Hello my Foodie Friends!
Calling all Cherry lovers! As I think back on my childhood memories, I can remember the sheer joy of seeing my mom bringing a heaping bowl of bright red cherries to the table. Now we know that eating cherries as a part of a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables may provide health benefits. Cherries are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Cherries are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Last night I pitted and ate some delicious cherries and I slept like a baby. Who knew that they helped with sleep? Recently Dr. Russell J. Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio put some hard science behind the cherry folklore. He conducted a five-month study and found that tart cherries contain significant amounts of melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland that has been credited with slowing the aging process, and fighting insomnia and jet lag. It’s also being studied as a potential treatment for cancer, depression and other diseases and disorders. The findings mark the first time melatonin has been pegged as a naturally occurring substance in food, although trace amounts are evident in bananas, corn and other foods, Reiter says.
You can also freeze cherries. You can freeze sweet cherries to enjoy in baked goods, smoothies, and sauces throughout the year. Simply rinse the cherries with cool water and remove the stem. Pitting them will make it easier to pop into a recipe later if they’re frozen without the pit. Once the cherries have been pitted, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer overnight to freeze. After they’re completely frozen, put them in an airtight container or freezer bag to store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. You won’t even need to thaw them before using them.
So kick back and enjoy those heartwarming childhood memories, while of course, savoring your own bowl full of sweet, juicy cherries—it’s a treat you can feel good about!
Use a cherry pitter to help you with taking the pits out. It will make your life easier. Most cherry pitters can also pit olives. At Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs, we carry cherry and olive pitters that can quickly and easily remove pits from cherries and olives without bruising or crushing fruit or wasting fruit. They are perfect for canning, freezing, dehydrating and baking cherries. One of our favorites is made by OXO. This cherry/olive pitter will make your life a lot easier with all of the delicious cherry recipes that are out there. The OXO pitter has a removable splatter shield that keeps juices contained and directed downward. It has a large holder that accommodates larger cherries and a recessed cup for smaller variety cherries.
By the way, I still love listening to Neil Diamond songs; especially while we are in the kitchen cooking or driving in the car. One of our favorites is “Cherry, Cherry.” Remember Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula