You may not remember your first bite of stone fruit, but it’s a love affair you’ll never get over. No doubt it was the summer, a hot day with a sweet peach, or maybe it was fun times with a snappy bowl of cherries. The deep notes of a great plum are not soon forgotten, and a warm sassy apricot always makes you smile. I do caution you, they will love you and then leave you by fall. Then, there you will sit, talking to yourself and wishing you had just one more day with that stone fruit you love.
It’s that time of year when the great Northwest produces some of the most enticing fruit you will ever encounter. These fruits with pits are also called stone fruits. No doubt their hearts of stone allow them to love us and leave us without too much heartache.
Stone fruits are a category of fruit also called drupes. They have a seed in the middle surrounded by a hard-as-rock surface called the pit, which is surrounded by the glorious, delicious meat of the fruit covered by a thin skin. There are two categories of this prunus genus that are interesting to know: clingstone and freestone. The pit of the clingstone is difficult to remove from the flesh, but they tend to be sweeter and juicier. The freestone pit comes out easily so they are less work when preparing to bake a big cherry pie.
“There are so many reasons to fall for stone love. You may have been innocently introduced to these delicious fruits by your grandma or by a roadside fruit stand. All I can say is, if you see that sign for Yakima peaches beside the road, pull over.”
The stone fruits we love actually love us right back. Stone fruits are typically lower in calories, 50 to 70 calories for a delicious peach (what a bargain), and the fiber in these fruits helps keep our GI tracts stay nice and healthy too. Peaches are high in vitamin A for good skin and eye health and vitamin C for its great immune system support. Their bioactive ingredients have been shown to keep us healthier when it comes to prevention of cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes. Their high potassium content contributes to balancing our blood pressure, counteracting the osmotic effect of sodium.*
There are so many reasons to fall for stone love. You may have been innocently introduced to these delicious fruits by your grandma or by a roadside fruit stand. All I can say is, if you see that sign for Yakima peaches beside the road, pull over. That fruit you love is only here until August and won’t be back until next year — and that’s the pits.