TIP OF THE DAY: Fresh Cherries | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: Fresh Cherries | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: Fresh Cherries

Rainer cherries are now in stores. We got
ours at Trader Joe’s. Photo courtesy
Washington State Fruit Commission.

  You can enjoy dried cherries year-round, but fresh cherries are a special event. They’re only available from mid-May through August, so don’t miss out: Put cherries on your shopping list.

Cherries are a healthy snack food on their own, but also consider them as recipe ingredients. Just for starters:

  • Toss plump cherries into green salads (and fruit salads, of course)
  • Make a salsa or relish to top burgers or other grilled meats, fish and poultry
  • In pasta with feta and basil
  • Make fresh cherry sorbet
  • Make sweet or savory cherry sauce to grace just about anything
    Northwest Cherries, an association of growers, has a wealth of fresh cherry recipes, from breakfast to appetizers, salads, mains and of course, desserts.

    TIP: Make life easier: Buy a cherry pitter. You can also use it to pit olives. Here’s an excellent basic cherry pitter, plus a more complex one for faster pitting.

  • Enjoy cherry trivia, history and a cherry tiramisu recipe.

    Calories In Cherries
    Cherries have a bad rap as a more “fattening” fruit. A single cherry contains about 5 calories; a cup of cherries with pitts, 87 calories; a cup of pitted cherries, 97 calories.

    Cherries & Health
    A growing number of Americans are drinking cherry juice 365 days a year. Tart red cherries contain significant levels of 17 different antioxidants, including anthocyanins and melatonin. Reports about cherry health benefits are promising. Antioxidants can help fight cell damage, which produces cancer and heart disease.

    You’ll want to get guidance from your healthcare provider, but according to the Cherry Marketing Institute, to date no other fruit or vegetable has been found to have the pain-relieving properties of tart cherries.

    Anthocyanin, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, is a natural Cox-2 inhibitor that can relieve the pain of arthritis, gout and possibly fibromyalgia for many people. Ongoing research at Michigan State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio shows that tart cherries contain enough anthocyanins to help relieve the pain of these diseases, and can be a safe alternative to drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex for the relief of pain from arthritis.

    CHERRY TRIVIA: Cherries have been eaten since prehistoric times. Wild cherry trees grew throughout Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa. The word cherry (cerise in French, cereza in Spanish) derives from a city in northern Turkey—Cerasus in the Roman Empire, Giresun today—from which the cherry was first exported to Europe.


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