We bought a bushel of peaches tonight from a man who lives up the road from us. Actually, half a bushel is for us, the other half was for my Mother-In-Law. They are beautiful peaches too, just picked yesterday! And boy, let me tell you, the flavor is outstanding. However, one question puzzled me:
But just how many peaches are in a bushel? One bushel equals about 50 lbs. of peaches. So one bushel = about 50 pounds of peaches. One pound of peaches = 3 medium peaches, so one bushel has 150 peaches.
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Of course, it doesn’t matter what size the peaches are, since it all comes down to weight. It’s easiest to figure out exactly how much you have by using a kitchen scale, but if you don’t have one, it’s pretty easy to estimate that a bushel is about 50 lbs.
If that sounds like a lot of peaches, you would be correct! Needless to say, it’s probably unlikely that you’ll be able to eat up 50 lbs of peaches before they spoil, so you’ll be needing to do something with all the excess.
In this article, I’ll not only break down some of the most common peach conversion measurements, but I’ll also give you some ideas for what to do with all those tasty peaches you harvested!
How Many Peaches Are in a Bushel?
The easiest way to figure out how many peaches you are working with is, of course, to measure them on a food scale or kitchen weight scale. Many of the best scales show both metric and conventional measurements to save your time. These tools are extremely handy and easy to use so you don’t have to “guess”-timate any more.
If you’re wondering how many peaches are in a bushel, the short answer is that one bushel yields about 50 pounds of peaches. If you want one cup of sliced peaches, you’ll need about two medium sized peaches. For pureed peach, you’ll need three to four peaches. One pound of peaches is about three medium-sized peaches, too.
If you’re going to do anything with your fresh peaches, it will be helpful for you to know a few of the most common peach conversions and measurements.
Here are some peach measurements for you, for future reference:One bushel = about 50 pounds of peachesOne pound of peaches = 3 medium or 2 large peachesOne pound = about 4 cups sliced peachesAbout 10 peaches will make a 9 inch pie.One bushel = about 12 quarts of canned peaches (from what I’ve read)A peck is a quarter of a bushel
How Long Do Peaches Last?
Wondering how long peaches are good for? Unless you’re feeding a small army, I hate to break it to you but you probably won’t be able to eat the entire bushel of peaches before it goes bad.
In most cases, peaches will only last up to three days at room temperature. After three days, they’ll be fully ripened and they won’t last long after that point. Storing your peaches in a paper bag will make them ripen even faster.
You can make peaches last a bit longer by smashing them in the fridge, ideally inside a plastic bag. This should help them last another week or so. However, it’s important to note that peaches stored in the refrigerator until they are fully ripe won’t taste as good as those that are allowed to ripen on the counter at room temperature.
How to Tell if a Peach is Fresh
Not sure if the peaches you just brought home are fresh? If you plan on preserving your peaches in any way – which I’ll get to next – it’s important that you start with the highest-quality produce. You can easily check the freshness of your peaches by giving them a gentle squeeze. Squeeze firmly but not too hard, checking to see if the fruit gives at all between your fingers. Ripe peaches are extremely soft, so plan on using soft peaches as soon as possible.
You should also take a look at the peach’s appearance. A peach that has a deep golden yellow color will be sweet and ripe – a bit of red doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t necessarily give any indication of how ripe the fruit is. You should also look at the skin around the stem. If there are wrinkles, it’s a nice, ripe peach. Peaches become wrinkly when water begins to leave the fruit. This also causes the flavor to be more intense.
Before you eat or preserve your peaches, be sure to check them thoroughly for any oozing or dark spots. An overripe peach will be soft and somewhat mushy, which doesn’t mean you can’t use it – however, if you notice mold or the fruit smells off, you may want to avoid using it if possible.
How to Preserve Peaches
For the most part, I always can my fresh peaches, but that’s far from being your only option.
Before preserving peaches in any way – freeze drying, dehydrating, or canning – you will need to remove the skins. If you leave the skins on, they’ll be too chewy after drying and very slimy after being canned. You can peel each peach one by one, or you can blanch them first.
If you’re familiar with the process of blanching and peeling tomatoes, then the process won’t be too different for your peaches. You will need to submerge the peaches in a large pot of boiling water for about one minute, then remove them and dip them in chilled water until they’re cool enough to handle. You can’t slip off the skins and process the peaches as you normally would.
Many people cold pack peaches, which involves loading the fruit into jars at room temperature and then adding boiling syrup. This allows the peaches to stay much firmer after they’ve been canned. The syrup is easy to make, too – you will just need five cups of water and around two cups of sugar.
You can alo dehydrate the peaches, which is a great way to produce lots of dried peaches for trail mix! You can dehydrate the whole peach or you can cut them in half. You can leave the skin on, but again, they’ll be somewhat tough. In most cases, you can dry peach slices in a commercial dehydrator overnight, drying at around 140 degrees or until the fruit is crisp or leathery.
One extra tip when dehydrating peaches is to dip them in lemon water first. You won’t notice the lemony flavor after they’ve been dried, but the acidity in the lemon juice will help prevent them from browning. Browning doesn’t cause the slices to taste bad in any way, but it can be somewhat unappealing to look at.
Of course, you can always freeze your peaches, too. I recommend feeding each of the peach slices individually, on a baking sheet, before you stash the slices in freezer bags. This is a good idea because it will prevent them from clumping together.
Don’t forget – you can always make peach jam, too! All you’ll need is a water bath canner and you can make tons of peach jam to enjoy on ice cream, toast, or even Brie cheese (my personal favorite).
Using Fresh Peaches: My Plans
I plan on canning all of my fresh peaches this week. My kids eat a ton of canned peaches, it’ll be nice having some that were locally grown. I wish I could have gotten more, but our budget only allowed for what we got. The man was selling them for $22 per half bushel. I wasn’t sure if that was a good deal at first or not, it sounded pretty high to me.
Really, I didn’t know how many peaches came to a bushel, so when we got home we counted them out. The man was generous with what he gave us. There were 116 med-large peaches. I looked it up, and an average bushel of peaches weighs 50 lbs. I think ours was closer to 60 lbs. So, I think we got a pretty good deal; still cheaper (and better!) than the grocery stores.
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But on top of that, he also let us pick all of the raspberries we could find from his raspberry bushes, and he sent us home with two watermelons from his garden. He apologized that I wasn’t able to get more raspberries, as somebody just came yesterday and cleaned him out.
But he welcomed me to come back again soon as more berries will be coming in. (I think he was so generous to us ’cause I brought him some cookies, grin.)
I will definitely be taking him up on his offer! I was able to scrounge up about four cups of berries, so we’ll be enjoying them tomorrow. I think the kids probably ate a couple of cups worth of berries right off of the bushes too!
This will be my first attempt at canning peaches. I’ll be sure to post a recipe and “how to” when I’ve got them all finished up. I’m wondering if I can save the pits and grow my own peach trees from them. Any ideas?