I never really paid much attention to the Whole30 diet until fairly recently when a couple of friends started talking about giving it a go. I had heard about what it entailed: no grains, even the no-gluten kind, no legumes, no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy; plenty of protein (mostly animal and egg, because soy = legume), plenty of vegetables, plenty of fruit, plenty of nuts, plenty of good-for-you fat. Caffeine (black coffee/black or green tea) OK. The caffeine part, that was good news. I could actually do the Whole30 if I didn't have to give up morning coffee (which I drink black anyway). But for now, I'm reluctant to be that strident about what I eat this summer, and I also like grains and legumes too much to go without (and wine, for that matter). Anyway, this is not a Whole30 post.
It IS however, a Whole30-friendly post. Enter baked peaches. This might be one of my favorite desserts to make in the summer. Not only is it dead easy to get right but it's also especially revelatory on just-okay, not-very-tasty-on-the-verge-of-being-mealy peaches. Baking them takes the bland pulp and makes it sweeter, with complex, caramel undertones. Gotta hand it to the Maillard reaction on this one: as the peaches bake and the fruits' sugars caramelize, their flavor naturally concentrates almost as if they had been glazed with syrup.
You could do this with with peaches alone: simply halve the peach, remove the pit, put on a rimmed baking sheet cut-side up, and bake at about 350 to 400F for 20 minutes. If you happen to be stuck on the Whole30 regimen in the summer, this might become your favorite dessert.
But it's even e little better with a little honey or maple syrup drizzled on top before baking.
Word to the wise: peach juice does get sticky, so I like to line the pan with either foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup.
For texture, add some unsweetened coconut flakes and/or slivered almonds in the final few minutes of baking. And that's about all you need to do. Peach dessert that tastes much better than you'd ever think it could.