Nectarines are a stone fruit and are related to peaches, cherries, plums and loquats. They grow on trees and are a bit like peaches without the fuzz. Their smooth skin is red in colour on a yellow to pale yellow background whilst the flesh can vary from almost white, yellow to almost red.
Each nectarine has a pointed, furrowed, egg-shaped seed in the middle which either comes away easily (freestone), or is difficult to remove (clingstone).
The nectarine takes their name from ‘nectar’ - the food of the gods. Nectarines are not, as some people think, a cross between a plum and a peach and it is not uncommon for a peach or a nectarine to grow on each other’s tree.
Nutritionally nectaines are similar to peaches. Yellow-fleshed nectarines have higher levels of beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A within the body. This vitamin is an immune booster, great for the skin and is an antioxidant.
Both white and yellow-fleshed varieties are good sources of vitamin C (which also acts as an antioxidant, immune booster and supports collagen) and dietary fibre.
Nectarine's sweetness comes from their natural sugar content. Most of this sugar is in the form of sucrose, the same kind as occurs in refined sugar.
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