Ways To Use Up Your Overripe Peaches

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Whether you picked up quite a few peaches while they were on sale or you simply have too many peaches leftover from the pique season, you might find yourself with a lot of overripe fruit. But even then, you really can't have too many. Though you might not want to take a bite into the side of an overripe peach thanks to its softer texture or bruised flesh, there are tons of ways you can avoid food waste and put those peaches to good use.

Fresh peaches are delicious on top of salads or in fruit bowls, but there are many other ways to use and hide the imperfections of the overripe peach. From cooking them on the stovetop or in the oven to freezing, dicing, and blending, peaches can be incorporated into all kinds of recipes. Whether you need a quick dessert or a way to make the last peaches of the season last for months to come, there are plenty of recipes to suit your needs. From condiments and drinks to dessert and breakfast, use up your overripe peaches with a little prep work.

Freeze them for smoothies

Smoothies can be a cold and refreshing drink to go along with a meal or even as a meal replacement with the right ingredients. But they are also the perfect vehicle for using up overripe fruits among other kinds of produce. After taking a little time to prepare overripe peaches, you can have them at the ready to add into smoothies anytime you'd like (via Food Network).

To use overripe peaches in smoothies, you should start by slicing or dicing the peaches into the size you think your blender can best handle. After that, flash-freezing the peaches on a sheet tray will keep them from sticking together. Once the peaches are frozen individually, you can place them in a resealable container and store them for months at a time.

Plus, freezing peaches does not mean that smoothies are the only way to use them up. There are tons of ways you can put overripe peaches to good use after they have been frozen, per MasterClass.

Churn up ice cream

Another way you can put frozen overripe peaches to use is by making a batch of homemade ice cream. Just like smoothies, it is really difficult to see what the peaches may have looked like to begin with when you turn them into ice cream.

Even if you don't have an ice cream churn or an ice cream attachment for a stand mixer, you can easily make homemade ice cream using an ice-cream ball or the childhood plastic bag method. For the bag approach, stir up the ingredients inside one bag placed inside a second with ice and rock salt (via The Recipe Critic and Delish).

To make ice cream with overripe peaches, all you need to do is chop them up and add them to your favorite ice cream recipe. While you can add room temperature peaches to the base of ice cream as a mix-in, using peaches that have already been washed, diced, and frozen will help lower the temperature faster.

Make jams or jellies

If your peaches are so ripe and soft that they are even past being able to hold their shape well enough for smoothies or ice cream, then consider cooking them down into jam or jelly. According to The Kitchn, you can make a small batch of fruit condiment quite quickly with just a handful of peaches. Plus, the softer the fruit, the fast it will cook and reduce down into a deliciously sweet spread (via Food Network).

To make jam or jelly, you simply need to boil the chopped peaches with sugar and then bring the mixture to a simmer until it thickens. For a smooth jelly, you can use a fine-mesh sieve to strain any larger bites of peach out if you prefer. Otherwise, you can leave it as a chunky jam, perfect for toast, scones, or biscuits. It's a simple way to make the most of leftover fruit that will keep in the fridge long after peach season.

Bake them off in a crumble or pie

A classic way to use up an excess of fruit is to bake it into something like a pie (via Inhabitat). The wonderful thing about this dessert is that, like other options for using up overripe peaches, no one will be able to tell by the look or taste that the original fruit was past its prime. Plus, those who are in a pinch for time can quickly pull together a cobbler, crumble, or crisp.

To make a cobbler, all you really need to do is combine flour, sugar, a leavening agent, milk, and a touch of salt, according to Lil Luna. Toss it in a greased pan and add the peaches on top before baking off. Crumbles and crisps are equally easy by mixing up the fruit with sugar and topping with a sand-like mixture of flour, sugar, salt, and oatmeal for that delicious topping. For a pie, simply place the sugared fruit inside a pie crust and add a top layer of pastry if you'd like before baking. These options are all quite similar and are perfect methods for using up your peaches.

Use them in bread or cakes

If you are someone who prefers other baked goods to those dripping with thick, fruity filling, then you can still turn to your oven. But instead of making pie, try adding leftover peaches to sweet breads or even cake. The peaches can add a fruity flavor to your favorite sweet bread for a welcome change to coffee cake with your morning cup (via MyRecipes). Those who like fruity cakes like strawberry cake might enjoy mixing things up by using peaches instead.

Adding peaches to bread is quite simple. You just need to chop it into bite-sized pieces to scatter throughout the dough. They can easily be chopped up and added to cake batter and even icing to complement the cake if you like. But for either dough or batter, you'll need to toss the pieces of fruit in flour for a scant coating to keep them evenly dispersed throughout the bread or cake according to Baking Mad.

Make salad dressing

Soft peaches are perfect for whipping up a jar of salad dressing too (via The Kitchn). This no-cook method of using up overripe peaches is a wonderful way to enjoy their flavor without spending too much time or energy on a recipe. Another perk to making a peach salad dressing is that you likely already have all of the other pantry staples you'll need to make a vinaigrette.

To make peach salad dressing, just combine all your ingredients like the peaches, olive oil, any aromatics you might like, and a touch of mild vinegar such as white wine, apple cider, or champagne in a small appliance — a blender, food processor, even a deep bowl with an immersion blender should work. Blend and then drizzle the dressing over a salad topped with other sweet and salty ingredients like nuts, seeds, cheeses, or other kinds of fresh or dried fruits. Together you'll get a well-balanced, flavorful meal or side dish.

Use it as a savory topping

Very ripe peaches can also be combined in other savory toppings like glazes for meat or sweet and spicy salsa for dipping chips or sprinkling over tacos. Both require some prep work, but each method is still straightforward and simple.

According to the Food Network, making a glaze is as simple as making a jar of jam. You simply need to cook the fruit down with sugar until it reduces and thickens. Once this happens, the glaze should be easy to dollop on top of anything you want to throw on the grill.

Other savory toppings like peach salsa (via Cooking Light) are just a matter of prep work. Finely dice the peaches along with other ingredients like onion, jalapeno, tomato, or cilantro, and stir together in a bowl. With that, you'll have a sweet and spicy riff on your favorite chips and salsa.

Mix them into drinks

Finally, soft peaches are just right for muddling and adding into a variety of drinks. While you can add it to your favorite sweet cocktail, per Cooking Light, or blend it up into a peach daiquiri, a simpler method is to add them to sangria, according to Food Network. Another advantage of using overripe or leftover fruit for sangria is that you can combine it with other kinds of fruit you might have on hand that need to be used.

To make sangria, all you have to do is slice the fruit that you want to include, such as overripe peaches, and place it in a pitcher. You can add other fruits like apples or berries to add even more flavor. Then pour chilled white or red wine over the fruit to suit your liking. If you want to play up the sweetness, you can add a touch of sparkling grape juice or apple cider, too.