Supercharge Your Fitness
Ever wonder why a peach has fuzz? Those tiny hairs are a defense mechanism to prevent insects and creepy crawlers from attacking the delicious goodness of a peach. The fuzz irritates insects and prevents them from laying their eggs and from snacking on them. Peaches are the summertime treat that has people coming back to the store or market frequently when they are in season. Mid-Summer is the best time to enjoy the flavor, freshness, and nutritional benefits of peaches!
The health benefits of peaches are plenty. Studies show that stone fruits like peaches have bioactive and phenolic compounds with anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The phenols work together to fight off obesity-related illnesses. The excellent vitamin C source, which is a potent antioxidant, helps combat the free radicals that are known to cause cancer. Beyond the nutritional benefits, there is nothing better than a ripe peach that is so juicy it runs down your chin and arms when you bite into it!
Peaches are best eaten when they are at their peak of ripeness. If you bring them home and they are still slightly hard to touch, place them in a brown paper bag to ripen them to their peak for eating. Beyond a nutritious on-the-go snack, there are many ways to enjoy fresh peaches. Peach cobbler is a southern staple as well as a delicious peach pie. Other fan favorites are when they are cooked into a peach jam, muddled into a peach fuzzy cocktail or smoothie, and blended into peach ice cream! Think about including them in a fruit salsa as a side to a beautiful piece of fresh grilled fish.
How can you enjoy peaches on those hot days when you feel like a salad? Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Cindy Kleckner to the rescue. She created a recipe in her Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies that includes yummy spinach and grilled pork tenderloin. This salad is perfect when you have leftovers that you can morph into a beautiful and tasty work of art!
Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- 1½ pounds fresh peaches, skinned or thawed frozen peaches, divided
- ½ cup peach nectar
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 12 medallions
- 20 ounces baby spinach, washed
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- To make the vinaigrette, combine 1 pound of the peaches, the peach nectar, vinegar, pepper, jalapeno and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Marinate the pork tenderloin in a ¼ cup of the vinaigrette for 3 hours before grilling.
- Preheat a gas grill, and grill the tenderloin for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Toss together the spinach, shallot, remaining thawed peaches, walnuts, and blue cheese. Divide the ingredients among 4 plates. Arrange 3 pork tenderloin medallions on top of each salad.
- Serve with the jalapeno peach vinaigrette.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies, C Kleckner, R Rust, John H. Wiley & Sons.
Peaches can be skinned and frozen for use all year long! If you prefer to buy frozen peaches, look for a good-quality brand for best flavor. Frozen peaches have more vitamin C than fresh or canned because of vitamin C, which is added to prevent the fruit from turning brown.
Let’s have a peachy-palooza!
Boost your fitness plan with a Nutrition Consultation with Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and culinary expert at the APEX Centre, City of McKinney’s Aquatic and Fitness Facility. Email Cindy or call at 214-293-5306.