With boomers, gen Xer’s and others seeking more nutrition and wholesome foods in their diets, here’s one fruit that is worth considering eating on a regular basis-cherries. Known as a super fruit, cherries are packed with color, nutrition and flavor. They are rich in antioxidants and derive their beautiful deep red color from a group of phytonutrients called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have been linked with reducing inflammation and playing a role in other health conditions (listed below).
Cherries can take the taste in a dish up a notch, are satisfying as a snack on their own, and add beautiful color to any recipe. In the majority of research conducted, tart cherries tended to provide more benefit than sweet.
Here are a few reasons from The Cherry Nutrition Report to incorporate cherries into your diet:
- Assist in reducing pain and inflammation with gout and arthritis.
- Reduce muscle pain from exercise induced inflammation.
- Potential reduction in heart disease and some cancers.
- Assist in reducing the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.
- Possible prevention of memory loss.
- Cherries contain melatonin which may help with sleeping patterns.
- Cherries are a great source of other nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, folate and magnesium to name a few.
As someone who loves cherries, I use them in all sorts of applications. Sure you can eat them as a satisfying snack all by themselves, but you can also be creative with cherries as well. Here are a few suggestions:
- Toss cherries in a salad
- Add them to oatmeal, cereal, or any other dish with grains
- Make a snack mixture with some dried cherries, nuts, whole grain cereal and for added decadence, some 60% dark chocolate chips
- Create a sauce with cherries or cherry juice/concentrate
- Incorporate them in a smoothie as in the recipe below
- Mix them in a cookie recipe as below (for Cherry Almond Macaroons!)
Here’s one recipe you can make for anytime, anywhere for a quick pick me up.
1 14-oz. package sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract
½ cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped raw almonds
- Heat oven to 325°F.
- Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or grease and flour).
- In large bowl, blend coconut, flour, sugar and salt.
- Add egg whites and extract and mix well.
- Stir in cherries and almonds until well blended.
- Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned.
Makes approximately 36 cookies. Per cookie: 85 calories, 1 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 1 gm fiber, 7 gm sugar, 51 mg sodium.