Peach Party

By Brenna Gordon O’Dea

Peach season is upon us and boy is it SWEET. Okay, so the exact parameters of peach season are a bit hazy, or as The New York Times puts it perfectly, fuzzy. But one thing is for sure, when it comes to summer peaches, when you get a good one, you know it. The freshest of the fresh, juiciest of the juicy, there are few flavors of summer better than this, and today we’ve got some recipes to stretch this sweetness even further. For the weeks when you just cannot get enough, here are some recipes to get your fill of the fuzzy fruit whenever the cravings come.

Morning

Get ready for some peach-packed pancakes that will have your crew rolling right out of bed with their little grumbling bellies. These Caramelized Peach and Oat Pancakes are totally gluten free and full of fiber to keep all the kids going during these nonstop summer days in the pool, at the playground, and of course, when you are out picking more peaches! Flavored will wholesome goodness, like ginger, honey, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, these cool cakes will be going like hotcakes, healthy hotcakes. Top ’em off with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, or better yet, even more fresh peaches. These fluffy stacks are so sweet you won’t even guess that they have NO SUGAR in them at all…oops…I guess I gave that secret away. But you’ll certainly have your little ones fooled and fueled for activities all day long. Not only will your dainty diners enjoy EATING these flap jacks, they will want to help you whip ’em up too. Part of the appeal? These are some of the prettiest pancakes we have ever laid our eyes on. Invite your little ones to take part in placing the peaches on top of each pancake as they start sizzling. Even something as simple as adding one ingredient along the way can make all the difference. Your timid tasters will see this beautiful breakfast, and knowing that they helped make it happen might make them more inclined to take a bite, even if the funky fuzzy skin usually freaks them out.

Noon

Let’s keep the fun rolling (literally) with this tasty lunchtime treat. These Grilled Peach Spring Rolls with Spicy Cilantro Pesto will liven up your next lunch party and turn that sad desk lunch into a party of its own. Now friends, I was skeptical of the spring roll approach at first too. I’m not always a huge fan of the sweet taking over the savory, but with that spicy pesto, plus that chili sauce for dipping, this dish brings a nice balance with every bite. But the best part of this summer peach specialty, it makes for the perfect light lunch on those days that are almost too hot to handle. When you are SO bored of salad, but a sandwich sounds too heavy, spring rolls are here to save the day! If you are like me, you may think of spring rolls as a dinnertime delight. But why wait until nighttime for these delicious noms & noshes. Put your peaches to good use and roll ’em up in these tasty lil’ tubes. And don’t forget to call all your little ones in to the kitchen to get in on the lunchtime action. They will love getting involved in every step of the process. Form your own family assembly line and assign each person their own ingredient to add to the package. Picky eaters in your crew? Customize it! One of the best things about snacking on spring rolls is that you can add (or not add) whatever you want. Taking your littlest one out for a lunch date? Maybe you ditch the spicy sauce and toss in a few more slices of the fuzzy fruit. Or maybe your kindergartner is courageous in the kitchen. Then slather on the spice and chow down! Whoever is hungry, these summer spring rolls are sure to make them happy.

Night

Peach pizza?? Have I gone insane?? Nope, not quite. Once you’ve tried this Peach, Basil, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Pizza…pizza night will never be the same. This recipe calls for homemade dough, and we are ALL about that. But if time is not on your side tonight and waiting around for dough to rise sounds like, well, a nightmare, don’t fret! There are some super delicious store bought options out there, like this Pizza Dough Mix from Simple Mills. Just add a lil’ oil, vinegar, and water, and you’ll have yourself a pizza party in seconds! Okay, minutes, but hey, 60 minutes to show time for a delicious AND nutritious pizza night does not sound too shabby if you ask us. And this pizza is good for more than just your weeknight indulgence. It will be a quick crowdpleaser and leave your guests thoroughly impressed, and of course so full they can barely feel feelings anymore, but isn’t that what pizza night is all about? And summer nights in general? All you really need is some good food, good friends, and maybe a spritz or two of bug spray. Just make sure you spray away from the feast. Nothing like a big ol’ mouthful of sandy sandwich at the beach, or bug spray soaked salad in the backyard.

Something Sweet

Put plain ol’ peach pie to rest and rev up the engine with these little lovelies. Hand pies are the perfect twist on an already delicious classic. And of course, who better to help out in the kitchen making these mini pies than your mini! Little hands are just what the dessert doctor ordered to whip up this one. From filling to folding, even your tiniest taste testers will be able to lend a hand in the creation of these Peach and Ginger Hand Pies. Enjoy these babies hot, cold, anyway you want ’em. You might even be able to get away with grabbing one for breakfast, because hey, hand pies, pop tarts, what’s the difference? I mean…there is quite a difference, but it’s summer after all, the season for extra sweetness and extra silliness. School will be back in session before we know it and we’ve got to take advantage of these extra hours of sunlight and extra fresh fruit filling our fridges. And don’t toss out this recipe once fall comes around! Hand pies can come in handy all year round. Swap in apples, even pumpkin, and you will have a dessert you can count on whether it is sunny or snowy. And if you can’t seem to keep those peaches pristine after the first few days, check out these tips to make sure you have flavorful fruit no matter what the month, fresh or frozen.

Now it’s time to get to the farmer’s market to fill your baskets with our favorite fuzzy fruit, or head straight to the source and do some peach picking. Summer may be more than halfway through, but peach season is in full swing, and we think that is definitely something to smile about. 🙂

(Image by flickr member Patrick licensed under Creative Commons)

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