Cherries are one of my favorite fruits! Growing up in Davis, California, we had a tree in our backyard. I used to sit in that tree each summer and devour homegrown ripe cherries by the handful. Now I live in Colorado and cherries are only in season for a few weeks a year –usually from late June to early August. That’s when the farmer’s market and grocery stores here are overflowing with this luscious fruit, and I make sure to get my hands on them just like I did when I was a girl!
The cherries pictured above are Raniers, they’re fully ripe even with the yellow coloring you see. Bing cherries are more common than Raniers and are a deep red color that is almost purple. The flesh of both Ranier and Bing cherries is semi-firm, and they have a rich, sweet flavor with just a hint of tartness. Like apricots, plumbs, and peaches, cherries are called stone fruit, because the seed is large and stone-like.
Cherries are a phenomenal tasting real food –they’re high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and full of anti-inflammatory compounds such as anthocyanin, the pigment in cherries that has numerous health benefits including helping to regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation.
We all know that cherries can be eaten raw or made into jam; they can also be frozen and used in smoothies. Better yet, they can be baked into a pie or fruit crumble type of dessert. I’m especially fond of using cherries in unexpected ways such as a savory salad or a chicken dish. Here’s a few of my recipes that use cherries, some use fresh, others use frozen.
- Cherry Arugula Solstice Salad
- Cherry Berry Syrup
- Cherry Blueberry Crumble
- Cherry Orange Salad
- Cherry Strawberry Ice Cream
- Cherry Vanilla Power Bars
- Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Cranberry Cherry Sauce
- Magically Moist Cherry Apricot Cake
What’s your favorite way to eat this luscious incredible fruit? Do you grow your own? Do you have a favorite cherry recipe? Leave a comment and let us know!
Cherries are indeed a favorite. I live in Colorado too and eagerly await cherry season because my favorite snack is cherries & walnuts. I buy the big bag of walnuts from Costco and usually cherries from there, too. I’ll wash a double handful of cherries, dump out what looks like a matching amount of walnuts, and eat a cherry, take out the pit, then pop a walnut into my mouth. Such a great flavor combination. :)
June is a long way off from October. :D
Sam, thanks for your lovely comment!
John Ashe says
For breakfast or a mid morning snack, enjoy a handful of Bing cherries with two dollops of plain high protein Greek yogurt.
I was elected to make the cranberry relish last year for Thanksgiving. I made the cherry cranberry relish and it was a huge hit. I have been asked to make it every year from now on.
I have some really nice memories from the childhood as well – we used to pick cherries with my friends, and we sometimes even entered gardens without its owner’s permission, engaging in a true adventure.
But being busy and adult, I have to buy cherries now. Sometimes, I’m lucky and find them on a menu. Last week, I had cherries bathed in dark chocolate with mint leaves in one of my favorite restaurants . I love the combination of chocolate and cherries, but I also prepare myself a smoothie once in a while. What is the biggest disadvantage? That they grow for a very short time every year, and then you have to wait and wait and wait…
Ooh – again, thanks to your generous sharing Elana – I had cherries with your Chocolate Chia Pudding. First time with cut up cherries, the second, with them plopped in whole including stalks. Toss up between stained fingers vs quicker, yet needing to navigate seeds and deposit into a smaller bowl. Re the pudding: very impressed for such a healthy dessert. Used quality Van Houtens Dutch cocoa, powdered stevia & ‘normal’ liquid vanilla. Stevia somehow reminds me of not-so-kind commercial sugar-alternative sweeteners. Thankfully not the same. Cherries providing the saving grace :-D
Patricia Erickson says
I just like to stand on the orchard ladder and eat them. I try to put some of them in the bowl.
Agreed too, cherries are up there as one of my favourite fruits. In the late 80s, with my first child in utero and living in a temperate climate, I gorged on stone fruit.
Cherries I can have any way – except the abomination maraschino – love/prefer as they come, though do enjoy clafouti, even the gluten and dairy free versions. Don’t know how cobbler translates under dietary differences. Thank you as always Elana, look forward to checking out more of your cherry recipes and soon trying the main meal with kale and (instead of) chicken… turkey, when I can psyche self into first harvest.
A couple weeks ago my boyfriend brought some fresh cherries home. I was skeptical about chewing around a pit but omg, they were so addicting! My favorite recipe we used them for was a cherry overnight oats that tastes JUST LIKE cherry pie. Mmm!
Do you have the recipe for the cherry overnight oatmeal? TIA!
I like them raw dipped in some dark chocolate. Yum!!