Peaches are without a doubt one of the most popular fruits available in the South during the summer; however, bad weather can sometimes result in a shorter growing season and peaches with tougher textures, so when fresh peaches are short or no more available, other stone fruits can be delicious and versatile substitutes.
The fuzzy peach is well-known for its juicy, sweet, aromatic flesh, which is popular in pies, pastries, and desserts. However, inventive chefs have used the peach in savory dishes with poultry, pork, and shellfish.
Nectarines, plums, and apricots have varying degrees of sweetness and bitterness and can be used in place of peaches in recipes.
Peaches vs. Nectarines
Because of their juiciness, sweetness, and nutritional value, peaches and nectarines are popular all over the world. Peaches and nectarines are both stone fruits that belong to the rose family. Peaches have slightly more calories, carbohydrates, and sugar than apples. The nutritional profiles of these fruits are strikingly similar. They’re both high in natural sugars, have a good quantity of fiber, and contain only trace levels of minerals like potassium and vitamins A, C, and E.
Peaches are larger than nectarines, but nectarines are smaller. They also have firmer flesh and thinner, smoother skin. Peaches have a thicker, fuzzier skin and softer flesh than other fruits. The sugary fluids released by plants are referred to as nectar. As a result, despite their somewhat lower sugar level, many people believe nectarines are sweeter than peaches.
The type of flesh and general ripeness are the most important factors to consider when it comes to sweetness. Because of their lower acidity, white peaches and nectarines are sweeter than their yellow counterparts. Furthermore, as they ripen, their sweetness increases. Peaches and nectarines that are fully ripe have a small softness to them.
They’re both stone fruits that are quite similar to each other. Nectarines are a sort of peach that isn’t fuzzy on the outside. They’re similar in terms of nutrition, with similar natural sugars, fiber, and minerals levels. While peaches are better for baking and recipes with a softer texture, nectarines keep their firmness when cooked.
Peaches vs. Plums
Peaches and plums, which are closely related. They both belong to the Prunus genus.
Because of their enormous, hard seeds, they are usually referred to as stone fruits. To get a flavor similar to peaches, use plums instead of peaches. On the surface, it appears that a peach has more calories than a plum.
Because peaches have 39 kcal per 100g and plums have 46 kcal per 100g, the difference is easily calculated to be roughly 18%. Carbohydrates provide the majority of the calories in peach and plum. If you substitute plums for peaches, you’ll get a similar flavor with fewer calories, which is a benefit.
Peaches vs. Apricots
Stone fruits such as peaches and apricots are popular. They’re both the same color and shape. Apricots are substantially smaller than peaches, even though both fruits are fuzzy and yellow-orange in color. One apricot (35 g) is about the same size as a small peach (130 grams). This fruit also has fewer calories than a small peach, with only 17 calories per fruit against 50 in a small peach. Because apricots are small, most people prefer eating a couple at a time. When substituting apricots for peaches, be prepared to use extra.
Both are stone fruits, which means they have a pit inside. Pits in apricots are smoother and smaller than those in peaches. The flavor difference between apricots and peaches is the most evident.
Peaches have a sweeter flavor than apricots due to their increased sugar content. One small peach (130 grams) contains 11 grams of sugar. However, one apricot (35 grams) only has 3 grams. On the other hand, Apricots have a higher level of malic acid, a chemical that increases acidity. Peaches also have a higher water content, which gives them their signature juiciness with every mouthful.
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3 Recipes that Replace Peaches
Let’s take a look at three of the best recipes you can make without peaches.
Stone Fruit Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese
When nectarines, plums, and apricots are combined in a salad, their distinct personalities shine through. The sweetness of each fruit is accentuated by a foil of salty, funky blue cheese, especially in the presence of the balancing duet of lemon juice and honey. Before adding the pecans to the salad, make sure they’re toasted. The strong nuttiness imparted by toasting lends warmth and richness to a salad that would otherwise be cool and pleasant. This salad is especially versatile: it may be served as an appetizer, as a complement to grilled meats, or even as a light dessert or cheese course.
Salad with Plums and Tomatoes with Ricotta
Plums come in a variety of flavors, each with its own particular flavor. When shopping for plums, you’ll most certainly come across both red and black types. Red plums have a golden color and are less sweet than black plums, which have crimson flesh. Both plums would work in this salad, but I like the sweetness of the black plums, which contrasts nicely with the spiciness of the serrano peppers. The ricotta Salata is optional, but the saltiness of the Salata, along with the creamy ricotta’s fresh milk flavor, is a delicious combination.
Apricots, with their delicate sweetness and gentle acidity, rarely take center stage in a recipe. Apricots may be transformed into your go-to fruit for condiments and sauces with a little tinkering. Add a mostarda, which is essentially a cooked fruit jam with mustard added to it (piquant mustard and apple cider vinegar bring additional sharpness to this amazing condiment). Cook the mostarda until the fruit has broken down and the vinegary syrup has reduced to the point where the back of a spoon may be lightly coated. As the mostarda cools, it will become much tighter. Serve with a simple side dish like grilled pork or roasted duck breast.
You don’t have to worry if you don’t have peaches when you want to make a recipe that calls for them. You can substitute any other stone fruit and eat your favorite meals whenever you want!