Cherries contain antioxidants, which help strengthen our immune system and protect against disease.
Types of Cherries
- Sweet cherries - firm texture, sweet flavor, varies in color from dark red to yellow with a red blush. Enjoy them fresh from June through August.
- Sour or tart cherries - smaller size with soft, juicy flesh and a bright red color. Available fresh in June or July. Usually cooked or dried with added sweeteners.
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Look for fresh cherries that are shiny and plump. Attached stems should be green and bend easily. Cherries with stems stay fresh longer. Avoid cherries that are bruised, wrinkled, moldy or soft. Cherries do not continue to ripen after picking. Sweet and tart cherries are available anytime frozen, canned, dried or as juice
1 pound of fresh sweet cherries = 3 cups whole = 1½ cups pitted.
Store Well Waste Less
- Keep cherries cold and dry to slow spoilage. Remove bruised or moldy cherries, then refrigerate in a bag or container that allows air to circulate. Wash just before using. Plan to use within about a week. For longer storage, freeze pitted cherries on a tray, then package for the freezer. Use within 12 months.
- For longer storage, freeze pitted cherries on a tray, then package for the freezer. Use within 12 months.
- Store canned cherries at room temperature for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening and use within a week. Dried cherries are best quality if used within 18 months.
- Use a cherry pitter.
- Use a paring knife to cut each cherry in half and remove the pit.
- Use a sturdy straw, chopstick or skewer to push the pit through the cherry from the stem end.
- Insert the loop of a partly opened paper clip through the stem end and under the pit. Pop the pit back out the top.
When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:
- wash cherries under cool running water.
- remove pits from cherries.
- measure ingredients and stir them together.