The February Fruit of the Month is Cherry!
Depending on the variety, cherries can be sweet or sour. But that’s not the only reason to enjoy this fruit! Cherries help decrease stress, inflammation, and muscle soreness. Keep reading for more facts about cherries and how to get the entire family to enjoy them!
A Cherry is a Good Source of:
- Antioxidants—improves heart and eye health
- Potassium—alleviates hypertension and high blood pressure
- Vitamin C—great for a healthy immune system
- Copper—aids in production of red blood cells
- Melatonin—for healthy sleep and wake cycles
Did You Know?
- If you leave the stems attached to the cherry, they are less likely to mold quickly.
- Cherries can help decrease arthritis symptoms.
- In the US, sweet cherries are primarily grown in Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Sour cherries are primarily grown in Michigan, New York, Utah, and Washington.
How to Choose and Store Cherries
Choose cherries that are firm, shiny, plump, and without bruises. Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Wash before use.
Tips to Get Children to Eat Cherries
- Blend in a fruit (and veggie!) smoothie
- Top yogurt or nonfat ice cream with cherries
- Mix in a fruit salsa
- Let kids build their own salad, with cherries an a topping option
Ways to Prepare Cherries
- Frozen (and blended in a smoothie)
- Jam or jelly
Let’s Get Cooking
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Cherry Filling Ingredients
- 2 cans cherries in water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cherry juice
- Grease a 9×9” pan
- Mix topping ingredients and set aside
- Drain cherries, saving ½-cup of the juice
- Place cherries in baking pan
- Mix cherry juice with sugar and orange juice in a saucepan. Heat on medium for 2 minutes.
- Mix cornstarch and water, then add to the juice mixture. Heat on medium until thick.
- Remove from heat and stir well
- Pour ⅔-cup of juice mixture over cherries in the pan. Discard the rest.
- Sprinkle topping over cherries
- Bake at 425°F for 40 minutes
- ½ cup pitted and halved sweet cherries
- 1 cup cantaloupe, cubed
- 1 cup green grapes, cut in half
- 1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup orange juice (juice from ½ orange)
- ¼ cup flaked coconut (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix together the cut fruit.
- Pour orange juice over fruit and stir in coconut flakes, if desired.
For more creative cherry-based recipes visit MyPlate Kitchen! With so many possibilities, like Cherry Puff Pancake, Cherry Pineapple Delight, and Slow Cooker Pork Stew Over Brown Rice you’re sure to find something that is tasty for the whole family!