Farmer’s Market Finds: Cherries

Cherries

Photo Credit: Jeremy Wheaton

Post by Contributing Writer, Nada

One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cherries are the delicious fruit of lovers and hopeless romantics the world over. Anyone who has ever tasted a delicious, ripe cherry knows the absolute delight that is embedded in each gorgeous red orb.  And July is just a perfect time for cherries, like most other fruits!

There are two types of cherries.  Sweet cherries are perfectly edible just as they are, raw and succulent.  There are of course sour cherries as well, which are better cooked and sweetened.  These are the ones that are better for stewing and canning.

When looking to purchase cherries, select ones that are plump, firm and glossy.  They shinier and deeper their color, the better.  The stems should be green and the cherries themselves should be about an inch big.  If you buy a bunch, make sure to sort through them for those that are soft, sticky or shriveled.  These ones should be tossed, as they are no longer fresh.  Cherries are an item that are higher up on the pesticide residue level, so they’re better bought organic.

As long as your cherries are still firm and fresh, you don’t need to wash them before storing them.  Just keep them loose in a paper bag or covered container.  They can be kept refrigerated up to one week, though I’ve never had them last that long.

When you choose to eat them, be sure to sort through and remove ones that have started to turn.  Rinse them off and remove the stems.  You can also pull the pits out with a paperclip by slipping it in the cherry, hooking the pit, and pulling it out (especially important if you’re feeding the cherries to young children!).

You can also freeze pitted cherries quite easily by layering them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Let them freeze and then put them in a plastic bag or seal-able container, removing as much air as you can.  They can be eaten frozen or used in recipes at a later date.

cuppa cherries 365 day251

Photo Credit: Ruth

Of course, cherries can be eaten fresh and without any extras.  But they can be dipped in chocolate fondue, preserved in juice, canned or used in baking. For a light, fresh tasting summer brunch, here’s a delicious cake or “bread” to enjoy with a pitcher of lemonade or tea.

Pineapple and Cherry Bread

3/4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Butter
2 well beaten Eggs
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3 tsp baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup chopped Pineapple
1/3 cup Pineapple or Orange Juice
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/2 cup Cherries, chopped
1 tsp real Vanilla

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Alternate adding dry ingredients with juice into the creamed egg mixture. Fold in cherries and pineapple gently, without beating too much.

Pour into a well greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Nada is a first-time mom to a delightful little girl and the wife to a wise and wonderful man. With a background in fitness and nutrition, she enjoys healthy cooking, green cleaning and especially writing, and has acquired a vast knowledge of interesting little facts… about everything! She aspires to be a Godly woman that her daughter is proud to call “Mom” and through her blog, miniMOMist, she discusses how attachment parenting, minimalism, simplicity and frugal living help in her everyday mission.

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