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Cherry Recipes Make the Most of the Wonder Fruit's Benefits

By Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D., July 23, 2014 - 3:11pm

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Sweet cherries are here, and because most are grown along the lengthy West Coast the season lasts from mid-May in California to the end of the harvest in Washington in August. Intensely flavorful and juicy, cherries are not a hard sell. But their long list of powerful nutrients seals the deal: they’re rich in anthocyanins (potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties) and boast plenty of blood-pressure-reducing potassium. They often grow in pairs, because multiple flowers bloom from a single bud and when they fruit, the cherries stay together. And these heart-shaped treats really are magical culinary partners when you match them with other foods. Try them in a refreshing cherry lemonade or combined with nutty farro in a hearty summer salad. Or wrap sweetened cherries and creamy ricotta in store-bought crêpes for an easy-to-make blintz. Whether you eat them straight from the bag or tuck them into delightful dishes, with cherries, it’s always a pleasure.

Don't Miss: 20+ Sweet Cherry Recipes
Health Benefits of Cherries

Frisée Salad with Cherries & Blue Cheese Frisée Salad with Cherries & Blue Cheese
Sweet cherries, earthy blue cheese and salty prosciutto balance each bite in this healthy side salad recipe. If you can’t find frisée, curly endive is a good alternative.

Fresh Cherry Lemonade Fresh Cherry Lemonade
This thirst-quenching pink lemonade recipe uses fresh cherries for the pretty pink hue and light flavor. If you like, add a splash of vodka, bourbon or rum to transform this healthy lemonade recipe into a refreshing summer cocktail.

Cherry-Ricotta Blintzes Cherry-Ricotta Blintzes
Ready-made crêpes—available near the berries in most produce departments—keep this blintz dessert recipe easy enough for a weeknight but stunning enough for a dinner party. Just a few minutes in the oven melts the lemony ricotta filling to deliciously complement the sweet cherries.

Cherry-Almond Farro Salad Cherry-Almond Farro Salad
Tossed with a minty vinaigrette, this healthy farro and cherry salad recipe can be served as a light lunch or as a side dish along with grilled chicken, duck or pork. Look for farro—a high-fiber whole grain that is an ancestor of modern wheat—with other whole grains in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

TAGS: Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D., Food Blog, Dessert, Dinner, Nutrition, What's in season

Breana Lai
Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D., is an associate food editor at EatingWell where she splits her time among EatingWell magazine, and cooking new healthy recipes in the Test Kitchen. Breana has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, a Wine Spirit & Education Trust trained sommelier and is a registered dietitian.

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