Wonderfully delicious, cherry fruit is packed with full of health-benefiting nutrients and unique antioxidants. Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits; however, are rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness. They are a healthy addition to many desserts and savory dishes alike.
Cherry Granola Breakfast Parfait
Don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast? There are no excuses now! You can make the granola & jam ahead of time and have it ready to make a delicious healthy meal that takes only minutes to put together.
2 c plain yogurt
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c sliced almonds
4 tbsp maple syrup, divided
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix oats and almonds. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, oil, and salt. Stir the sugar mixture into the oat mixture until new mixture is uniformly wet. Spread in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Bake until granola is crispy (about 20-25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour 1/4 cup yogurt into a bowl or tall glass. Drizzle some maple syrup over the yogurt. Add a layer of granola, then a layer of cherries. Repeat until all yogurt, granola, and syrup are layered into the parfait.
No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Crumble Bars (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)
These are easy to make, required no baking (hence the name) and are very tasty, especially if you like cherries and chocolate. Great combo!
2 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened dried cherries
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup (or more) homemade cherry jam**see recipe below
Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil. Combine the oats, walnuts and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the cherries and blend until they are well combined with the oat mixture and are small bits of dried cherry. Add the coconut oil and honey and pulse to combine and mixture just starts to clump together. Add the chocolate chips and pulse again a few times. Sprinkle half the crumbly mixture evenly in the bottom of the square pan. Spread the jam over the crumb layer. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the jam and press it down gently. Cover the pan and refrigerator for an hour. Remove bars from pan using the overhanging foil. Cut into squares on a cutting board. Keep bars in the refrigerator until serving.
**Homemade All Natural Cherry Jam
2 cups cherries, pitted (if you do not have fresh available you can use frozen)
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Put the mixture in a small saucepan and boil for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks.
Cherry Cornbread Mini Muffins
These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect.
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 dozen fresh, pitted cherries, quartered (this makes approximately 1 heaping cup of fruit before cutting & pitting)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and mist your mini muffin pans with vegetable oil
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, b. powder, b soda & salt) in a bowl and mix them well.
Cut butter into pieces and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be clumpy and crumbly and the butter should be fairly evenly distributed into the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk well egg, milk, yogurt & vanilla extract.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just blended but don’t overmix. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tin, sprinkling a few fresh, sliced cherries into each muffin as you go.
Divide cherries evenly amongst muffins (this recipe makes approximately 24 mini muffins)
Bake at 425 degrees until deeply golden on top (approximately 15-20 minutes)
Roasted Cherry Butternut Squash
Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.
4 cups (1 L) cubed (1-inch chunks) peeled butternut squash (1 small squash, about 1-1/4 lb.)
3/4 cup (190 mL) dried cherries
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
Heat oven to 375F. Spread squash in a single layer on a greased or sprayed 15×10-inch jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cherries and boiling water; set aside to plump.
Add onion wedges to pan with squash. Drizzle butter over vegetables; toss well. Bake 10 minutes. Drain cherries; add to pan. Drizzle syrup over vegetables; toss well. Continue baking 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and glazed. Sprinkle with salt. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.
Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual & tasty marinade and sauce for grilled chicken.
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce or more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Stir cherries, broth, preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small deep bowl. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish (see Note) large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
Bring the marinade to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 9 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly; serve with the sauce.
Cornish Hens With Port-Cherry Sauce
This delicious sauce is made from dried cherries, port, thyme, and cornstarch. While used to top Cornish game hens, it really can work with any protein source.
While it sounds relatively fancy, you need only 15 minutes of prep time and 45 to cook—quick enough for a weeknight dinner.
2 (1 1/2-pound) Cornish hens
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (available at specialty-food shops)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup port or other sweet red wine
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup dried cherries
Additional thyme sprigs (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Remove giblets and necks from hens. Rinse with cold water; pat dry. Remove skin; trim excess fat. Split hens in half lengthwise. Combine paprika, next 3 ingredients (through pepper), and 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme; rub on hens.
Place hen halves, breast sides up, in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place a thyme sprig in the cavity of each bird.
Insert a thermometer into meaty part of a thigh, avoiding the bone. Bake at hens at 400° for 35 minutes or until thermometer registers 165°. Transfer hens to a platter; cover with foil.
To prepare sauce, place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from broiler pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes until fat rises to top. Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner. Drain drippings into a small bowl; discard fat. Set drippings aside.
Grilled Chicken with Cherries, Shallots, and Arugula
1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (2 halves) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup baby arugula
Combine shallot, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Drizzle remaining oil over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Toss shallot mixture, cherries, and arugula in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of chicken.
Sparkling Red Cherry Punch
For a festive garnish, add a pitted tart cherry and a quartered slice of orange on a cocktail pick to each glass.
Sweeten your parties with this festive punch made of cherry juice, orange juice and your favourite sparkling wine or champagne. Use sparkling water to make it alcohol free.
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) tart cherry juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Curaçao or Cointreau
1 bottle (750 mL) champagne or sparkling wine
In a large pitcher, combine cherry juice, orange juice and liqueur. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Just before serving, stir cherry mixture. Tilt pitcher; slowly pour in champagne. Stir gently. Serve in champagne flutes or wine glasses. Makes 8 servings.
This drink is a blend of lip-smacking cherry juice with another trendy ingredient, coconut water, which is gaining popularity as a cooking ingredient and sports drink (for its high potassium and mineral content). This blend is great for cooling off after a workout or as a morning wake-up drink.
60 mL tart cherry juice
120 mL coconut water
60 mL club soda or sparkling water
Pour ingredients into one 240 mL glass. Stir to combine and serve.