Friday, September 01, 2006

The Champagne of Peaches

These are not just peaches. These are organic champagne peaches, and I consider myself very lucky to have access to them. From our local organic farmers' market, fresh picked from the trees a mere day or two earlier.

My entire family cannot get enough of these. Our 21-month old was eating one with the juice running down to her elbow, and she was grunting for more!

Why so good? Well, obviously they are juicy! They are also super-sweet with a whitish flesh. Not one bit sour, just full-on sweet peach goodness. I cannot imagine a better name for this variety of peach (even though I don't know much about wine - Carrie, you would have a lot to teach me), I do know these are one of the finest fruits I have ever tasted, so if you ever see them - - buy them!

Which leads me to Isil's meme. I don't normally join in on these kinds of things, but this topic I love!! Here is my list of 5 things I've eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once:

1. Champagne Peaches. Need I say more??!

2. Yams/Sweet Potatoes. I mean the orange-fleshed taters, and specifically sweet potato fries. A little crispy/chewy, sweet and tender, packed with vitamins, and an amazing side dish to spicy entrees or a nice change from your standard white potato fries.

3. Fennel. Even if you don't like the licorice/anise flavor, because when cooked fennel mellows and you get a sweet, fragrant vegetable that has just a hint of that anise flavor. My favorite way is to roast or grill fennel so that it caramelizes and that sweet flavor intensifies. I also like it raw, sliced very thin for salads.

4. Hemp nut butter / hemp seeds. Hmmm, doesn't sound too exciting, right? Well, these little seeds give us the almost perfect balance of essential fatty acids that our bodies need. Plus, complete protein. See some recipe posts on hemp. What else do I do with it? Right now I'm on a kick of putting a big dollop of hemp nut butter into my soy yogurt. I don't even need to stir it in, I love it that much! Or, sprinkling the seeds onto my cereal, or blend into a shake. Not only does it taste good and give us great nutrition, in these days of nut/peanut allergies it gives us an alternative to nut/peanut butters for our kids' lunches. Try spreading on the hemp nut butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon and top with some banana slices.

5. Rooibos Tea. I drink it daily. It is caffeine free and tastes phenomenal with a pinch or two of stevia in it. I prefer some of the flavored varieties (if you tried a plain Rooibos and didn't like it, try a flavored one - with some stevia), and get mine (in loose form) here. In addition to tasting great, it is well known for its health promoting and anti-cancer properties. See my post here for more info and a link to Sally Errey's website about cancer prevention.

I leave you with one more juicy farmers' market photo. Local, organic yellow watermelon. Yes, it's seeded. Remember when watermelon had seeds?

I know, I know, it's far more convenient to not have to poke/spit out those seeds. But I swear they took out the flavor along with the seeds! This organic seeded watermelon is succulent, sweet - just perfect. Tip: you will notice that the seeds follow lines with watermelons, so run a knife down those lines to more easily remove for you and your kids... or let them spit 'em out - don't you remember how much fun that was as kids?!


Kaji's Mom said...

I've never had a yellow watermelon, but I agree, fruit in general isn't as tasty as it once was... most conventional stuff is picked too early and by the time it's ripe enough to eat, blech! I'm jealous of your peaches, they're my favorite fruit.

dayler said...


You KNOW I'm not gonna see any fruit like that out here in podunk.

I miss kamikaze-style watermelon seed wars.

What DOES a yellow watermelon taste like, anyhoo?


Dreena said...

Kaji's mom - yes - too much fruit is in shipment even before it's ripe. That's why some peaches are just mealy and dry and plain awful, and why local (and organic) is always the tastiest!!

Hey sis!! boo-hisss at me! I know... but even if you were in St. John's you wouldn't get these goods. I don't think I ever had a truly ripe, juicy peach until I came out here. Never thought peaches were all that interesting until I tried fresh local ones. They are SERIOUSLY good! The watermelon tastes much like regular watermelon, but to me it's maybe even a little sweeter and honey-like - kind of like a yellow kiwi vs. a green kiwi (have you ever had a gold kiwi)? You guys need to pack up and move out here for the real good food (and lots of organic - even older daughter now asks when picking out fruit "mom, do these ___ have sprays on them"! Yes, they are vegan/organic brainwashed. :)

pavandeep said...

Can you tell me exactly where you got those peaches from? I live in Surrey.

Dreena said...

Pavandeep, I'd be happy to!! Can you e-mail me (just link through my page here) and I'll give you the specifics on location and the vendor. I'm fairly certain he'll be selling them for another week or two yet! :)

Isil S. said...

never have I seen a yellow watermelon before, interesting.Nice to read your list.

raising_kahne said...

You seem to have a lot of organic produce around you! I wish you could know how lucky you are! Here, not only is it hard to find, but it's pretty darn expensive. But, I still buy all organic fruits and veggies. I have to9 buy frozen organic in some vegetables because they're usually waay too expensive for me.

I would LOVE to have some hemp nut butter! It took me months to find hemp seeds, and they werent even here in Ga! I was on vacation in florida and found them in a health store. No luck finding them here, so I guess the nut butter is definately out of the question. : (

Vicki said...

what a fresh post. those peaches look & sound like a slice of heaven, and they ranked #1 from a serious foodie -- that's a mouth full! :o)

Freedom said...

Yummm, can't wait till it's peach season here in Aus! I miss seedy watermelons - the flavour definately left with the seeds. Oh how I wish that hemp seeds and hemp butter were available here. You make me so jealous! :-)

EatPeacePlease said...

Dreena, love the list. I agree with the hemp seeds and Isil asked me to do the same. I'd put that on there too. Those peaches sound fantastic! I had a yellow watermelon a while back but it was seedless and I wish it was like yours. If you compare photos, yours looks way better with seeds (and more vibrant yellow, not even the camera). Great post and I hope to find some peaches as good as those.

Carrie™ said...

Champagne peaches??!! Sounds right up my alley. I've never heard of them, but they sound wonderfully delicious. And you're right about fruit not tasting as good as it used to. I think picking too early is one reason and also, like seedless watermelon, all this cross-breeding & hybrid stuff takes the flavour away. I remember reading in gardening book a piece about cross-breeding roses for hardiness, colour, blooming season, etc. and it said when you start messing around with them, the one thing that gets lost most times is the scent. (Who wants a rose that doesn't smell like a rose?) To me, it's the same with foods. Why take the seeds away if the flavour is lost. The enjoyment of eating comes from the tastes, just like enjoying the smell of the flowers. (Why stop and smell the roses when they don't smell?!)Let's hope we see a swing back to the "old-fashioned" stuff. Heirloom tomatoes are very popular. Let's hope that trend keeps up.

Johanna3 said...

wow yellow watermelon i never imagine that exist!. those peach looks so full of juice!

Dreena said...

Isil, I see yellow watermelons from time to time, and I think they are almost always organic. I have never had one quite as fresh and delicious as this one, though! I could add so much more to my list... I didn't even get into recipes per se, just individual foods, and even that was tough to limit! What about papayas, altaulfo mangoes, dark chocolate, basil... too many more as well!!

Savanna, that's a bummer! Well, if you are buying frozen organic the quality may be better than organic that's been shipped from quite a destination. I understand that the nutrients in frozen are actually better than produce that's being moved around and losing its vitamins/minerals. I love nut butters of all kinds, and I like how hemp nut butter is complete protein, and not allergenic, and while I didn't think the taste was all that interesting the first time I tried it, I love it now!

Vicki, the peaches ARE that good! I told the vendor that they were "like gold". I will miss them when the season is over... :(
At least then the sweet potatoes will return in good form. I have bought a few recently and they've been dry and porous and just not good. Your new cookie post is a hoot, by the way!! :)

Freedom, I have bought a number of seedless watermelons, and they just were not very good. Then, when we ate this one I thought "yes, THIS is how I remember watermelon to be"! Keep askin' for the hemp nut butter. I buy Manitoba Harvest brand - ask your stores to bring it in... maybe they will??

Thanks Leslie, it was hard to narrow the field of foods. I think I need a list of at least 20 foods!! I hope you find those peaches too... they are wicked! :)

Hey Carrie! Funny you bring up roses. I stopped one day to smell some - with our daughter at a grocery store... and they didn't smell! Huh??! Then, when we were in Newfoundland, my mom had a rose in glass of water on her kitchen table. She explained that it was from a rose bush that used to be at her mom's house and she had taken a clipping from the bush and replanted it. When I smelled it, it was intoxicating. We both kept picking up the glass and smelling and smelling. She was sentimental because it brought back a lot of memories for her. The rose didn't look like your flower shop variety rose either, which is why it probably had such a beautiful aroma. Our fruits/veg are the same thing, yes. I am so lucky to have access to this organic farmers' market and I stock up every week. I feel like I hit the jackpot when I come home with my goodies!! oh, and they have spectacular heirloom tomatoes too - should show a pic of those sometime! btw... if you're ever interested, I know some of us bloggers would love some wine tutorials... nudge, nudge, wink, wink... hmmmm, will bribe with cookies... or cookie recipes???!! :) heeee!

Hi Johanna, wow, I'm amazed that so many people haven't seen yellow watermelon, I thought it was far more common! Again, lucky me to have scored this stuff. :)

Johanna3 said...

here in this part of the island i never see it!(i dont now if in the north they see or have it)
by the way i have your 2 books ans are amazing, they are always in the counter! never in the bookshelf!

maybepigscanfly said...

I had yellow watermelon for the first time this summer. The first time it was seeded and the next time it was seedless. Having a seedless watermelon took me back to the days of seed spitting by the pool in summer with my childhood friends- plus it tasted better. But champagne peaches, I have not been lucky enough to score those. And I'm still scared of fennel. I definitely don't like black licorice so I'm afraid the flavor will be too strong if I cook with it. Great List!

EatPeacePlease said...

My mom used to tell me that watermelon would grow in my belly if I ate the seeds...

Carrie™ said...

Wine tutorials? Hey, I'm game!

I'm not to swift sometimes. (shrugs)
What do I do now?

Dreena said...

Oh, thanks Johanna... that's so nice to hear (uh, read)!! :)

Teresa, don't be frightened of fennel... it's a nice veggie, really!! :) Though, I understand that some people REALLY don't like that anise/licorice flavor. But... my hubby doesn't care for it, and yet he loves fennel that's been sliced thin, tossed with olive oil and salt and then roasted until golden brown... yummy! Now, if you tried to convince me that raw cabbage or cauliflower are just delicious to eat, on the other hand...!!!

hehe, I think many of us had that one too, Leslie. Why, I ask? The seeds certainly wouldn't have 'hurt' us if we swallowed some. I mean, sure they don't taste good to chew through, but why scare the heck out of us if we ate some?! :)

Cool, Carrie! (Oh, and I wasn't dropping the hint in the post - you're sharp after all, lady!!) Well... hmmm... I'm not sure, I am thinking a "Wine 101" kind of post about what to look for in wines - why all the categories/classifications, etc? So confusing. I don't know much, as I've said, but I DO know I like a sweeter wine, and I haven't had a red wine that I have much cared for (maybe because they have been very dry). I just think most of us are out there buying wines not have the first clue what to pick out. I did a wine tasting in Germany with hubby years back when we graduated from uni and did a tour of Europe. That was fun!! I understood the sweetness, and since then I have always enjoyed sweeter German wines - usually a Neirsteiner sweetness code 02 (I may be sounding goofy saying that). Anyhow, I usually buy the same one or two wines, and I like them, but my husband doesn't like them as sweet as I do (at least I don't think so). But then, there's all these other countries, and types, and varieties... too much information!!!! Anyhow, you may not have time to 'teach' the very uninformed of us out here, but I thought I'd throw the idea out to you if you are interested in doing some posts about it. I'll announce it on my blog too if you want to do it. I also know there are quite a few 'vegan' wines out there. Have you tried any? Again, I don't know much about them, if they are good, etc... maybe you do??

kaivegan said...

Hi, Dreena! Welcome back. (Sorry, so late.)

Great list. I drink a lot of Rooibos tea, too. Never sweetened, but lately I've been adding homemade soymilk to it.

I love yellow melons too, not minding the seeds at all. I get them at least once a week from the local organic produce stand. I will so miss that come winter. Have you tried the orange variety at all?

funwithyourfood said...

haha Mangos and dark chocolate are BOTH on my list. I don't think i could live without them :)


Candi said...

Hi Dreena!
I love all your food ideas! Hemp has really got me curious here! I have been really wanting to try baking with hemp, and have to find a local place who sells it. (Perhaps Whole Foods?) I can't wait!!

I recently got "Vive le Vegan" and cannot wait to try the recipes! Your books are all awesome, and everyone raves about the recipes and also for how sweet you are!!

I love the blog and will visit often.


Jennifer C. said...

Your post inspired me to buy some peaches from a local organic vendor. They are sooooooo good, not of the Champagne variety (I have yet to see those), but really good non-the-less.

Anonymous said...

HAHA! Dreena, I am blowing your cover right now. I did that wine "tasting" in Germany too, remember? About all I learned is that if you keep tasting, eventually you're very drunk.

I bet that's all you learned too.
Just sayin.


Dreena said...

Hi Kai!!! So good to hear from you again. I guess you have been enjoying some summer breaks as I did?! No - I have never tried orange watermelon! Neat! I also get a bit blue when the terrific summer produce fades away. I really do! Yeah, I love Rooibos tea, I have some delightful flavors like Vanilla, Hot Chocolate, African Cream... they are a-mazing!

Teddy, we need to combine the two more often... chocolate covered mango?? mmmmmm!

Hi Candi! I've seen you around on some of the blogs - thanks for all those compliments, very sweet of you. :) I'm not sure if Whole Foods carries hemp - I have never shopped there... but if they don't, ask them to bring it in - they *should* be anyhow! Hey, if you have any questions once you get Vive, lemme know!

Yay, Jennifer!! Organic local peaches ARE so different than anything that's been shipped some time. I'm happy to have given you the nudge to get some. :)

Well, now, lil' sis... perhaps you got a little TOO sloshed at that tasting! ha! I remember a *few* things from it - at least I am able to find one or two wines that I really like now anyhow! Saucy, saucy girl you are... :)

Pearl said...

Lovely foods. I've had the pleasure of a champagne peach but only once so far.

Harmonia said...

I really have to get into Hemp seeds and oils. And Nuts. It's impossible to find them locally but I've seen them online. I am thinking many people will think of the "stereotypical" hemp alternatives and reasoning but I'll just have to say "how is that different from using poppyseeds in muffins, eh?"lol