How to choose ripe peaches
- Firmness: Give that peach a squeeze! A ripe peach will feel firm to the touch, but the flesh will yield slightly. If it feels hard as a rock, it's likely underripe. What if it's mushy and soft? You guessed it—it's probably overripe or damaged. Just be sure you don't squeeze the peach too hard—you don't want to damage it yourself!
- Color: Most ripe peaches will be a creamy yellow/orange/gold color with a rosy blush. Although the color may vary depending on the variety, you'll want to pay attention to the background color—the one behind that reddish-orange shade. It should be a rich golden color. Stay away from peaches with any hints of green—these are likely underripe and sour. As always, check that your peach is free of bruises, dark spots, or blemishes.
- Check for a cleft: A ripe peach will have a cleft running down the side of it. This proves that the peach has had time to mature and is likely ripe and juicy.
- Smell: Take a whiff—your peach should give off a flowery, sweet, "peachy" scent. If it doesn't smell at all, put that peach back—it's not ripe!
- Weight: Hold the peach in the palm of your hand. Does it feel heavy for its size? If so, that's a sign that it's ripe (and super juicy on the inside!).
How to ripen peaches
So how can you ripen those green-tinged peaches? Cut a few holes in a paper bag and fill it with your underripe peaches. Store them in a dark spot at room temperature for about 24 hours (or until they ripen up to your liking). If they aren't ripening fast enough, add a banana or apple to the bag. This will increase the amount of natural ethylene gas in the bag and speed up the ripening process. Be sure to check on your peaches often—they can overripen in just 24 hours!
How to store ripe peaches
Store your ripe peaches in the refrigerator where they should last for at least a week.
How to prepare peaches
- Looking for a sweet treat? How about peach muffins, peach cobbler or peach French toast?
- For a refreshing drink, whip up a peach sangria! Or blend up peaches to create a white peach smoothie or peach tea.
- Sweeten up your dinner by adding peaches to baked chicken, glazing pork chops with peaches, or layering grilled peach slices over salmon or halibut.