Cherries are touted to have anti-inflammatory superpowers. They are said
to be good for increasing metabolism, reducing muscle pain, blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and easing insomnia. Helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and strokes.
It is cherry season In California! Within a couple of weeks, it will be in Washington as well. Washington sweet Bing cherries are my husband’s favorite fruit. If like me, you are looking for projects to keep busy and productive while being stuck at home, then here are some simple and great ways to use sweet cherries:
You can do this with either a food dehydrator (allow 12 hours or so) or in your oven. Pit them and cut them in half before putting them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper at 140 degrees for 6-10 hours. Do not dry them too much! They should look and feel like raisins when you’re done. Dried cherries are wonderful in any dish that raisins can be used. For example, cookies, stuffing/dressings, muffins, bread, puddings, etc.
2. Salad Fixings
Both fresh and dried and either sweet or tart cherries are perfect for a fresh green salad. Or, even as a fruity extra for chicken salads. Pit and halve fresh cherries for a colorful and tasty addition.
3. Cherry Vinegar
Add 1 cup of dried cherries to 2 cups of white wine vinegar in a glass container with a lid. Let steep for two days, then bring just to a boil and drain. Store vinegar in a sealed container. This vinegar is great for making homemade vinaigrettes. Just combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cherry vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
4. Cherry Liqueur
5. Cherry Stone Thermal Pillow
If you have your own cherry tree or access to a lot of cherries then consider saving the pits (or stones). You can actually use them to create your own hot or cold pads, pillow or neck wraps (or cherry stone bed warmers, as they used to call them). The pillow can be heated in a microwave or frozen in a freezer. The stones hold the heat a long time and offer a soothing moist heat with a pleasant smell. Here are some directions from Mother Earth News for creating your own heating pillows from the prepared pits!
How will you use this year’s cherry harvest?