I absolutely love this time of year because cherries are $1.48 per pound! I buy them every time I walk into a grocery store. The cherries this year from Washington State and Oregon are simply beautiful, such a deep red tone and the taste is scrumptious.
Not only are they amazingly delicious, cherries are filled with significant health benefits. Did you know that cherries can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis? The reason is that cherries are rich in beta-carotene which is a heart-healthy compound and Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that fights free radical activity in your body.
Health isn’t that complicated really. Simply eating one cup of cherries per day increases your levels of antioxidants (specifically anthocyanins), which is the antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease and other inflammatory conditions. Since inflammation is the number one cause of most disease, we would all be wise to eat as many foods as possible that decrease inflammation.
MORE HEALING HAPPENING
Cherries are also a great source of pectin which is a soluble fiber that helps control your blood cholesterol. They also have an abundance of quercetin, which helps anyone suffering from allergies or continuous respiratory problems.
Cherries are a great late night snack because they are a natural source of melatonin, which helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle. Eating cherries can help you fight jet lag and get a better night’s sleep. That’s pretty incredible!
HOW TO FREEZE CHERRIES
Now that you have bags of cherries in your refrigerator, you may decide to freeze some for Valentine’s Day! There is a kitchen utensil called a CHERRY PITTER that removes the pit from the cherry. I don’t own one but I should. It would make removing the pit a whole lot easier because you need to remove the pit before freezing cherries. I’ve been using a sharp knife to cut around the pit but honestly, buy the cherry pitter. It will save you from losing a finger and a whole lot of time. Place the pitted cherries in a freezer bag and lay the bag flat in your freezer making sure the cherries don’t pile on top of each other. Use as many bags as needed trying not to overcrowd the cherries. They will keep for a year which is perfect. You’ll have delicious cherries all year long and won’t have to pay $7.99 per pound when they are out of season.
Here is a deliciously simple recipe for you to try. I love this smoothie.
Coconut Cream Cherry Smoothie
1 can of organic canned Coconut Cream (refrigerated 1 day prior to use. I found mine at Trader Joes).
1 cup of Frozen Cherries (or a mixture of frozen fruit)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
Put these ingredients in your Blender, preferably a Vitamix or high powered blender and mix until smooth. Push the ingredients down with your tamper to make sure it gets mixed completely.
CHERRY-CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM
Two 14 ounce cans of full-fat organic coconut milk, refrigerated
8 tbsp of raw honey
¼ cup of hemp seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1 ½ cups chopped frozen cherries
¼ cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs
Place the coconut milk, honey, hemp seeds, and extracts into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, add the chopped cherries and chocolate chips or nibs and process until your mixture reaching desired consistency. (20 minutes at least).
Freeze for 3 hours, or until ready to serve. You can sprinkle your ice cream with extra chocolate chips or nibs, extra frozen cherries, flaked coconut or all four!
You can find ice cream makers at thrift stores all the time. I found one at Goodwill for $9. Here’s the Cuisinart Model I found in case you’d like to order it on Amazon.