You Should Never Throw Out Overripe Peaches. Here's Why

You'd be forgiven for thinking that overripe peaches are the pits. After all, this is the fruit of youth and satisfaction. People call the nascent facial hair of an adolescent boy "peach fuzz." When life is good, it's "peachy." In fact, as Shanghai Daily describes, in Chinese mythology, peento peaches (also known as Donut, Saturn, saucer, or flat peaches, among other monikers, per Harvest to Table) – were fonts of immortality. Each peach was a sweet fountain of everlasting youth.

Biting into a peach that's past its prime ruins that fantastic magic, taking you from the cradle to the grave. The fruit mushes helplessly in your mouth. It's bruised as if brutally beaten by the passage of time. Perhaps worst of all, it looks and feels really yucky. So if your first instinct is to toss that old peach into the compost heap, it's perfectly understandable and maybe even natural. But don't throw away the fruit of your lost youth. There are all sorts of ways to save peaches once it's no longer peachy to eat them on their own.

Turning old peaches into new pleasures

Necessity is the mother of invention, and even if you think you don't need overripe peaches in your life, you will quickly realize how wrong you were when you see the must-have meals you can make with them. Food Network contributor Priya Krishna compiled a list of delicious possibilities. For instance, she suggests making pungent chutney with mustard, shallots, and cherries, noting that the mushy flesh of an overmature peach lends itself to quicker cooking. With the aid of a bit of sugar, you reduce peaches to a glaze that will sweeten your meat. Or a warm fruit salad with cherries, balsamic vinegar, and yogurt might hit the spot.

The Kitchn recommends making peach bread, which you could probably top with the peach jam you can also make. If you're looking to quench your thirst rather than whet your appetite, you might consider making a peach smoothie or a sangria. For a peachy treat, consider a cobbler, crisp, or crumble. The Penny Hoarder mentions mini spiced rum peach pies and peach ice cream as options. If you're willing to do what it takes to reap the hidden rewards, overripe peaches can be your just desserts – or just dessert if you prefer.