peaches are my life

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As long as I can remember, I've been crazy about peaches. It's sad that I don't eat them more often but I've become very picky when it comes to this delectable fruit. A good, juicy peach tastes like heaven, but a bad, spongy peach is the biggest letdown in the world. So I only buy peaches when I know they in their prime and only from reliable sources-farmers markets in the summertime. After my stint in San Francisco I took a few days to make my way down to Los Angeles via Pacific Coast Highway. I have done the coastal drive once before and was blown away by the beaches and cliff side views. This time I was hoping to make a few different stops than last time. Unfortunately, I was terribly sick the whole time and couldn't enjoy the trip as much as I had hoped. I very rarely get sick so I kept brushing it off and trying to ignore it. Strep throat (finally caved and went to the doctor a few days later) is very hard to ignore. Anyway, the drive was still beautiful and we managed to make a few stops in Santa Cruz, Carmel, Cambria, Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara. We skipped over wine country (I must have been pretty sick to pass up quality wine tasting right?).

The farmers market was going on during our stop in Santa Barbara and we stocked up on peaches after trying samples from every peach vendor. This load of perfectly plump and juicy peaches inspired me to try a few peach recipes. A couple of salads and of course peach pie!! The first salad I made was filled with our farmers market goodies!

Summer Peach Salad

fresh arugula

candy cane beets (steamed, peeled, and cut)

avocados

peach slices (I used one yellow peach and one white peach)

heirloom tomatoes

sunflower seeds

I just tossed all of these ingredients together and tossed it with vegan Goddess dressing. You can add any other fresh veggies that sound good!

Peach salad-practically perfect in every way! Such a light and delicious summer treat. The second summer salad I tried was a recipe from Bon Appetit. The article was focused on avocados but I was drawn in when I saw that peaches were also incorporated. And the dressing recipe looked amazing and simple-a roasted red pepper vinaigrette. I used roasted red peppers out of a jar and it worked perfectly. And there was extra dressing for dipping or another salad (I made a grapefruit avocado salad the next day!). Just out of convenience, I used a fresh spring mix instead of arugula and added cucumbers since my sisters garden was overloaded with ripe ones. O and add Spike to the avocado of course ! This recipe is to die for!

Peach Avocado Salad

And last but certainly not least...Peach Pie. I think this is the first pie I've posted. My sister wanted to make this pie and I kept putting it off because I was a bit intimidated. After years and years of baking, I've never made a traditional fruit pie. It's always a crisp or cake or quick bread. But I don't know what I was so scared of because it turned out peachy keen! We made a simple spelt crust and was pretty easy to work with.

Vegan Spelt Pie Crust

3 cups spelt flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

1/2 light oil (I used canola)

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or by hand. Separate into two sections and roll into balls. Using a rolling-pin roll out each ball into a 9 inch circle. One will be the bottom of the pie and one will be the top (I cut it into strips to lattice the top of the pie).

Peach Pie Filling

5 1/2 cups fresh peeled peach slices

1 tsp lemon juice

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat of course!)

3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a 9 inch pie plate and lay the dough in the bottom. Put in freezer while preparing the filling. Place peaches in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients and add to the peach mixture. Pour the filling in the pie crust. Use the dough strips to create a lattice pie crust and sprinkle the top with extra sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 30-35 minutes. Let cool. And finally enjoy! It's delicious hot with soy creamy vanilla ice cream or cold with a yummy cup of coffee-dessert and breakfast the next morning!!

Perfect peach pie. Pie, pie, me oh my, I love pie!