Cherries are both high in fiber and a good source of antioxidants. Cherries are abundant in anthocyanins, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties and help promote eye, heart, and nervous system health, while the quercetin and ellagic acid in cherries help fight cancer. As you learned from this week’s video another important component of cherries is melatonin, which helps calm the nervous system and relieve insomnia!
Did you know that our Nutrition Factors Library is bursting with juicy details and fun facts of your favorite fruits and vegetables? Check out our page on Cherries to see a glimpse into our vast library!
Cherry Checklist: How to Know when Your Cherries are Perfectly Ripe:
When buying cherries, look for fruit that is plump and firm. They should be uniformly dark in color and give off a nice aroma. The stem, if still attached, should be bright green. There should not be any wrinkles where the stem meets the fruit. Cherries are highly perishable, but their shelf life can be extended by storing them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. This should keep them fresh for 4 to 7 days. Or, alternatively, you can freeze cherries for later use. Any cherries that are bruised or moldy should be discarded immediately. Refrigerate the remainder, but hold off washing them until you are ready to eat them or use them in a recipe.
Here are some of our favorite Cherry inspired recipes in our Recipe Database:
Silk’s Cashew Cherry Chip Breakfast Cookies: Cookies for breakfast?! You may be asking if it’s too good to be true but these morning delights contain oats, flax, apple sauce, cherries, and Cashew Milk Silk® Unsweetened Vanilla Cashewmilk which “delivers irresistibly creamy taste with a delicious note of vanilla. With 1/3 the calories of skim milk1 and no added sugar,2 it’s delightfully drinkable.”
Blendtec’s Cherry Pecan Energy Bars: This gluten-free, dairy-free, and whole-food energy bar has endless variations simply use different fruit and nut combinations. (BEST Part: These only take 5 minutes to make!)
Choose Cherries’ Fire-Roasted Corn and Cherry Salsa: This fire roasted salsa is great served with chicken or fish! This is a great recipe to sneak some fruit in for those picky eaters. Nutrient dense cherries add a new twist to this chunky cherry & corn salsa!
You can’t miss out on the benefits of cherries so here are some other creative out-of-the-box uses to add these fiber and antioxidant packed fruit into your diet:
- Cherry compote: Heat fresh pitted cherries in a skillet along with a little brown sugar (2 tablespoons sugar for 1 lb. of cherries). After about 4 minutes, add a little balsamic vinegar, and fresh thyme and cook another minute. Serve warm on a round of goat cheese. (Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.)
- Toss a handful of cherries in your favorite granola bars, quick breads, scones, or cookies recipes
- Black Forest Cake: The Nutrition Factors website includes low-calorie versions of chocolate cake. With the simple addition of cherries and low fat whipped cream, you have a worthy decadent dessert–in both appearance and taste–but with not as many calories.
Because hot weather calls for lighter meals, chicken may be on the dinner menu often. But like any other frequently eaten foods, to keep it from being tiresome and either perk up jaded appetites or keep you from craving other less diet-friendly foods, you need to vary the preparation. With that in mind, why not serve chicken with cherry sauce. Saute fresh cherries with a few shallots until soft. Then add two tablespoons red wine and a cup of low sodium chicken broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced.
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Corriher, S. (2017, June/July). Choosing fruit that’s fully ripe. Fine Cooking. Retrieved from http://www.finecooking.com/article/choosing-fruit-thats-truly-ripe
Dziemianowicz, J. (2017, June 21). How to tell if your favorite summer fruits are ripe. New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/big-town/favorite-summer-fruits-ripe-article-1.3266307
Still Tasty (2017). Your ultimate shelf life guide: Keep it or toss it. Retrieved from http://www.stilltasty.com/