Share in the craze of cherry season with Live Lighter’s Local Food Guru, Denise Lambert! This is the fourth addition to our “Local, Seasonal and Organic Food” section. Please see our previous articles on strawberries , rhubarb and asparagus .
Nothing is better than fresh cherries. I was raised in the Niagara Region, and one of the greatest pleasures of summer was taking a drive on the back roads to the fruit stands and eating fresh cherries until we burst!
Years later, I still do this! Let’s start with where to pick your own in the Toronto Region…
Two Century Farm – this farm uses organic methods, but is still awaiting certification.
Cherries are a nutritional powerhouse, antioxidant-rich and packed with vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of potassium and manganese, and have good amounts of iron and phosphorous.
But that’s not all. Cherries are rich with vitamin K and a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. They also contain traces of niacin, folate and vitamin A.
100g of cherries contains only 63 calories and is a good source of dietary fiber.
Cherries have been credited with a vast number of health claims. Cherries can reduce the pain of arthritis, gout and headaches. Cherries contain anthocyanin, a red pigment, which acts as an antioxidant. The plant pigment along with vitamin C strengthens collagen. Cherry juice contains melatonin, which is important for the function of the immune system.
History & Fun Facts
Cherries have pleased the palates of food lovers for centuries. Their ruby-red color and tangy taste won cherries a place on the tables of Roman conquerors, Greek citizens and Chinese noblemen.
Cherries were brought to America by ship with early settlers in the 1600s courtesy of the French.
Today, on average, Canada produces more than 15 million pounds of tart and sweet cherries. In Ontario, 74% of the trees are located in the Niagara and Hamilton-Wentworth areas. Internationally, Canada is a relatively small producer of sweet cherries. The largest producers are the U.S. and Eastern Europe.
A Cherry Recipe
Hands down, this is the best cherry bread recipe I have ever tasted:
Cheddar Cherry BreadPrint This
- 2½ cup Flour
- ½ cup Sugar
- ½ cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1¼ cup Milk
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp Oil (any will work, I use olive)
- 1¼ cup Sweet Cherries, frozen
- 1¼ cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Combine milk, egg and oil; pour over dry ingredients and stir just enough to dampen.
- Gently fold in cherries and cheese.
- Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 55-65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
- Cool on rack 10 minutes; remove from pan.
- Cool completely before serving. Serve at room temperature, or toasted.
But come back soon for a traditional Hungary Sour Cherry Soup Recipe.
Denise Lambert is a vegetarian, food enthusiast and prepares healthy, organic meals on a weekly basis for several selected clients as a side business. Denise also tries her best to live the 100 mile diet to take advantage of the added nutritional benefits of eating locally as well as doing her part to ease environmental (and social) concerns due to food transportation.