Summer Harvest Decadence

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As summer is sadly coming to an end, why not have one last hurrah with a dessert that includes freshly-picked summer fruit that are still so abundant and affordable? This dish is so simple and takes minimal preparation, yet the taste is so divine your mouth will feel like it’s tasting Ferrero Rocher inside of a peach.

Summer Harvest Decadence

This dessert is so good, it’s hard to believe it’s also good for you! Hazelnuts contain heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as high amounts of vitamins E and B. Dark chocolate has high amounts of antioxidants. It also has flavonoids (called flavonols) which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C – eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange. They also have certain type of flavonoids that can protect against heart disease, cancer and inflammation. Peaches contain beta carotene and luetin – a phytochemical that protects eyes and can prevent macular degeneration. As you see, this dish is jam-packed with so many nutrients, you’ll be doing people a favor when you serve it to them; and who doesn’t like favors in the form of chocolaty desserts?

Ingredients:

½ lb. strawberries
½ cup chopped hazelnuts
1/8 cup 100% orange juice
Four peaches
One bar dark chocolate, 3.5 oz., 70% cocoa or more. (I used Lindt 70%, but I also like Godiva and Ghirardelli)

Directions:

Cut strawberries into small pieces. Mix with hazelnuts and orange juice. Set aside. Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Using a sharp knife, cut around the empty area to remove some more flesh and make the “hole” a little bigger.  Fill with strawberry salad.  Break chocolate bar into squares and melt in microwave for one minute. Using a knife, break squares that have not yet melted and keep stirring until you get a smooth consistency.

Using a teaspoon, pour melted chocolate on top of each peach half, right in the center of the peach.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serves 4.

If you have some unused strawberry salad (and you probably will), you can either just eat it as a fruit salad, or refrigerate and make more salad-filled peach halves the next day. I find it tastes best when eaten on the same day it is made, but my husband could not tell the difference when I made these peaches again with the leftover strawberry salad; he was just really, really happy.

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