Delicious Living Blog

What I'm snacking on: nectarines

How to prepare and enjoy nectarines, the quintessential summer stone fruit.

Fresh, juicy, intensely sweet and sans the spine-tingling fuzz on peaches (I get goose bumps even thinking about biting into a peach)—I’m currently obsessed with peaches’ smooth counterpart: nectarines.

One of my best food memories ever involves nectarines. On one particularly long bike ride during late summer, I took shelter from a sudden rainstorm at a roadside farm stand, where the fragrant scent of plump nectarines wafted through the humid air. I bought a massive, ripe nectarine and stood in my Spandex biking outfit amid the steam rising from the wet asphalt, and ate the nectarine whole, orange-hued juice running down my hands and face.

Luckily, nectarines are healthy, too, as they contain ample vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber.

In the aisle, look for nectarines that are brightly colored and give slightly to the touch. Avoid those with large bruises, as well as those that are hard or green, which need to ripen at room temperature longer.

Here are some ways to enjoy this quintessential summery fruit.

  • Pack a nectarine in your lunch bag and eat it raw.
  • Halve two nectarines and place them cut-side up in a baking pan. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon coconut sugar over each half. Bake at 350-degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is caramelized and soft. Top with coconut milk-based vanilla ice cream and serve.
  • For a savory-sweet treat, top whole-grain toast with a smear of goat cheese, nectarine slices, a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme.
  • Toss chopped nectarines in lemon juice and spread in a glass baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 stick cubed, chilled butter—use a fork to incorporate the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse sand. Spread atop the nectarines; bake in a 350-degree oven until the topping is golden brown. 
  • Stir 1 finely diced nectarine into medium-spice salsa for a touch of sweetness. Serve with organic tortilla chips.
  • Simmer sliced nectarines with olive oil, onion, garlic and a splash of white wine vinegar. Spoon over cooked chicken or fish.
  • Toss frozen, cubed nectarine into a blender with almond milk, strawberries and blackberries for a fruity smoothie. 
  • For an elegant dessert, stir nectarines and raspberries with sugar; refrigerate in a covered bowl overnight. The next day, place the fruit in a punch bowl, add a sprinkle of slivered basil and pour in chilled Prosecco. Serve with a ladle and pretty glass cups.

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