaches are sacrificed. What a waste! A few days ago I looked at my huge box of peaches, some of which were already starting to over-ripen, and I decided to try my hand at freezing some of them.

Looking online, I found several different methods for freezing peaches, some including adding (ack!) sugar and/or artificial preservatives. Nuh-uh. Not for my peaches! They should be treated with the dignity and purity in which they were grown.

So, true to form, I used my ninja skills to choose steps from several different recipes, cut out what I didn’t like and kept what made sense to me. And I came up with one that I could live with. It was actually less work and much easier than I thought it would be, which is why I have a freezer full of peaches to help me get through the long, cold winter. And why I’m going out to buy more.

Here’s my ninja secret freezing technique. However, if you are not using Palisades, you might want to add sugar according to taste. Just saying. Nothing is more disappointing than a sour (or mealy) peach.

Boil water in a large pot. Place ice water in a large bowl, including ice cubes to keep it cold. Make a small cut at the bottom of each peach in the shape of an x. Boil the peaches a small batch at a time for 30 seconds, them remove and cool in the ice water. Gently rub the skin to peel the peaches. I save the skins and put them in the compost bin.

Slice the peaches over a large, shallow bowl to capture the juice as you slice them. Add about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and toss the peach slices to coat with the lemon juice. Save the juice to use later for syrups, cooking, ice cream, yogurt, etc.

Put the peach slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. To remove the frozen slices, lift the parchment paper off of the baking sheet. Then it’s easy to peel them off without taking the paper with them. Place them in freezer bags or other appropriate containers, store them in the freezer, and VIOLA! Peaches all year round!

Which does beg the question….why did it take me so long to try this?