There’s nothing like a bowl of fresh fruit on a hot summer day to leave you feeling refreshed, healthy, and if you’re like us at Organic Earthly Delights, with a big smile on your face. So, if you’re looking for the perfect antidote to summer weather, look no further than this 2,000-year-old fruit which first originated in China, the nectarine.
The Nectarine Comes To America
After then being cultivated in ancient Rome, Greece, and Persia, the nectarine was also grown in Great Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries before being introduced by the Spanish to America where it was first seen growing in Virginia.
It’s Time For Pomology Class
Now first, you’re probably asking what in the world is pomology. Pomology is the science of growing fruit and is a branch of botany which studies and cultivates fruit. For the nectarine, what does this mean?
Believe it or not, the nectarine comes from the rose family, or as it is more technically known, the rosaceae family, pronounced “ro-ZAY-see-ee”. The nectarine is also a genus of trees and shrubs. Other well-known fruit that share in this are plums, cherries, peaches, and apricots. The species identification for the nectarine is persica var. nucipersica.
Did you get all of that? We’ll have a test later on in the post to further test your pomology knowledge of the nectarine.
What Is The Difference Between A Nectarine And A Peach?
Often, the nectarine and the peach get lumped together, or shall we say, pitted together? Although there are many similarities between them both, there are some differences.
Without the skin, the nectarine and the peach might confuse some, but the most obvious difference between the two is that the nectarine, which is generally smaller, has a smooth coating compared to the fuzzy coating of the peach. Otherwise, the two are essentially genetically identical. Nectarines also tend to be more delicate and can bruise more easily, but also a little more firmer than the peach.
The Nectarine Is A Stone Fruit
This is a fun question for you the next time you are out to eat by asking your server if they have any fresh stone fruit that day. The reactions will vary, but would be fun to watch.
For some, this might be the first time you have ever heard of the nectarine being referred to as a stone fruit. But what exactly is a stone fruit? A stone fruit is a fruit that has a pit, or as some call them, a stone, in the middle of them.
Two Types Of Nectarines
For most of us, a nectarine is a nectarine. But, are there different types of nectarines? The answer is yes. There are two different types of nectarines along with over 100 varieties.
Here are the two types of nectarines:
- Freestone – In this type of nectarine, the pit separates from the skin easily
- Clingstone – in this type of nectarine, the skin clings to the pit.
With this description of these two different types of nectarines, do you recall a time when you have had either a freestone or clingstone?
What Are Favorite Ways People Like To Eat Nectarines?
There are so many enjoyable ways to eat a nectarine. Whether it be in the palm of your hand or as a tasty compliment to any number of dishes, here are 5 different ways to enjoy a nectarine.
- Fruit Salad – Because, why not? The combination of various fruits is always a recipe for enjoyment that leaves you feeling good inside.
- Fruit Smoothie – Nothing can bring together the taste buds of toddlers to on the go professionals, gym rats, dieters and everyone in between than a smoothie made with fresh fruit. It’s so easy too. Just mix nectarines with some orange juice, banana and maybe some vanilla yogurt along with ice and milk and you’ll have your new favorite smoothie drink.
- Grilled Nectarine – Grilling nectarines until they are golden brown with a touch of cinnamon and honey will leave your taste buds begging for more. Especially when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- In a Salad – How does a nice sweet kale salad with nectarines, chicken, pecans and goat cheese sound? Top it off with a honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and you’ll have the perfect summer salad that’s also gluten-free.
- In The Palm of Your Hand – Well, this goes without saying. From young to old, there’s nothing like eating a nectarine right from the palm of your hand.
What Are The Health Benefits To Eating A Nectarine?
When all is said and done, the nectarine is packed with a lot of health benefits. Not only is it a great antidote for a warm day, it is also a great antidote to living a healthy life. What are some of the health benefits to eating nectarines?
Here Are 4 Health Benefits To Eating A Nectarine
- Heart – keeping your heart healthy with nectarines is a good bet as they are a good source of fiber and potassium. These nutrients also help promote healthy cholesterol as well.
- Cancer – The nectarine is rich with bioflavonoids and especially carotenoids, which are found within the fruit’s yellow skin. These antioxidants, which are pigments, help to protect against cancer. These antioxidants, which contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and beta carotene, also can help to reduce cellular damage as the body burns oxygen.
- Weight Loss – Containing just 44 calories per 100 grams, the nectarine has no saturated fats. The fiber in nectarine also helps manage hunger and aids in weight control.
- Blood Pressure – Did you know that one medium sized nectarine contains around 285 mg of potassium? Potassium is an aid to helping control blood pressure by balancing the effects of sodium. To maximize this and other healthy nutrients in the nectarine, you’ll want to enjoy your nectarine, with skin on. Please note, maintaining a healthy balance with your potassium intake is critical, especially for elderly people and those with kidney disease.
After reading all about these many health benefits to eating nectarines as well as some tasty ways to enjoy them, we’ll bet you’re starting to crave some fresh ones at your table.
Have You Visited Our Farm Stand?
Our Honor System Farm Stand is full of the freshest Certified Organic produce, raw cheese, eggs and much more right in Madras Oregon. Come in and take a look. You’re welcome to shop at any time. All of these items are available for home delivery as well. Here is our online store if you’d like to see what is available this week.
So, How Well Do You Know Nectarines?
As promised, here are a few questions for you to answer about nectarines. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post and now will be able to share this fun knowledge with your family and friends.
Here are 5 questions to test your knowledge as well as how you can enjoy them today:
- The nectarine comes from the __________ family.
- The nectarine is a _________ fruit.
- The two types of nectarines are ___________ and ____________.
- You can get fresh nectarines at our farm __________.
- Fresh nectarines are also available for home ____________ as well.