Megan Murphy: You won’t miss added sugar, butter in cobbler

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Sweet, juicy peaches are finally here. Delicious on their own or baked into sweet desserts, this fruit is a true Southern favorite.

Like most fruits, peaches appeal to both our sweet tooth and our desire to eat healthfully. A medium peach contains a modest 40 calories or so but contributes 10 percent of the vitamin C we need daily, 6 percent of the vitamin A and a little fiber as well.

Peaches are plentiful right now in almost every Southern state. In fact, half the peaches produced in the United States come from the Southern region. Most of the rest come from California. You can find several places to pick your own peaches in our area, or you can shop for locally grown peaches at the many farmers markets around Memphis and Shelby County.

If you pick your own, pick fruits that smell sweet and have that lovely peach aroma. If you are buying peaches at the grocery store, they will be firmer and need to ripen a bit in a brown bag on your counter. While peaches won’t develop more sugar once they are picked, as they ripen their acid content decreases, making them taste sweeter. Choose peaches that are golden yellow and red in color, with very little or no green.

Today’s recipe is a take on peach cobbler, a popular dessert found at almost every summer gathering or family reunion. This rendition is almost a cross between a traditional cobbler and a peach cake. While it’s not totally healthful, since it does contain refined flour and sugar, it does have some whole wheat flour, and uses Splenda to replace some of the sugar, making it more healthful than a traditional version. You might be able to replace the remaining half-cup of sugar with Splenda also, which would further decrease the calories and carbohydrates per serving.

This recipe contains no added fat, but you won’t miss it. Often, traditional cobblers call for some butter in the crust/cake part and then have you dot the fruit with additional dabs of butter. But the fresh, ripe peaches are so flavorful, and taste delicious with the cinnamon spiciness, so you really don’t need the added flavor that butter generally provides.

This cobbler is sweet but not cloyingly so. I had it for breakfast one recent morning paired with a little vanilla yogurt, and it was perfect. If you are having it for dessert, you might serve it with a dollop of frozen vanilla yogurt. Plain or adorned, either way I think this version will satisfy your craving for peach cobbler without increasing your waistline.

Megan Murphy is a Tennessee-licensed registered dietitian and associate professor of nutrition at Southwest Tennessee Community College. Call 277-3062, fax 529-2787, e-mail


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