Cherry Recipes Year Round
The cherry is one of today’s hottest “super fruits” – popular for promoting health as well as great flavor. Its deep red color contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and risk factors for heart disease. Research even suggests that cherries can help improve sleep and reduce the effects of jet lag.
So if you’re flying this holiday season, you may want to grab a bag of dried cherries to boost your immunity and stamina. Usually regarded as a fruit just for the summer months, cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice form.
Selecting Fresh Cherries: While fresh cherries are usually best during the summer months, many supermarkets carry them year-round (although you’ll pay a little more). Frozen or canned cherries are a great alternative to fresh when cooking. But if you really need fresh cherries during the off-season, here are a couple of tips to help you “cherry pick” as you shop:
What to Look for: A very dark red color is the best indication of good flavor and maturity. Bing, Black Tartarian, Schmidt, Chapman and Republican varieties should range from deep maroon or mahogany red to black for richest flavor. Lambert cherries should be dark red. Rainier cherries should be straw-colored. In general, the best cherries have bright, glossy, plump-looking surfaces and fresh-looking stems.
What to Avoid: Shriveled, dried stems and a overall dull appearance indicate that cherries are overripe and lacking in flavor. Decay is fairly common on sweet cherries, but can be difficult to detect because of the normally dark color. Soft texture, brown discoloration and mold growth are indications of decay.
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