Bought a bunch of peaches? You don’t have to start canning. Instead, use these 5 easy hacks to enjoy those summertime peaches.
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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.
I find buyers groups on Facebook. We order gallons of coconut oil from Wildly Organic (affiliate link) and pounds of tea and spices from places like the Bulk Herb Store (affiliate link).
This time of year, I buy bushels of peaches.
Peaches are one of my favorite things about summer – 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, most people assume we can them. 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 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 that we have peaches, 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.
We burn through fruit pretty quickly that way, and just when we feel like we can’t eat anymore, the season is over. Now we have a whole year to daydream about farm-fresh peaches.
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.
Muffins or “Mookies”
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.
Mix-in-the-Pan Fruit & Oat Bars
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).
Not a baked good, but it’s something I make regularly here, so it’s easy to just toss some slices into a batch and make peach-infused fermented tea.
5. Flash Freeze the Squishy Ones
I’m not talking about making a big deal about freezing and preserving peaches. I’m saying that when you see a couple of peaches on their way to the Great Compost Pile in the Sky, take a few minutes (about 3) to slice, peel, and toss them on a cookie sheet for the freezer. No waste, no worries.
Usually, I don’t even peel them, because we just use them in smoothies.
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, and we don’t waste the fiber in the peels.
This means I need to peel a few more to make enough fruit for the recipe. However, when you buy fruit in bulk there are plenty that need to be eaten NOW.
Use this boiling water method. You will be left with peaches whose skins slip right off. Allow them to cool, then slice and use however you like.
Bonus Recipe: Slow Cooker Peach Butter
- Peel a couple of pounds of peaches.
- Toss the peaches into your slow cooker (or Instant Pot on the slow cook setting – see how they help save money here).
- 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.
What About You?
What is your favorite way to use peaches?
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Totally agree, eat them peaches or blueberries or whatever luscious fruit you come across on season! Freezing some is nice and jams are great too, if you have freezer space (I don’t want to can).
Thankfully stores have frzn summer fruits for us all yr long. Cheaper to occasionally buy in store than buy another freezer and pay the electric lol
I think you made some really great points here!!!
For the peach butter can you freeze it or should it be refrigerated and eaten quickly like a fresh jam?
Hi Melanie, I do both. We try to eat it within a week or two, but it also freezes great!