The Delicious & Nutritious Cherries
Cherries are a sweet and succulent fruit that have been frequently enjoyed throughout history as a snack and dessert. Not only are they refreshingly delicious, but cherries are also a great source of nutrition that can benefit the body in various ways. With their deep colour, cherries have many antioxidants, which makes them powerful disease fighters and great for overall health and wellbeing.
A Little History of Cherries
The history of cherries can be traced back to the Stone Age, where hunter-gatherers would have noted the combined taste of sugar and tartness and decided to consume it. The Romans then spread the cherries across Europe and the Greeks writer Theophrastus was the first to write about cherry cultivation.
Decades later during World War II, cherries gained popularity for their many medicinal benefits. As a result, more cherry trees were planted and the cherry industry has enjoyed a steady growth within the agricultural industry ever since.
Types of Cherries
Cherries come in two main types – sweet and sour. Sweet cherries include the popular Bing cherries, Lambert cherries, Rainier cherries and Royal Ann cherries. Sour cherries include Montmorency cherries and other tart cherries. The sweet cherries are often eaten fresh or used in desserts while the sour cherries are great for baking, jam and other preserves.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries are a great source of nutrients, with just one cup containing vitamin C, dietary fibre, vitamin A, potassium and iron. Cherries also contain melatonin which is beneficial for improving sleep.
The combination of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols contained within cherries also carries anti-inflammatory properties, as well as provides protection against cancer and other diseases. Cherries can also help to reduce cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cardiovascular disease.
Lastly, cherries help to aid in digestion and can potentially protect against indigestion issues and ulcers.
How to Enjoy Cherries
There are endless ways to enjoy the deliciousness of cherries. From adding them to salads and yogurt, to baking them in pies and muffins or just enjoy them as a refreshing snack. You can also make jam and compotes, or use dried cherries to create smoothies, other desserts and even delicious granola bars.
The possibilities are endless, so go ahead and explore the creativity of cherries.
How to Store & Preserve Cherries
Fresh cherries can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately 3 days. For best results, store them in a sealed plastic bag or container to retain moisture and keep them from drying out.
For longer-term storage, you can freeze cherries for up to a year. When freezing, remove stems and spread the cherries into a single layer on a cookie sheet and transfer them to a freezer bag or container when frozen solid. To enjoy the cherries, allow them to thaw at room temperature or a warm water bath.
You can also turn cherries into jams or jellies or try canning them using a water-bath canner. You can use syrup, sugar or no-sugar to can the cherries, depending on your preference.
Cherries are a delicious and nutritious fruit that have been enjoyed by many throughout history. With their unique flavour, high antioxidant content and many health benefits, cherries are a great addition to any diet. Give the delicious and nutritious cherries a try and enjoy the deliciousness of the cherry.
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