Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Grilling peaches gives them a wonderful, soft smoky sweetness that’s hard to define. Here, they are paired with chicken breasts marinated in a complementary dressing of lemon, mustard, and fresh basil to transform the simple ingredients into a gourmet entrée.
The longer you marinate the chicken, the stronger the flavor. The problem is that the marinade will eventually break down the chicken’s muscle fibers. The solution? Prepare the chicken and marinate it in the morning instead of the night before. Feel free to add more peaches or double the whole recipe for tasty leftovers throughout the week. Leftover chilled grilled peaches can be added to salads or chopped into a light salsa for beef, pork, fish, or turkey. Enjoy!
Click here for the Grilled Basil Balsamic Chicken and Peaches recipe.
Notes from the Clean Food Coach:
Chicken breasts grill more evenly if they have a uniform thickness. To even them up, lay chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper or inside a large open plastic baggie and pound to an even thickness with the smooth side of a meat mallet or the edge of a skillet before marinating.
Featured Ingredient: Peaches
Peaches aren’t usually thought of as a superfood, but they’re pretty doggone good for you. They’re low in calories, feature a generous 2 grams of fiber, and include small but measurable amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and K. They even boast not insignificant amounts of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium, plus a little beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. To top it all off, they also contain a smattering of lutein and zeaxanthin, the superstar carotenoids of eye nutrition.
Not bad for a mere 38 calories per medium-sized fruit. And just for good measure, they have a low glycemic load—meaning they don’t spike most people’s blood sugar.
The New Superbreed of Peaches
In coming years, peaches may even reach “superstar” status, if researchers at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station have anything to say about it. “The trend is to develop varieties that have more health benefits because the public is becoming more health-conscious and making decisions based on that,” says experiment station researcher Dr. David Byrne. “Twenty years ago, the [breeding] emphasis was on big and pretty. That’s still important, but now we’re looking at quality and trying to develop peaches with better health benefits.”
Peaches already rank high in some types of phytochemicals and have been shown to have good to excellent antioxidant activity, some antimicrobial activity, and good to excellent tumor growth inhibition activity. Not to mention that a perfectly ripened peach is one of the most delicious things on earth.
When buying peaches, make sure they’re good and ripe—they don’t ripen well after picking. And be careful, as one small bruise can cause them to go bad. It’s also worth noting that peaches frequently make the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and veggies most heavily contaminated with pesticides (including the 2020 list). So to protect against chemical exposure, be sure to buy organic.