I don’t think I have to do a very hard sell on cherries. Most of us are more than happy to wolf down our fair share when they hit the produce shelves in the summertime. But did you know that cherries have a great deal of health benefits, too?
Cherries boast an impressive list of antioxidants. They contain anthocyanin glycosides which have anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful with conditions like arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. Cherries also contain the antioxidant melatonin which has a soothing effect on the nerves and aids in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. There has been a link between cherries and the prevention of Alzheimer’s and cancer. Here are some other bonuses you can expect to get with your cherries:
- Vitamin C
- minerals: potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese
This post was inspired when I bought my annual box o’ cherries at the farmer’s market. I got 20 pounds of organic cherries for $40. That’s $2 per lb! I spent a lot of time pitting cherries, let me tell you! If you find yourself face to face with that many cherries, you’re going to want a cherry pitter. They double as an olive pitter, too!
My cherry pitter just pits one cherry at a time, like this one. But there are some great models that can tackle multiple cherries at once (like this one) or have a little more automation (like this one). Now that I’m looking at them and after pitting 20 lbs of cherries, I will definitely have an upgrade by next summer!
Now you might wonder what I do with that many cherries! Well the truth of the matter is that a good portion of them get placed on a baking sheet, frozen and then transferred to freezer bags to be used for smoothies and such in winter when there isn’t a cherry to be had!
Some of the cherries got baked, cultured, or somehow incorporated into a recipe that keeps at room temperature or in the freezer. And the rest were used in savory recipes that were gobbled up for instant gratification! Not counting the ones that got snacked on during the toil of pitting!
I’m sharing with my readers the 8 recipes I created with this year’s cherry crop. We’ll start with the cherry breakfast smoothie I will be enjoying in the winter months with all those frozen cherries!
1. Cherry Breakfast Smoothie
12-15 whole pitted cherries (make sure they’re all pitted before they go in the blender!)
2 raw eggs (optional)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon powdered maca root
1 tablespoon coconut oil (heated to melting)
1 handful of spinach
stevia to taste
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Add some soaked chia seeds for a creamy texture and some added omega-3s.
Enjoy the rest of the 8 recipes in the links below and make the most of your summer cherries!!
This post is linked to Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.