Delicious & Nutritious Recipes for Preserving Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines

With summer upon us, you probably noticed an abundance of peaches, nectarines and apricots. While they are wonderful to eat fresh, now is the time to preserve some for the off season. These fruits are high in vitamin A & C, potassium, and are potent flavanoids and caroteinoids, which help reduce oxidative damage in cells. Most of us enjoy a little something extra on our morning toast but have a hard time finding any fruit spread without sugar. And finding a nutritious snack that packs well can be challenging. The following 2 recipes can be used with either of the above fruits or a combination of them.

Apricot, Peach or Nectarine Butter

Take 4 pounds, fully ripened fresh fruit, remove pits and chop in blender or food processor until very small.

Place in large kettle with 1/4 cup lemon juice and cook on low heat until thick, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

When the butter is thick, add honey to desired sweetness.

Pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust seals and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath or freeze the butter in jars or plastic freezer bags (make sure butter is cooled if using bags).

Apricot, Peach or Nectarine Leather

Follow above butter recipe, only instead of putting in jars or freezer bags, spread on a lightly oiled cookie sheet 1/4 inch thick.

Cover with a single layer of cheesecloth or plain brown paper to keep clean and place in a warm place to dry. Depending upon the weather, the pulp will dry in 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature. Drying can be hastened by placing the uncovered cookie sheets in a low oven (120 degrees F). Leave the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape, and air dry when done.

Cut in strips, stack with wax paper between layers and store in a cool, dry place.

Compiled by Nancy Blackwelder


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