5 Ways with Peaches (no canning or cobbler!)
If you want to try buying produce in bulk, you don’t have to commit to canning or freezing gallons of peaches or any other summer fruit. Use these 5 easy hacks to enjoy those summertime peaches.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using the links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.
In an effort to eat local and not spend our kids’ college savings on healthy food, we buy in bulk.
In my 10 years of saving money and eating healthy, I’ve found that local bulk buyers groups are like a real foodie’s coupon book. They provide an easy way to collaborate with other health nuts and get discounts. We’re all still clinging to the hope of sending our kids to higher education.
This time of year, I buy bushels of peaches.
Peaches are one of my favorite things about summer – the flavors of sunshine soaked in sticky juice. We use Bulk Natural Foods, and the prices are unbeatable in our area.
When I say we buy bushels of fruit in the summertime, this generally conjures images of grandma’s kitchen lined with pots of boiling water and mason jars for canning. However, while I think canning is an important frugal skill – and everyone who wants to save money and eat healthy should at least try it – you don’t have to can (or freeze!) gallons of fruit when you buy in bulk.
Here’s the secret:
And don’t roll your eyes when you read it. It’s obvious and simple, but sometimes the simple answers are the most powerful.
When you buy in bulk, in order to get the most bang for your buck, use the fruit consistently and creatively, over a short period of time.
Fresh fruit goes bad quickly. You have to be consistent and a little bit strategic.
Here are 5 ways you can use summertime peaches:
1. Eat Them
Because we try to buy in season, my family eats peaches once a year. That’s it.
So for the 3 weeks every summer we have peaches, and that’s the only fruit we eat. We eat them for breakfast on granola and yogurt. We slice them with lunch. The kids eat them whole for snacks. They make a sweet end to the day instead of cookies or chocolate.
You burn through fruit pretty quickly that way, and just when you feel like you can’t eat anymore, the season is over. Now you have a whole year to daydream about sunshine packed in an orange fruit.
Again, not a revelation – but handy if you’re tired of eating them sliced and plain. Here are tons of ways to save money on smoothies.
If you have kids and they get tired of smoothies, pour them into popsicle molds and freeze. In order to stockpile popsicles, we wrap the finished ones in parchment paper, store them in freezer bags, and reuse the popsicle molds. Use popsicle sticks for the handles after you run out of ones that came with the mold.
4. Add to Baked Goods
You don’t have to make cobbler (although if you’re smart or even a little bit southern, you will). During peach season, we add chopped peaches to all our normal baked goodies.
Peel and slice a couple peaches – enough to cover the bottom of a greased 8×8-inch baking dish. Add 1/4 teaspoon ginger and a pinch of nutmeg to the oatmeal batter, then pour it on top of the peaches. Bake as usual – might need to add a few minutes.
Omit the chocolate chips and add 1 cup peeled and diced peaches to the batter in their place. Optional: Add 1 teaspoon ginger to the batter. Peach and ginger play well together.
Use peeled and diced peaches in place of the berries.
My favorite real food fruit pizza recipe uses a shortbread crust and lightly sweetened cream cheese (or greek yogurt!) frosting. Peaches make the perfect topping. The recipe is in my favorite healthier sweet eCookbook – Smart Sweets (affiliate link).
5. Flash Freeze the Squishy Ones
I said no freezing, but I’m not talking about making a big deal about freezing and preserving peaches. I’m saying that when you see a couple peaches on their way to the Great Compost Pile in the Sky, take a couple minutes. It takes about 3 to slice, peel, and toss them on a cookie sheet for the freezer. No waste, no worries.
To save time and waste less, when I peel peaches, I don’t peel them close to the skin. I leave a good bit of fruit on it so the kids eat the peels! This saves me time from going through the whole peach-peeling process to save as much fruit as possible. And we don’t waste the fiber in the peels.
Of course, this means I need to peel a few more to make enough fruit for whatever recipe. However, since we bought the peaches in bulk for cheap, there are normally plenty that need to be eaten NOW.
Slow Cooker Peach Butter
Use my peeling hack and quickly peel a couple pounds of peaches. You can also use the boiling water method if you don’t have kids clamoring to eat the peels or simply find that way easier.
Toss the peaches into your slow cooker (or Instant Pot on the slow cook setting – see? It can save money and prevent waste!). Add 1 cup water and let them cook on low for about 8 hours. Puree and add cinnamon or ginger and honey to taste, if you like. I eat mine plain. Cook longer if you want a thicker consistency.
Now you have something amazing and healthy to slather on biscuits or pancakes.
Buying produce in bulk can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to can or make it a big deal. Just use your fruit consistently and creatively. Make some stuff you love. Freeze a tray or two if needed. Eat plenty fresh.
Need More Ideas for Summer Produce?
The easy way to preserve tomatoes. No boiling, no canning, no fuss. Plus fun recipe ideas!
When you’re on a tight budget and trying to eat healthy, strawberries are a luxury. Here’s how you can save the most money on berries – with hacks for organic, pick-your-own, freezing, and zero-waste!