Cherries are one of the oldest fruits in the world, having been cultivated and farmed over 2,000 years ago. Thanks to their sweet flavor and nutritious properties, they’ve become widely popular since their original cultivation. But we’re not the only ones who love cherries: the name translates in Latin to “for the birds.” The bing cherry is a variety of the wild or sweet cherry that originated in the Pacific Northwest. It is the most widely produced variety of sweet cherry in the United States.
This variety was created as a hybrid in 1875 by an Oregon horticulturist and his foreman Ah Bing, for whom the species is named. Cherries contain significant sources of potassium and manganese. They’re also very good sources of magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorous—all are important and essential to optimal health.
Cherries can help to reduce the pain of arthritis, gout and headaches. Cherries contain anthocyanin, a red pigment, which acts as a powerful antioxidant. Cherry juice also contains melatonin, which is important for the function of the immune system.
High-quality bing cherries will be large and firm and have even, deep-red coloring. Bing cherries grow best in wet climates, though they should be relatively easy to find year-round. Immature cherries will be smaller and less juicy while over-mature product will be soft, dull and wrinkled.
Source: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, www.health-care-clinic.org, www.organicfacts.net, www.wikipedia.org, www.produceoasis.com, www.homecooking.about.com
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Cherry and Papaya Smoothie
1 1/2 cups white grape juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups bing cherries, stemmed, pitted
1 cup papaya, peeled, diced
1 large banana, frozen
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
1. Put all ingredients in a blender & process until smooth.
2. Pour into two tall glasses & ENJOY!
2 cups raspberries
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or 1 tablespoon otherorange-flavored liqueur or 1 tablespoon use orange juice
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup grapes
1 cup pineapple chunk
1/2 cup strawberry, sliced
1 cup bing cherry, pitted
1 peach, pitted and sliced
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
1. Combine raspberries and Grand Marnier in blender until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate.
2. Scoop ice cream into bowls. Spoon fruit over ice cream and spoon raspberry sauce over fruit.
Cherry Limeade for One
1 (12 ounce) can Sprite
3 tablespoons grenadine
1 tablespoon lime juice
lime wedge (to garnish)
maraschino cherry (to garnish)
Prep Time: 3 mins
Total Time: 3 mins
1. Mix together Sprite, grenadine, lime juice in a glass.
2. Add crushed ice, lime wedges and cherries in glass.
Yield: 1 beverage
Cherries Jubilee for a Healthy Heart
2 cups bing cherries, with juice (pitted)
1/2 cup currant jelly
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange rind, grated
2 tablespoons brandy, heated
Prep Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
1. Pour juice from cherries into a saucepan with the currant jelly, cornstarch and orange rind. Cook over low heat until the jelly melts.
2. Stir in the cherries. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
3. At the table, pour the warm brandy over the cherries in the serving pan and flame.
4. Spoon into meringue shells or over ice milk while cherries are still flaming.
Jerez Cherry Liqueur
1 quart bing cherry, no stems
750 ml fifth v.o. brandy
1/2 lemon, cut into two slices
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
1. Pierce each cherry three to four times in a row (up and down)on one side of the cherry. I used a sharp skewer. Remove Stems.
2. Fill each jar half-full with the cherries. Place a lemon wedge in each jar and top each with a tablespoon of sugar and two tablespoons of Amaretto.
3. Fill jars with brandy. Screw lid on tight and shake to combine.
4. Put in a cool dark place for 6 months.
17 fresh cherries, pitted
6 pineapple rings
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Place the cherries and pineapple rings in a blender. Puree until smooth; pour into 2 glasses filled with ice.
Seared-Chicken Salad With Cherries and Goat-Cheese Dressing
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled (2 oz.)
2 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 lb chicken cutlet
1 head boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb bing cherry, pitted and halved
1/4 cup walnut pieces
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
1. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, goat cheese, chives, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Working in batches, cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Thinly slice chicken crosswise.
5. Divide lettuce among four plates; top with chicken, cherries, and walnuts. Serve salad with dressing alongside.
6. Note: If dressing is too thick, it may be thinned out with a little milk.
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