Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Peaches

It feels like in the space of two weeks, we've gone from the height of summer to the middle of Autumn with no word of warning. And with that we've gone from craving salads, juices and frozen desserts to soups, squash and hot, comforting puddings. And with peach season quickly coming to an end for the year, it's the perfect time to stock up and make the most of their versatility over the transitional period - think roasted peach and parsnip salads, or hot peach crumble with cashew custard. 

Sweet, fragrant and juicy, peaches are most commonly large and round, with red-blushed yellow skin and golden yellow flesh, but white peaches and flat doughnut peaches are also popular options. Similar to nectarines, they also come in either clingstone or freestone, which indicates how easily the stone can be pulled from the flesh. 

RECIPE IDEAS

- Starting with sweet (and simple), roasting or poaching peaches with additions such as vanilla or honey makes for a great dessert. 

- As with pretty much all fruits, they also make a great topping for porridge and pancakes. We like ours roasted or stewed, but they're just as good fresh too (especially in overnight oats). Add to a creamy cashew milk porridge, served cold with fresh peach puree and raspberries for a summer throwback, or warm with hot stewed peaches, a dash of vanilla and cashew cream for a winter welcome). 

- Have you ever tried peach crumble, or peach pie? You need to. Stew the peaches slightly with a dash of honey and vanilla, then top with your favourite crumble topping or pie pastry. Serve straight from the oven, with creamy cashew custard on a colder evening or enjoy chilled with homemade vanilla (or ginger) vegan ice-cream. 

- They're not just limited to sweet either. We love peaches in salads: both raw and roasted. Slice and serve with roasted root veggies and spinach.