Blueberry Peach Fruit Salad with Thyme

Please welcome Garrett McCord who shares this delicious cancer-fighting fruit salad with us. ~Elise

Recently my mom, Suzanne McCord, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was surprised when I heard the news, my mother is in her early sixties, but is insanely active and healthy. The woman recently participated the AIDS lifecycle event; a 6 day, 550 mile bike ride. A few days after, she was off to Egypt and Russia. I get tired biking to work, and my last big trip was Napa which is only an hour away. In fact, her main concern after being diagnosed was that the surgery would get in the way of her bike riding.

After hearing about mom, I went to work doing some research about ways I could help using what I know best – food. I wanted to put together something that was easy to prepare, full of flavor, and packed with cancer fighting vitamins and antioxidants. After a bit of research into cancer smart foods and what seemed to work well, I developed this recipe.

This simple fruit salad works at the start of the meal or as a dessert. The fruit is lightly glazed with either a simple syrup or agave syrup. Ginger, a bit of lemon, and some savory thyme which pairs amazingly with summer fruits accents the tartness of the berries and the sweetness of the stone fruit. In recognition of my awesome, kicking cancer-butt mom, I’ve nicknamed this a Suzanne Salad.

Blueberry Peach Fruit Salad with Thyme Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4-8.

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches
  • 4 nectarines
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is, you may be able to skip all together)
  • Or 1 tablespoon of agave syrup in lieu of water and sugar

Method

1 If using water and sugar place them into a saucepot and bring to a boil and liquid is reduced by half into a simple syrup. Allow to cool.

2 Chop up the peaches and nectarines and place them in a bowl with the blueberries. Pour over the cooled simple syrup or agave syrup. Add the thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ginger.

3 Stir and cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and allow to macerate for one hour. Serve.

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garrettss-mom-suzanne.jpg
Garrett's mom on her bike

Luckily, her surgery was a success and with the doctors finding no need to proceed with chemo or radiation she is well on the road of recovery; something she attributes to getting her yearly mammogram, which allowed her to catch it early. Guys and girls, please be sure to get yourself checked regularly by your doctor in order to keep yourself healthy, aware, and safe.

I, Elise, and my mother all encourage you to please check out the links at the end of this post for information on cancer awareness and various resources. We also encourage anyone with a food blog to post their own cancer conscious recipes or leave them in the comments section.

Cooking to Combat Cancer from Mele Cotte
Cooking to Combat Cancer 2 from Mele Cotte
Taste of Yellow from Winos and Foodies
World's Healthiest Foods
Cook for the Cure
American Cancer Society
Prostate Cancer Foundation

24 Comments

  1. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Hooray for your mom — she is a role model for all of us. Great recipe, too; the ginger and blueberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and will help strengthen the immune system. And, oh by the way, they taste great!

  2. Melissa

    That sounds really delicious, and I love the touching story behind it. Your blog is really excellent!

  3. S for Kitchen Confit

    I’m so glad your mom is doing well – thanks for the recipe for the salad, it looks delicious.

  4. Denise

    Garrett, your mom looks AWESOME!! Kudos to you for sharing your heartwarming story and encouraging us all to eat healthy but tasty.

    Thanks Denise, though it’s more her heartwarming story. I have to give her the credit. ;) ~Garrett

  5. Lady Amalthea

    So glad to hear your Mom is doing better! And she’s right–the best thing is to stay on top of your health and check-ups, etc.

    And how sweet of you to make such a healthy, delicious salad in her honor.

  6. Alison in Texas

    My sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of this year while she was 5-6 months pregnant. The baby (a healthy boy) was born in May. She had to stop chemo the last trimester because of the baby, but she’s doing ok, and the baby, Kieran, is doing fantastic. Kate and her husband Pete are also doing fine. I’m sending them this recipe and story and I’m sure Kate will find your mom’s story inspirational. Thanks very much!

  7. Glitterati

    Garrett, your mom looks like a more-fun Julianne Moore! I can’t believe she’s in her 60’s!

    And thanks for sharing your recipe and your mom’s story… the salad sounds delicious, and your mom sounds like a really courageous and positive person.

    -Cara

  8. Sarah

    You must be joking that the woman in the photo is your mom — NO WAY can that woman be old enough to have an adult son!!! She’s an inspiration. Best wishes to her and to you as she continues to recover.

    P.S. The salad looks delicious!

  9. Kalyn

    Your mom really does look amazing, and I’m so glad that the story has such a happy ending. What a lovely son you are to make a cancer-fighting salad for your mom too. It sounds like it will taste great too!

  10. Stacia

    That recipe looks delicious. I adore thyme on fruit! Good news about your mother, and thank you for sharing the story and photo with us. She looks amazing! Are you sure she’s in her 60s?

  11. Regina

    I made this salad today and it was amazing! I added a bit of extra ginger for some spiciness. I LOVE the thyme with the fruit! Consider me a convert!

  12. Barbara

    I love to read the words “It was diagnosed early and no chemo needed”. Brilliant.

  13. Dragon

    Thank goodness for mothers, eh? I love the addition of thyme in this dish. Can’t wait to try it.

  14. The Restaurant Blogger

    First off, congratulations to your mom for beating cancer. It’s always nice to hear inspiring stories like your mom. She looks strong and great for her age.

    Secondly, the fruit salad looks so appealing and I’m sure taste good too. Great combination of fruits.

    I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 21 and was luckily cured after two years. It was scary not knowing what it was and that it required three hospitals to diagnose the type of cancer. During my treatment, I was fortunate enough to have met Mike Milken, the founder of CaP CURE, now known as the Prostate Cancer Foundation. He shared his story of survival and being told he only had 12-18 months to live. It was touching to hear his story and his willingness to inspire others. I was given his book, “The Taste for Living Cookbook” which I recommend to everyone. It contains recipes for fighting cancer.

    It’s the first time I have visited your blog. I love it!

  15. Sabrina

    Thanks for sharing your story. Your Mom is an inspiration.

  16. Tina

    Does this need to be served immediately? I’m thinking of packing it for a camping trip so it’d be left in a cooler for probably 8 hours or so before it is eaten.

    Nope, that should be fine. If anything it will develop more sugary maceration juices which are quite yummy in my opinion. ~Garrett

  17. bee

    Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. All the best to her.

  18. Nicky

    Congrats to your mom beating cancer. Tell her it’s great to have her join the ranks of us SURVIVORS!!!!!!! Cheers Suzanne.

    Great blog …. I have it bookmarked but had to come out of lurking to say congrats to her.

  19. scichick

    I can’t wait to to try this salad! I also shared this recipe with my mom who just emerged victorious in a showdown with endometrial cancer. In the picture it looks like there are also chopped apples, but I don’t see them in the ingredient list. Am I crazy? :o)

    Props to your mom!!! As for the apple, yeah, you’re crazy. However, they might be quite tasty added to this. ~Garrett

  20. Arkashka

    Thanks for your mum, she, probably, really succeeds. Very good salad!

  21. Gwen

    This was an AMAZING salad! I made it this weekend. I couldn’t get my hands on thyme, so I used mint. Instead of simple syrup (trying to cut processed sugar from the diet where possible), I used about 1/4 cup of sour cherry preserves.

    OH MY GOODNESS! We ate this by itself first – wonderful. The next day, after lots of juice had been created – we ladled it over pound cake and/or vanilla ice cream – EVEN BETTER!

    Thanks Elise! Really a keeper recipe!

  22. Rick

    scichick: I believe that the “apples” you see are the (white) nectarines.

  23. Vicki

    It sounds like a wonderful recipe, but if you are trying to beat cancer, you should not use sugar. The fruit is sweet enough. Sugar feeds the cancer cells.

  24. bakesick

    Firstly, happy for your mom. Hope she’s fine always.
    When I read the tittle, I wonder about mixing fruits with thyme? Hmm~ kinda interesting recipe. Thanks. :D

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