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Fruit of the Month: Nectarines

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Commonly showcased side by side with peaches, nectarines are a similar, but yet different fruit. The best way to identify the difference between a nectarine and peach is by the lack of fuzz on the nectarine.

Nectarines, like peaches, most likely originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and were cultivated in ancient Persia, Greece and Rome. They were grown in Great Britain in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, and were introduced to America by the Spanish. Today, California grows over 95% of the nectarines produced in the United States.

Nectarine
Serving Size (140g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 70
Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 1g 1%
  Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 5%
  Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
  Sugars 12g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Nectarines are smaller and smooth skinned golden yellow with large blushes of red. Their yellow flesh has a noticeable pink tinge, with a distinct aroma and a more pronounced flavor. There are more than 100 varieties of nectarine, in freestone and clingstone varieties. In freestone types the flesh separates from the 'pit' easily, while clingstone types cling to the 'pit.' Nectarines are more delicate than peaches and bruise very easily.

Nectarines are a good source of vitamin C and low in calories with no sodium or cholesterol.

 

Selection

Ripe fruit are fragrant and give, slightly, to the touch. If they are a under-ripe, leave them at room temperature for 2-3 days to ripen. Look for fruit with smooth unblemished skin. Avoid extremely hard or dull colored fruits and soft fruit with soft, wrinkled, punctured skin.

Storage

Nectarines keep for 5 days if stored in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

Preparation

Nectarines can be used and prepared in the same ways as peaches, with no need to peel because they have no fuzz. Leave the skins on when making pies, cobblers and fresh fruit salads, etc.

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