How to Choose Stone Fruit

You know it’s Summer when you bite into a plump peach and the juices run down your fingers!  Stone fruit is in season, giving you a delicious source of vitamins and nutrients (to help make up for all those fish and chips). Learn how to pick the best produce and store it for the most satisfying taste.  Also, Georgia from GH Nutrition shares with you a delicious and quick Summery dessert, using only the most succulent of stone fruit.   

How to choose
When looking for peaches, plums and nectarines, look for fruit with vibrant colour skin and without brown spots or bruises.  You can pick under-ripe fruit as they sometimes have green patches, while older fruit may have wrinkly skin.  Choose fruit that is firm but supple – you can give this a go by giving the fruit a gentle squeeze – it should give a little with your touch.  

How to store
Stone fruit will continue to ripen after being picked.  Once purchased, keep fruit uncovered at room temperature or if you want to ripen quicker, keep on a windowsill in the sun for a day or two.  To test if the fruit is ripe – press the top of your finger near the stem of the fruit, if it dents easily, it is ripe.  A smell test is also encouraged!  Peaches and nectarines have a sweet smell when they are ready to be eaten.   Once ripe, store in the fridge.  Be careful, stone fruit bruises easily, so minimise handling and stacking other fruit on top.  

How long to keep
When ripe, nectarines and peaches should only be refrigerated for one day.  Ripe plums and yellow peaches last longer and can be left uncovered in the refrigerator for three to five days.  

Balsamic Stone Fruit with White Chocolate Ice Cream
A simple Summer dessert featuring balsamic roasted stone fruit and white chocolate ice cream.  Serves 4.

Ingredients
4 cups stone fruit (any combination of peaches, plums, nectarines and/or cherries)
1/4 cup raw brown sugar
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
White chocolate ice cream, to serve

To make
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Prepare the fruit – pit and slice.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add the fruit.
Toss the stone fruit with with the sugar and vinegar.  Spread out on a single layer.  
Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning at halfway.
Serve warm with ice cream.  

  • WHAT’S IN SEASON: FRUIT | APPLES: All new season except for Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths. BANANAS: Prices still impacted by supply issues from QLD floods. BERRIES: Last weeks for Tassie blueberries. Cooler weather has helped Strawberries with better value and longevity this week. Blackberries available. EXOTIC: Aussie mangosteens, rambutans, dragonfruit, guava and starfruit available. FIGS: Still peaking with a beautiful blush this week. GRAPES: Great range of grapes in season. Your preference depends on levels of crunch and sweetness desired. MANGOES: NSW KP mangoes still available. Last weeks for mangoes! MELONS: Rockmelons and watermelons a little scarce. PEARS: Corellas, Nashi, Williams and Buerre Bosc in season. Josephines and Packhams should start next week or so. PINES: Topless still eating well. POMEGRANATES: Aussie pomegranates in season. Better value this week. STONE FRUIT: Plums great varieties available still eating and cooking really well. Poach and freeze! VEGETABLES | Still feeling some impacts from the hot weather in January impacting vegetable crops around Australia and prices. Cooler Autumn weather will start to take effect over next few weeks. ASPARAGUS: Cooler weather in Victoria has meant a good Autumn asparagus crop with great value asparagus in season. However, Autumn season for Aussie asparagus is short so buy while available. AVOCADOS: New season shepherds in season. Hass ending soon. BEANS: Sugar snap and snowpeas still scarce. Round beans better value this week. Butter and Borlotti beans available. CAVOLO NERO & KALE: Beaut bunches. GARLIC: Tassie and organic garlic in season. GOOD VALUE: Zucchini, cucumbers and green capsicums. POTATOES & PUMPKIN: Kiflers the pick. TOMATOES: Scarce. FLOWERS: Great value roses.