February is Cherry Month

I can't wait until the cherries are on our trees. I usually put them in the freezer and use them to make cherry cobbler in the winter months. Below are some helpful tips, facts and a recipe about those delicious cherries that will be ripe on the tree before you know it. * Look for a supple exterior and a bright color.

Keep them dry and discard any crushed fruit. * Avoid cherries with blemishes, rotted or mushy skins, or those that appear either hard and light-colored or soft, shriveled, and dull. * Look for cherries that are plump with firm, smooth, and brightly colored skins.

* Good quality cherries should have green stems attached. * Cherries do not ripen further after harvest. * Cherries bruise easily; handle with care. * Both the sweet and sour types should be refrigerated as soon as possible, although the sweets are more durable. Chilling not only preserves, but also seems to improve the flavor. * Raw sweet cherries: 1 cup contains 81 calories, and is a source of Vitamin C and potassium.

* Rinse in cool water and drain, in a single layer, on paper towel. * Both sweet and sour can be made into jams, preserves or brandied. * Rich in bio-flavonoids and ellagic acid. Studies show cherries to be a good source of antioxidants and darker cherries will have higher levels than red/yellow ones. * Fat-free, Saturated fat-free, Sodium-free,Cholesterol-free, A good source of fiber. A Quick Cherry Snack Recipe 1 cup dried tart cherries 1 cup cashews 1 cup smoked almonds 1 cup honey roasted peanuts Mix all together for a great snack.


By: Angela Billings

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