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Lani Telian, Department of Public Health

 Cherries  

Cherries are in season, but not for long. They have a very short growing season, so there’s not a second to waste.

My love for cherries goes beyond what most people would consider a healthy relationship with fruit. Just ask my older cousin Toby, who to this day still teases me for eating “all” of the cherries off his mother’s cherry tree when I was 11 years old. As embarrassing as that story is, it isn’t enough to keep me away from my favorite fruit.

Whether you’re handpicking each cherry or purchasing a fresh, pre-packaged bag, make sure the cherries are large, hard, and dark-colored with the stems on. As soon as you get home, put the cherries in the refrigerator – they should last up to about a week that way.

Within the course of that week, you may find yourself wondering what else you can do with those cherries besides eating them plain or adding them to an unhealthy pie. I’m always on the lookout for a sweet cherry recipe I won’t feel guilty about eating.

I finally found one in this recipe for poached cherries with a healthy twist. To make it, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of fresh, pitted cherries (learn how to pit cherries)
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1/3 cup of orange juice
  • 1/8 cup of honey, or 1/8 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Add all of the ingredients into a small pan, cover and cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until the cherries are soft. Pour the mixture into a container with a lid and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. When it is cold, you can eat them with your fingers or a spoon, add them to warm oatmeal, or use them as a topping for frozen yogurt. So good!

 Whether they’re fresh, frozen or poached – go out and enjoy cherries while they last!

 

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