Cherries Healthy Food Guide
Peak season: June through August
Happiness is sharing cherries a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree.
Whether you like them sweet or sour, there is only a brief window of time to enjoy fresh cherries. The short cherry season (lasting as few as four weeks and peaking around mid-July) gives us sweet cherries from the Pacific Northwest and sour cherries, also known as “pie” or “tart” cherries, from Michigan. While sweet cherries are often sold fresh, most of the sour-cherry crop is canned, dried or frozen.
What you get
Cherries are rich in antioxidants: anthocyanidins, which bolster antioxidant defenses, and quercetin, which may help regulate blood pressure. They are also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
- Shopping Tips
- There are two basic types of cherries—sweet and sour. Sweet cherry varieties include Bing, Rainier and Lambert. Sweet cherries can be found in the produce section of most markets during cherry season. Sour cherries, which are too tart to eat out of hand, are most often used as pie filling. Find them frozen, canned and dried in most supermarkets; they are more difficult to find fresh. Varieties include Early Richmond, Montmorency and Morello.
- Select cherries that are firm, plump and shiny without soft spots or bruising.
- Storage Tip
- Store fresh cherries in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase.
Approximately 250 cherries are needed to make a cherry pie, and there are about 7,000 cherries per cherry tree, meaning one tree can provide for 28 pies.