The Joys of Local Peaches
It’s Summer. Tis the season for peaches. They’re making their appearance at the local farmer’s market, which has been met with much anticipation. Anyone who has eaten a fresh homegrown peach is well aware of the fact that nothing beats local peaches. The juiciness, sweetness and flavor of local peaches far outweigh grocery store options. Even my daughter, who is two and a half years old, knows not all peaches are created equal and careful selection is a must. It’s the difference between a juicy, sweet bite or a tasteless, dry crunch.
That being said, when peaches are carefully picked and locally sourced, they are one of my favorite fruits to eat for dessert. Grilled peaches and ice cream, peach cobblers, peach breads, and peach pies are a few favorites that come to mind. After noticing the complete absence of peach-involved dessert recipes on the blog, I decided it was time to do something about it.
Vitamin A for Dessert
I love sautéed peaches, the cornerstone of this recipe. With a little maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, they quickly transform into dessert. I feel the same way now about sautéed goji berries. The idea never occurred to me until creating this recipe and now I am a huge fan. The sautéing process re-hydrates the goji berries, which adds wonderful juiciness and flavor. However, if you don’t have any goji berries on hand you can easily swap them out with dried cherries or cranberries.
Between the peaches and goji berries, this dessert is packed with Vitamin A. Goji berries happen to be an excellent source of Vitamin A, delivering 140% of the daily value in just 1 ounce. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant and has many important functions in the body. It’s also known for adding that healthy color in people’s complexions without the need to use a tanning bed. All the more reason to consume plenty of peaches and goji berries, in my opinion.
One complement that goes very well with sautéed fruit is ricotta. The inspiration for this combination came to me during my time at the food photography workshop. We had a simple peach and ricotta dessert one evening, which everyone kept raving about afterward. It wasn’t too sweet or too heavy – the perfect end to our meal.
So with a mindset of balance and plenty of Vitamin A involved, this dessert will leave you feeling and looking amazing. Enjoy!
- 2 peaches, cut into 8 pieces
- ¼ cup dried goji berries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Toasted pecans (garnish)
- For the Vanilla Ricotta:
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- In a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and heat through until melted.
- Next, add peach slices, goji berries, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
- Sauté ingredients in pan for about 2-3 minutes (or until peaches are tender), stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Turn off heat and set aside.
- Next, combine all the Vanilla Ricotta ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated.
- To assemble, scoop 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture on a small plate. Top with peaches and goji berries, plus a drizzle of the pan juices. Garnish with toasted pecans and serve.
*This is the brand I use for dried goji berries.