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Life's a Peach

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 26, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

The month before my oldest son was born, my husband and I planted a dwarf peach tree in our front yard.

I distinctly remember having to gingerly sit on the ground in my maternity overalls to even see the hole in the ground, I was so huge. In spite of the odds, we were enjoying fresh peaches off of that tree the very next year and began to look forward to future years, planning to share with family and friends, and enjoy all the peach goodies imaginable. Unfortunately, our tree had a run of bad luck last year due to overproducing and frost, and literally bent until it broke. And although it is currently reminiscent of the pitiful tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas special, I have hope it will soon be back to its full glory—and my husband and I are learning a thing or two about maintaining fruit trees in order to avoid another tragedy.

But no matter how pathetic that little tree is right now, I can’t look at it without thinking of my baby boy, now 4, and all the hopes, worries and anticipation we were feeling during that summer ... a time I am instantly transported back to when I savor a fresh-picked peach.

In the kitchen

One of the best things about this fruit is its juiciness and the feeling you get when your teeth pierce the taut skin, sinking into the sweet flesh underneath. Not only are peaches delicious, but they also are antioxidant-rich, offering beta carotene and vitamins A, C and E to help neutralize free radicals and protect cells.1

Originally from China, peaches date as far back in recorded history as 10th century BC and got their name in 300 BC from the Greek philosopher Theophrastus, who named the peach for the country from which he thought it originated—Persia. The peach is round with a downy yellowish-red skin and a rough pit in the middle. It can be eaten alone, made into a jam, frozen or used in desserts, entreés, appetizers and soups, adding a fresh, sweet note to any dish.2