Everything You Wanted to Know About Cherries
From the natural beauty of its hardwood source to the beautiful pink and white flowers that bud from its branches, cherries are one of nature’s greatest gifts. But once they’re ready to harvest, these little red morsels of sweet goodness provide an explosion of flavor and a plethora of health benefits. If you’ve always wondered about cherries, here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Like many other types of stone fruits, cherries are packed with nutritional benefits. Despite their size, you’ll find tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This includes healthy must-haves such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Aside from these nutrients, cherries have also been known to provide a number of other health benefits, such as:
- Improving skin health
- Boosting your immune system
- Improving sleep (cherries contain melatonin, a natural sleep booster)
- Lessening recovery time after a workout
- Supporting gastrointestinal health
Adding up all these benefits, and you just might be surprised at all of the advantages to your health in just a single cup of cherries.
Types of Cherries
According to studies, there are over 1,000 varieties of cherries grown in the United States alone, and over 1,200 worldwide. Although cherry varieties come in huge numbers, growers classify them into only two categories: sweet and tart.
Interestingly enough, the soil and weather of Michigan make the state a great spot to grow tart cherries, up to 74% of the country’s total production. Conversely, 90% of sweet cherries are grown in California, Oregon, and Washington.
To this day, bing cherries are the most widely eaten cherries in the United States. Bing cherries are followed by Rainier, Queen Anne, Montmorency, and Morello varieties.
DLJ Produce provides fresh produce such as Cherries all year long. View our commodity calendar for more details. We chase the harvest to bring you the finest produce nationwide.
Recipes Using Cherries
Because they come in both sweet and tart varieties, cherries are a versatile fruit. While nothing beats a handful of cherries and a little spittoon, you should also try out a few of these recipes for all types of palates:
- Throw a handful into a breakfast cereal for a flavor explosion
- Try a cherry tart with a cup of coffee for a great eye-opener
- For an exceptionally healthy and light lunch option, mix fresh cherries with cilantro and spring onions
- Cherry, beet, and shallot salad provides a sweetness that’s not overwhelming
- Cherries impart a delightful sweetness in roasts, particularly pork or lamb
Drinks and Dessert
- Perhaps the most classic dish of them all: cherry pie never goes out of style
- A Colorado Cooler (made with club soda, simple syrup, whiskey, lemon juice, and cherries)
If none of these strike your fancy, prepare a dish on your own using your own culinary skills and tastes. You never know what culinary delight you might come up with!
Whether you’re seeing how far you can spit the pit or you’re baking a delicious pie, cherries are an endless source of entertainment, flavor, and health benefits. The next time you’re in the produce section, opt for a bag of nature’s finest creation. Your taste buds and your body will thank you.