EFNEP California
University of California
EFNEP California

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Cherries

cherries
The ripest cherry is large in size, deep in color, and sweet in taste, containing high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins beneficial to the body.

Nutrition Benefits

  • Cherries contain among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants
  • Cherries are an excellent source of beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries!), vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, and folate
  • Cherries also contain melatonin, which helps to regulate the body’s sleeping pattern

Serving Tips

  • “Do-it-yourself” trail mix with dried cherries, almonds, and whole-grain cereal or add dried cherries to ready-made granola
  • Add dried cherries to tossed salads, fruit salads and chicken salads
  • For breakfast, add dried cherries to your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or pancakes
  • Blend frozen cherries with cherry juice concentrate and low-fat yogurt for a healthy smoothie
  • Use cherry juice blends to marinate chicken or pork


Handling and Storage

  • Loosely pack unwashed cherries in plastic bags or place them in a shallow plate in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap
  • Store them in the refrigerator
  • Fresh cherries will last up to a week, but check them often and remove any that have gone bad


Preparation

  • When serving fresh cherries, rinse them under cold water and drain
  • Pitting: To pit cherries for cooking, halve them with a paring knife and pry out the pit with the tip of the knife
  • Sauces: If cooked for a few minutes, sweet cherries retain their firm texture and their flavor mellows. Try poaching them – this gentle cooking preserves them. Stem and pit the cherries, then drop them into a small amount of simmering water and cook until the fruit is slightly softened and heated through; about 1 to 3 minutes. Sweeten to taste and thicken the liquid with arrowroot or cornstarch, if desired
  • Freezing: You can extend the cherry season by freezing them. Rinse and drain the cherries thoroughly, then spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cherries to a freezer bag. They will keep for up to a year in your freezer


Try These Recipe Ideas

Redeye Breakfast Parfait

Ingredients
1 (8 oz.) carton low fat vanilla yogurt      
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1 ripe banana, sliced
2/3 cup low fat granola cereal

1. Combine yogurt and cherries, mix well
2. layer ½ of the yogurt mixture, ½ of the banana slices, and ½ of the granola into a parfait or wine glass
3. Repeat layering once with remaining yogurt mixture, banana slices, and granola

Smoked Turkey and Cherry Salad

Ingredients 

Dressing:
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Salad:
8 cups mixed salad greens
3 cups chopped cooked smoked turkey
1 cup dried tart cherries
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup toasted silvered almonds

 1. For dressing, combine olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, and sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Season with salt and pepper
2. For salad, divide greens
3. Arrange turkey, dried cherries, green onions, and almonds equally over each serving of greens
4. Drizzle with dressing just before serving



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