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Aug 9, 2011

Five reasons to enjoy fresh peaches this summer


peaches

 



While sweating through an Ontario heatwave, I found nothing more enjoyable than relaxing by the water with a cold peach. As many of us know, the juice from a fresh peach inevitably ends up running down your chin, but it's worth it - not only for the taste, but also for the iron, potassium, niacin and vitamin C the fruit provides.

Five more reasons to enjoy fresh peaches while they're in season
1. They may help prevent respiratory infections: Peaches are packed full of vitamin C, which has been shown to not only boost your entire immune system, but also specifically to prevent lung infections. Make the most of your summer by stocking up these delicious treats to ward off a dreaded summer cold.

2. Peaches could help with weight loss: Besides being packed full of fiber and water, peaches are also very high in beta-carotene. Recent studies have suggested that beta-carotene plays a role in up-regulating some aspects of the fat-burning process. So try trading in dessert for a fresh peach and keep your weight loss goals on track.

3. They're a source of magnesium: Magnesium has the ability to relax our muscles, both small and large. This makes magnesium especially important in the relaxation of the tiny muscles that contract blood vessels and ease tension. Magnesium helps to relieve migraine headaches and symptoms of muscle tension and inflammation.

4. Potassium-rich peaches are the perfect summer snack: Peaches are high in potassium, which is especially important in the summer due to the heat. In the summertime we lose a lot of water through our sweat; along with that water loss. we also lose many salts that conduct the electrical signals in our body. Potassium is a mineral salt that we lose quite a bit of, so it must be constantly replenished - especially when exercising!

5. Peaches are a rich source of niacin: Niacin is a B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of every cell of you body. Niacin is also being tested as an anti-cancer treatment because of its amazing ability to kill cells in our body that are compromised by cancer, lowering our risk of growth and metastasis.


Five reasons to enjoy fresh peaches this summer

Peachy keen crisp

This is a great gluten-free summer treat. The combination of summer berries and peaches is a great one for entertaining. You can give them a gift twice - first with the taste, and secondly with the nutritional healing power of the ingredients.

Filling ingredients:
6 cups (1.5 L) organic fresh or frozen strawberries, halved
6 cups (1.5 L) fresh organic peaches, sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic goji berries
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened berry juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) clove powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg powder

Topping ingredients:
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa flakes (rolled oats can be substituted)
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ginger powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pink rock or grey sea salt
4 tbsp (60 mL) coconut butter, cut into eight pieces

Filling directions:
1. Preheat the oven at 350°F (175 °C).

2. In a medium bowl combine the strawberries, apples, peaches, and goji berries. Add the berry juice, lemon juice, cloves, and nutmeg.

3. Toss thoroughly and transfer to a 9" x 13" baking dish.

Topping directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, hazelnuts, maple syrup, mesquite powder, maca powder, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt. Place the coconut butter on top of the flour mixture. Using your hand, blend until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

2. Sprinkle the topping evenly and loosely over the fruit mixture, leaving fruit visible in a few spots for the juices to bubble up.

3. Transfer to the oven. Bake the crisp for 45 minutes or until the top is brown and the fruit juices are bubbling at the edges.
Makes 12 servings
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