Delectable fruit good for you and great by itself or in sweet recipes

Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cherries are among the most appealing fruits ever, and dangled from their stems, few of us can resist the joy of biting into them.

Photos By Sue Ade
Photos By Sue Ade
Of the many varieties available, Bing is America's favorite cherry. When choosing Bing cherries, look for those with a deep color -- they'll be the sweetest. A cherry pitter, like the one pictured upper left, makes cherry pitting easy.

Besides their striking good looks, researchers report that plump, sweet, juicy cherries should also be valued for their anti-aging, anti-oxidant qualities, for the protection they can offer from certain diseases and for their ability, among other things, to help our bodies by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.

Despite their containing vitamins A and C, being low in fat, and a good source for fiber, cherries are still mostly appreciated for their brilliance in delicious jams, jellies, tarts, cobblers and, of course, pies.

Once cherries are in season, as they are now, they are particularly luscious when merged with homemade vanilla ice cream, or appear as the focus on a flamboyant, yet fairly simple, cherries jubilee dessert. Current pricing is making cherries a good buy for recipes, eating out-of-hand, or for freezing.

Although cherries can be frozen with or without their pits, I prefer to freeze them pitless, especially when freeing a cherry of its pit is easy, even fun, with the aid of an inexpensive cherry pitter.

Next time you encounter a display of fresh cherries, stop and bring some home. Your life will be the sweeter for it.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.



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