Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tips For Storing and Cooking With Tart Cherries

The tart cherry is fast becoming the first choice to combat arthritis pain. However, the fully appreciate this ruby red fruit we need to understand its rich history. The tart cherry is sometimes referred to as the sour, red tarts or the pie cherry and it is best known for the main ingredient in desserts and recipes. Dried cherries make a great addition to salads, couscous and as a quick health snack. The fresh cherries are ideal for jams, jellies, salsas and beverages.

Unfortunately, the fresh cherries are only available during the short harvest season in the July. Since they are very perishable they must be immediately processed after they are picked. Once picked, washed and separated they are either canned, frozen, juiced, concentrated or dried.
So here are some tips for properly handling the tart cherry.

Dried Fruit

Storing: The tart cherry is small than its cousin the sweet cherry. The best way to store the fresh fruit is to place them in a plastic bag. The fresh fruit will only stay for about 4 days. Canned cherries will keep for up to a year and after you open them they will keep for up to a week.

Preparing: The first step is to pit the cherry with a cherry pitter or a sharp knife. The cherry pitter is the most convenient since you simple place the entire cherry into the pitter and press. This will remove the pit from the fruit only leaving behind with a clean hole where the pit once rested.

Here is select nutritional information (per serving) for different types of cherry products:

Products Calories Sugar Iron
Dried Cherries 340 68.3 1.4
Cherry Juice 246 54.4 1.98

The biggest difference between the two products is one is a liquid and the other is a dried fruit. The dried it great for snacks and recipe additions while the liquid is better for the natural health benefits. It takes approximately 8 pounds of fresh cherries to make one pound of dried and it takes the juice of 80 cherries to make just one ounce of cherry juice concentrate. So if you want to drink the health benefits of the cherry year round grab a bottle of the cherry juice concentrate. Traverse Bay Farms is a good source for this tasty fruit. Not only will the company offer free shipping they also provide dried cherries, cherry capsules and more. So the next time you want to get some cherries try them out.

Tips For Storing and Cooking With Tart Cherries

Download a free copy of the tart cherry health report at Ms. Jackson is an avid writer in the natural health benefits of food and fruit.

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