Grilled Peaches

grilled peaches fruitQuick cooking on a grill brings out the natural juiciness and sweetness in a peach. Serves 2


  • 2 large peaches
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Ground cinnamon to taste


  1. Grilled peaches are great served with meat, fish, or poultry.
  2. Start with peaches that are firm with just a little give when you gently squeeze them with your whole hand.
  3. Cut the peaches in half and pit them.
  4. Brush the cut sides of the peaches with canola oil.
  5. Clean and oil the grates.
  6. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (you should be able to hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 3 to 4 seconds).
  7. Cook the peaches on all cut sides until grill marks show and the peaches are tender but not falling apart. Total grilling time is about 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Nutrition information per serving
88 calories each; 2 g fat; 0 g sat fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 0 mg sodium

Nothing Says Summer Like Peaches

peachEach year, the summer season signals the arrival of juicy, sweet peaches. In the United States, most peaches are grown in California, Georgia, and South Carolina. Unfortunately, our cold temperatures in Iowa are not suited for growing this wonderful fruit tree.

There are three general types of peaches:

• Clingstone—Flesh clings tightly to the pit. The early season fruit is generally clingstone and is best used for cooking and canning.

• Freestone—Flesh readily separates from the pit. These are good for eating fresh, as desserts, and for cooking and freezing.

• Semi-freestone—Flesh is a little harder to separate from the pit. These are also good for eating fresh, as desserts, and for cooking and freezing.

Peach Nutrition Facts

• Good source of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in low light. It also helps maintain healthy skin, bones, and teeth.

• Excellent source of vitamin C, which promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.

• A medium (2.66-inch diameter) peach provides 59 calories, 2 grams fiber and is naturally fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free.

When Buying Peaches

• Choose peaches with a strong, sweet smell.

• Look for skins that show a background color of yellow or warm cream. Avoid fruit with green around the stem (they aren’t fully ripe) or that have shriveled skin (they’re old). A red blush is not a reliable indicator of ripeness.

When Storing Peaches

• Keep them on a counter at room temperature until they are the ripeness you prefer.

• When ripe, move the peaches to the crisper bin of your refrigerator.

When Cooking with Peaches

• If a recipe calls for peeled peaches, dip peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge them immediately into ice water. The skins will slip right off.

• If peeling or cutting up peaches for a recipe, keep them from turning brown by sprinkling with lemon or orange juice.

• If you have more peaches on hand than you can eat or bake up right away, consider freezing, canning, or making extra into a fruit spread. The following Extension and Outreach publications may be useful:

o Canning—Fruits (PM 1043)

o Freezing—Fruits and Vegetables (PM 1045)

o Canning—Fruit Spreads (PM 1366)

Cool Off While Working Out!

fitness active pool water workoutStay cool in the summer, yet still break a sweat! There’s more to do in a pool than swim laps. You burn as many calories walking or jogging in the water as you do on land if you move your arms and legs at the same pace. You also can burn calories in shoulder deep water while using a kickboard or while performing push/pull movements with a pool noodle. The water resistance exercises your muscles but reduces stress on your joints.

Find more exercises you can perform in the water. Watch this video for other pool workout ideas

Safe Home Food Preservation

Preserve the Taste of Summer LogoInterest in home food preservation has increased due to the popularity of local foods and gardening. With more people preserving food, there is concern about whether the resulting food products are safe to eat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report the most common cause of foodborne botulism in the United States is from home-canned vegetables because proper procedures were not followed. It is important to keep food safety in mind every step of the way when preserving foods at home.

  1. Follow food safety guidelines when preparing the recipe.
  2. Always use up-to-date tested recipes and directions from a reliable source because knowledge and recommendations change over time with scientific developments. Ignoring recommended procedures can result in home canned products that will make you and your family very ill.
  3. Use the appropriate canning method. The acidity of the canned food product determines whether or not it should be processed in a hot water bath canner or in a pressure canner.
  4. Have the dial gauge on your pressure canner checked each season. Weighted gauges remain accurate and do not need to be tested. Contact your local extension office for information on how to get your dial-gauge pressure
  5. canner tested.

ISU Extension and Outreach offers the Preserve the Taste of Summer (PTTS) program that provides a thorough review of research-based, safe home food preservation practices, includes eight online lessons as well as four hands-on workshops (requires completion of online lessons), and is available statewide. The cost ranges from $25 to $100 depending on the level you choose.
Participant evaluations show that the program increases knowledge of safe home food preservation practices and is well received by those who have participated. One participant said, “I would never have attempted home canning before the online lessons. Now I know how to do it correctly and will attempt home canning.” Another stated, “I plan to make homemade jams and can tomatoes. I wouldn’t feel confident in trying these out before taking this workshop. Great opportunity!”
To register for PTTS, visit

Pushing the Pedal

bikersYou hear about “going green” in your daily life and reducing your carbon footprint. One way for you to get a little greener is to ride a bike. May is National Bike Month. This is a great excuse to get off your couch or from behind the wheels of your car and enjoy the thrill and fun of riding a bike.

Cycling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for you. Casual pedaling burns about 500 calories per hour (for a 150-pound person), all while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of spring and making some extra Vitamin D for your bones.

Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet, adjust the bicycle to fit, check the tires and brakes, and be sure to wear white or bright colored clothing so other riders and drivers can see you while having fun this summer on your bike.

Get the whole family involved and ride this May.

Think Summer, Think Safety

Family Grilling OutsideIt’s May and time to brush off the outdoor grill. A national poll reveals that 6 out of 10 Americans can’t wait to fire up the grill for the outdoor cooking season. Nearly 90 percent of people say they plan to enjoy grilled food in their own backyard this summer.

It’s important to have a safe as well as an enjoyable barbecue season. Here are some safety tips to guide you through a safe grilling season.

1.  Grills are for outside only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide can accumulate and harm you. Set up your grill in an open area that is well-ventilated and away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy.

2.  Use different utensils, platters, and tongs for raw versus cooked meats, fish, or poultry on the grill. One of the biggest mistakes made while grilling is to use the same platter for raw meat as well as grilled meat. That mistake allows the bacteria from raw meat juices to contaminate the cooked meat. Be sure to wash utensils and platters with hot, soapy water and rinse with hot water to remove and kill bacteria.

3.  Keep cold foods cold. If you are transporting cold food outside, be sure to keep it cold for as long as possible by using a cooler with ice. Place the cooler in the car rather than in the trunk to keep cold foods cold while transporting. Keep raw meats separate from foods that won’t be cooked. Meat stored on ice will contaminate the ice, so use very heavy plastic bags or a separate ice chest for the meat.

4.  Use the two-hour rule. After the picnic, chill your leftover foods quickly. Leaving food out longer than one to two hours will allow it to warm up to temperatures that permit illness-causing bacteria to grow. Put your leftovers back on ice or discard them if you can’t keep them cold.

Be sure to follow these safety tips so your grill season can be fun, relaxing, and safe.

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