We know few things can top enjoying a perfectly ripe cherry in its peak season, but how about enjoying that same cherry while impressing your friends and family with your extensive knowledge of cherries? Read on to discover five interesting facts about cherries.
Cherries are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, but their real nutritional benefit of cherries are the many polyphenol antioxidants, like anthocyanin, quercetin, and hydroxycinnamates (write them on your hand for reference while sharing) they contain. These polyphenols have been linked to cardiovascular health specifically and may provide other benefits through their antioxidant effects. Tart cherry concentrates (like juices or supplements) have also been linked to improved recovery following strenuous exercise and improve sleep.
Cherry pits were excavated from prehistoric caves, evidence that cherries have been a dietary staple for thousands of years. That makes cherries one of the sweetest paleo-friendly foods, perfect for replenishing muscle glycogen after the day’s CrossFit workout. (Insert inside joke about your most stereotypical paleo friend here).
Almonds are more closely related to cherries than cashews and other nuts. Both almond and cherry trees are members of the Prunus genus which includes other popular stone fruit trees like the plum, peach, apricot and nectarine. While almonds are also a stone fruit (or drupe if you want to really show off that science vernacular) it’s the rebel of the group, with a tough mesocarp (instead of the sweet flesh of a cherry) and an edible endocarp (compared with the inedible cherry pit).
While we’re talking pits (no, not the double-T Brad type, but yes we loved Mr. and Mrs. Smith too) as with the stone in most stone fruits, contains amygdalin, a compound that is converted into toxic cyanide in the body. Don’t panic! Swallowing a few pits won’t harm you. The pit is actually composed of two parts, an outer protective shell designed to pass through your digestive system intact and the inner seed where the amygdalin is found. But do avoid cracking open the shell of cherry pits and eating their seeds.
Utah is the second largest producer of tart cherries and fifth largest producer of sweet cherries. While this was a primary contributor to Utah officially naming the cherry as the state fruit in 1997, another was the cherry trees surrounding the state capitol. A gift from the Japanese following World War II, the trees not only honor reconciliation and friendship following the war but are a symbol of the cycle of life, of death and the beautiful blossoming rebirth we enjoy each spring.
Everyone loves cherry juice, cherry ice cream, and best of all, cherry pie; however, it is an additional step to remove the pits of cherries so that you can enjoy your cherry favorites. Check out our tips and tricks below to more easily pit cherries.
Use a frosting tip: If you don’t have a traditional cherry pitter, use the small end of a frosting tip to gently push the pit out of the cherry.
Use a chop stick: Using the thin end of a chopstick is the easiest way to push a pit through a cherry with ease.
Use a straw: Use a standard straw to push a cherry pit through the cherry.
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 (1 x 1 x 6-inch) strips
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, melted
1. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat; soak skewers in water 30 minutes.
2. In small bowl, whisk butter, sugar and cinnamon. Thread pineapple onto skewers; brush with butter mixture. Place skewers on hot grill rack; cover and cook 6 minutes or until grill marks appear, turning once.
3. Serve skewers sprinkled with mint along with ice cream for dipping. Approximate nutritional values per serving (1 skewer, 2 tablespoons sauce): 106 Calories, 4g Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 11mg Cholesterol, 9mg Sodium, 19g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 15g Sugars, 4g Added Sugars, 1g Protein
Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad is an easy healthy recipe that is perfect for dinner or lunch! Creamy pesto with basil and artichokes served with pasta, grape tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Ready in just over 20 minutes!
The perfect staple to any backyard barbecue. Fire up the grill and make these juicy mini versions of a summertime favorite.
Prep: 15 minutes – Grill: 5 minutes – Serves: 4
1 1/4 pounds 93% lean ground beef
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 slider buns
1 cup baby arugula
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. In large bowl, gently mix beef, cheese, sauce, salt and pepper; do not overmix. Form beef mixture into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) patties.
2. Place onion on hot grill rack; cover and cook 10 minutes or until grill marks appear, turning once; transfer to cutting board, coarsely chop.
3. Place patties on hot grill rack; cover and cook 5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°, turning once. About 1 minute before burgers are done, place buns, cut side down, on hot grill rack; cover and cook 1 minute or until buns are toasted.
4. Spread bottom buns with mustard and top buns with ketchup; serve burgers in buns topped with arugula and onion. Makes 8 mini burgers.
Approximate nutritional values per serving (2 mini burgers): 549 Calories, 20g Fat, 4g Saturated Fat, 113mg Cholesterol, 900mg Sodium, 47g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 11g Sugars, 8g Added Sugars, 44g Protein