Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cherry Recipes

Cherries are not only tasty but they add tremendous flavor to any dish. In addition to being a healthy snack, cherries also help to reduce gout and arthritis pain naturally. So not only does this tiny, red fruit add color to your meals it also packs a healthy punch. Enjoy the following cherry nutrition, cherry recipes and health benefit information. The first area I would like to cover is the amazing joint pain fight ability of the fruit. The cherry is packed full of antioxidants including anthocyanins, potassium, Vitamin A, C and E. In addition, it is the leading source of naturally occurring melatonin.

For example, the anthocyanins in the tart cherry are basically naturally occurring Cox-1 and Cox-2 inhibitors. This means this fruit is capable of blocking the pain signs sent to brain. In addition, the tart cherry offers natural anti-inflammatory benefits. According to Michigan State, the cherry is 10 times more powerful than over-the-counter products such as aspirin. For these reasons, the tart cherry is fast becoming the first choice for those seeking natural ways to fight gout and arthritis pain. However, due to the seasonality of the fruit, I have include not only a fresh cherry recipe, but additional recipes including the dried fruit, frozen cherries and cherry juice concentrate.

Dried Fruit

Here are two great tasting cherry recipes that are not only great tasting but healthy:

Cherry Salad

Dried cherries add a tangy flavor to this salad.

• 1 cup dried tart cherries
• 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange sections, drained
• 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Combine dried cherries, kiwi slices and mandarin orange sections in a bowl. Mix the orange juice, cinnamon and confectioners sugar in a bowl and mix. Pour the juice mixture over fruit mixture and gently mix. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally. Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Cherry Cheese Cake Brownies

Cherries and cream cheese make these brownies yummy.

• 1 -16-ounce - can dark tart cherries
• 1 -15-ounce- brownie mix
• 8 x 8 pan
• 1 - 3-ounce- package cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup flaked coconut
• 2 eggs, divided
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 /8 teaspoon of tart cherry juice concentrate

Drain the juice from the cherries in the can; keep 1/4 cup of the cherry juice from the can in a separate container. Place brownie mix in a bowl. Combine 1 egg, oil and reserved cherry juice with the brownie mix and mix well. Gently stir in the canned cherries. Add 1/8 teaspoon of tart cherry juice concentrate and set aside.

Place cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat with mixer 3 to 4 minutes or until well mixed. Add in the remaining egg and mix well. Stir in flaked coconut and almond extract. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking pan. Evenly spoon brownie mixture into pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture. Use a knife to swirl cream cheese mixture into brownie mixture.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the inserted wooden toothpick near the center comes out clean. Let cool. Cut into squares or bars.

Makes 9 squares; 18 bars.

Note: Chopped pecans or walnuts can be substituted for coconut.

In addition to baking with cherries you can also drink the cherry juice daily. The juice is made from tart cherry juice concentrate and it takes the juice of 60-80 pieces of the fresh fruit to make just one ounce of the tangy juice. One source for tart cherry juice concentrate is Traverse Bay Farms. In addition, the company offers the dried fruit, cherry capsules and even more. So the next time you are looking for natural and great tasting ways to gift joint pain make sure to look at some cherries recipes to provide great taste and health benefits.

Cherry Recipes

Download a free copy of the Official Tart Cherry Health Report at Ms. Simpson is a natural healer and internet blogger. She teaches about the natural healing properties of food and encourages her clients to follow a daily diet rich in antioxidants.

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