One of my favorite fruits out there are nectarines. They are sweet with a tart flavor to them. They can be very similar to peaches but I would say nectarines are crunchier. Nectarines contain MANY health benefits like:
- Vitamin A – Great for eyes and vision
- Vitamin C – Great for immune system, healing of wounds, healthy skin, blood vessels, and bone
- Beta-Carotene (Precursor of Vitamin A) – Great for your eyes, skin, and immunity
- Folate – Good for red blood cell formation, bodily function, and fetal development during pregnancy
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Great for red blood cell formation, increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind), lowers triglycerides, boosts brain function
- Potassium – Great for preventing muscle cramps as well as improving heart health
- Calcium – Great for bone health
When you pick nectarines out at the grocery store, they may all look very similar and it can be difficult to tell which one is good, so you might end up just randomly choosing them. By the time you arrive home to try them, you might notice that some are so much more flavorful while others might have a bland flavor. You might wonder if there is a trick to pick out the better tasting ones? There is one actually!
How to Pick the Best Tasting Nectarines
Here is a picture of a flavorful, tasty nectarine and a fairly bland one. Can you tell the difference at first?At first glance, the one on the RIGHT might look tastier. It has a nice shade of red as well as some yellow, it essentially has some nice coloring to it. I mean, nice coloring probably equates to great taste right? Actually…not quite! Surprisingly, it is actually the one on the LEFT that has the most flavor between the two. How can one tell though?
Well, the one on the left has these unique marks on them that almost gives it an “unclean” or “ugly” appearance to it. They are like little brownish, freckled spots. This is a tell tale sign that this nectarine will be much sweeter, more tart-like than the more appealing, cleaner looking nectarine (the one on the RIGHT of the photo).
Here is another great example:Do you notice the center nectarine with a large, decaying looking brown spot? Well, between the tiny freckled brown spotted one and this large brown decaying spot one, this nectarine with the large brown decaying spot would be the MOST tasty one, although both would still be quite flavorful.
In summary, to pick the best nectarines, you want to go for the most ugly one with brown spots. The more noticeable and bigger the brown spot, the better. Of course, you should also take into account whether the fruit was crushed or bruised (sorry, that won’t make it any tastier). I guess the saying is true here, “never judge a book by its cover”, but perhaps we should change it to “never judge a fruit by its look”!
Reason Why These Nectarines are So Flavorful
I am not sure if there is a real explanation for this unique phenomenon. But if I had to guess and from my understanding of science, it would actually be due to the sugar content within the fruit. Sugar seems to have this effect of making things age or decay faster. This might explain why conditions like diabetes even exists when one consumes excess sugars for a long period time. Diabetes is quite taxing on some organs, interferes with circulation, and our cells just essentially age faster.
On that note, that could explain why these nectarines with brownish, decaying spots are sweeter than other ones. Those spots are just giveaway signs of how sweet the fruit will be!
Knowing that, if you do actually have diabetes, you may want to consume these flavorful nectarines with moderation.
When Nectarines Are in Season
They are most abundant during the months of summer: June, July, and August. Depending on the area and climate, you might even see them as early as late April or as late as October.
Tool to Help with Slicing Them
I usually slice bits and pieces from the nectarine with a knife and work my way around the seed. But if you are on the go and need to slice them ahead of time, you can try using this wedger tool.
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Using the stem of fruit as the standard, you will need to position the center hole of wedger tool (oval shaped) to match the shape or seam of the fruit (kind of where the two halves of the fruit meet together). Then you press firmly down with the tool and you will have nicely sliced nectarines.
Nectarines are very nutritious fruits. Unfortunately, they only appear during the warmer season. Since they are just around the corner, you are now more prepared on how to pick out the best tasting ones when they finally appear at the grocery stores. You can even use the wedger tool to slice them up. Hope you have a great experience with nectarines this upcoming season!
If you like this hack on how to pick the best nectarines, check out another hack on how to pick the best bell peppers! Other than that, please leave a comment below!