Harvest of the Month: Cherries

There’s a reason we say “with a cherry on top” to refer to something special. The little fruit is not only packed with flavor, it also packs a nutritional punch.

And you can enjoy those benefits in a variety of forms. Obviously, fresh cherries can be eaten alone, and we love cherries in baked goods, but cherries also add great flavor to meats and pair well with certain herbs and spices for salads, side dishes, relishes, and more.

Best of all, the more ways you find to enjoy cherries, the more ways you benefit, as cherries are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, as well as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and other health agents.

When shopping for cherries, you’ll probably find fruit from one of five states: Washington, Oregon, and California for sweet cherries, and Michigan, Utah, and Washington for tart cherries.

Be aware that you can’t always judge a cherry by how red it is. The color of ripe cherries ranges from deep crimson to yellow, so know what variety you’re selecting, and always choose fruits that are firm to the touch and that have bright green stems.

Store unwashed cherries up to a week uncovered in your refrigerator, and rinse them with water before eating or cooking with them. To freeze cherries, rinse with cold water with stem and pit intact and drain. Then, put them in freezer bags or containers and freeze them for up to a year.

Try cherries in this Fresh Cherry Salsa!

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