We know it’s been on your mind all summer – what is the difference between nectarines and peaches? Nectarines have a recessive gene that make them fuzz-less, and tend to be smaller, firmer, and more aromatic and dense than peaches with a brighter colour. They are one of the sweetest summer fruit next to Cherries, which may be why their name is nectarines…as in nectar, the naturally sugary goodness we find in plants. While they are sweet, nectarines have a low glycemic index (42 GI), so by eating them, your blood sugar levels won’t rise quickly, leading to crashes and mood swings. This means they are a great fruit for Diabetics and those struggling with hyperglycemia. Nectarines can be substituted for peaches in any recipe.
Like oranges, nectarines and peaches originated in Asia. Nectarines are not a highbred and have been cultivated for many ages in North America such as peaches. Unfortunately, nectarines are harder to grow due to their susceptibility to plant diseases such as brown rot and especially using Organic growing methods. This makes them more pricy than the peach.
Nectarines love the sunshine so it may not come as a surprise that they are high in Vitamin E and good for your skin. They are also high in Vitamin C & A, beta-carotene and fiber. Nectarines also contain lutein, an antioxidant that is said to be good for your eyes and can contribute to reducing the risk of cataracts. They are also high in potassium and copper, which is good for heart health.
When buying nectarines, look for ripeness. Put a light gentle pressure on the fruit (don’t squeeze) and there should be a little give. They tend to be firmer than a peach, so the pressure might feel a little different than what you would expect from a peach. If you picked a nectarine that is under-ripe, leave it on the kitchen counter for a couple of days until it reaches the firmness you’re looking for. They are best eaten at room temperature.
What are you waiting for this is peak season! Enjoy some organic nectarines today, bought family farm direct at Community Natural Foods.
Upside down Nectarine Cake Recipe
This is made with a standard and very simple cake batter! It is a fairly dense cake and great served with hot tea, coffee or Iced Tea.
3/4 cup butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches or Nectarines
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into an ungreased 9-in. round baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach slices in single layer over sugar.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spoon over peaches.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm.