Choosing Cherries

June 30, 2015 – Summertime means cherry time and these little bursts of flavor are packing a powerful better-for-you punch. One cup of cherries serves up almost 5,000 total antioxidants and 3 grams of fiber, not to mention a healthy dose of melatonin to help you sleep! Are you ready to brighten up your summer with cherries?  We’ll show you how.

How to Choose It
For the ideal sweet-but-tangy cherry flavor, choose cherries that are large and firm. Stems should be green and fresh to accompany smooth, bruise-free skin.

How to Store It
Keep cherries fresh in the refrigerator, preferably wrapped in a plastic bag. Or, for long-term storage, consider freezing – simply line cherries along a baking sheet, place in freezer and move to an air-proof container once frozen. Avoid washing cherries until they’re ready to eat, as excess moisture can lead to premature spoilage.

How to Use It
Eating fresh out of hand is the best way to reap the rich nutrition benefits of cherries. However, cherries are a versatile fruit and can be enjoyed in an endless amount of flavorful ways. Pitted, frozen cherries make great additions to smoothies or margaritas, and chopped cherries add a tasty touch to cream cheese. For a quick and fresh way to brighten up your summer, try this Cherry Berry salad from our friends at Superfresh Growers!

Cherry_ Berry_Salad_600x600Cherry Berry Salad

Ingredients
4 cups pitted fresh cherries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cored diced apples

Honey Lime Dressing
Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon each fresh lime juice and honey, 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint, 1/2 teaspoon shredded lime peel and 1/8 teaspoon salt; mix well. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Directions
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until served.

Makes 6 servings.

Tips
Fresh blackberries, raspberries or halved strawberries may be substituted for blueberries.
Fresh pineapple or orange may be added to salad.


 

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