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Upstate SC is the place for peaches

Credit: Gaffney Visitors Center and Art Gallery

It’s well documented that while Georgia is The Peach State, South Carolina produces more peaches every year, with many of them grown right here in the Upstate. There’s even a giant Peachoid along Interstate 85 in Gaffney to prove our point.

Photo courtesy of Gaffney Visitors Center & Art Gallery.

During National Peach Month in August, Livin’ Upstate takes a look at this sweet, fuzzy stone fruit that Southern cooks use to make everything from peach lemonade and iced tea to pies and cobblers.

Peaches have been an important commercial crop in South Carolina since the mid-1800s, according to the South Carolina Peach Council. The Palmetto State presently ranks as the No. 2 peach-producing state in country behind California. For the record, Georgia ranks fourth. New Jersey is third.

Abbott Farms in Gaffney and Belue Farms in Boiling Springs are among South Carolina’s major peach producers and packers. A landmark along both I-85 and I-26 in Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, Abbott Farms has been around since 1955. The family-owned business started with a roadside stand and today has six locations throughout Cherokee and Spartanburg counties in the Upstate and Florence, SC in the Midlands.

Belue Farms also was founded in 1955 when James and Betty Belue started farming with 45 acres of peach trees and a packing shed. Today, in addition to peaches, Belue Farms raises fruit, vegetables, cattle and grain, and operates Belue Farms Natural Market which specializes in local, natural and organic foods.

Other Upstate spots for finding ripe, juicy peaches include Hughey Farms in Spartanburg and Fishers Orchard in Greer. Hughey Farms offers a variety of fresh and locally grown produce at its store at 9295 Asheville Highway. Fishers Orchard on South Buncombe Road and Fishers Historical Taylors Shed on Locust Hill Road, both located in Greer, offer a full selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables.

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Packed with nutrition

Peaches are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and are rich in vitamins and minerals. One medium-sized peach has about 58 calories, less than one gram of fat and 14 grams of carbs. And it contains Vitamins A, C, E and K, along with potassium, niacin, copper and manganese. They also offer smaller amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and some B vitamins.

Numerous studies indicate that peaches may aid digestion, improve heart health, protect your skin and even reduce allergy symptoms. Whether you eat them raw, baked, grilled, broiled or sautéed, peaches are a healthy addition to any meal.

To get you started on incorporating peaches into your diet, here’s a summertime peach recipe from our friends at The Ingles Table. In this video, aspiring cook and blogger Lindsay Moore of Spartanburg, shares her Peach Pie Smoothie Bowl recipe.

Shopping List

• 2 cups frozen peaches
• 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus more, if needed)
• 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
• 1 scoop unflavored or vanilla protein powder (optional)
• 1 Tbsp almond butter
• 1 Tbsp agave syrup
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Pinch of nutmeg
• Pinch of salt
For Garnish:
• Granola (Favorite: Purely Elizabeth. – Original)
• Fresh peaches, sliced
• Pistachios (or almonds)

Instructions

• Add all smoothie ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If it becomes too liquidy for a bowl, try adding ice or more frozen peaches to thicken.
• Pour smoothie into bowl and top with granola, peaches, pistachios, or your favorite toppings.
• Enjoy!

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