recipes

Breakfast & Brunch 01 February 2024

Guilt-Free, Superfruit Snacking: Sweet treats made to permissibly indulge

(Family Features) For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers.

According to Mondelez International’s Fourth Annual State of Snacking Global Consumer Trends Study, 78% are choosing small indulgences to pamper themselves and 68% are checking nutrition labels on snacks.

With today’s changing palates and the growing demand for sour, less sweet foods and beverages, a superfruit like tart cherries can help snackers permissibly indulge without the guilt. Primarily grown on small family farms in the United States, Montmorency tart cherries – also referred to as sour cherries – are available year-round in dried, juice and juice concentrate, canned and frozen forms.

More than 110 scientific research studies show Montmorency tart cherries are a superfruit. In addition to their sweet-sour taste and unique nutrient profile, research suggests tart cherries – one of the few natural food sources of melatonin – may help improve sleep, aid in exercise recovery, reduce inflammation, ease arthritis symptoms, improve gut health and promote heart health. In fact, in one study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition,” adults who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency.

While increasingly featured in functional beverages and health-positioned foods, tart cherries can also add drool-worthy flavor to superfruit-infused snacks, such as these Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits and Tart Cherry Brownie Bites. Plus, using tart cherries as a favorite ingredient in recipes like these adds a health halo to sweets – reinforcing the trend of permissible indulgences.

As an ideal superfruit snack that makes snacking more satisfying, tart cherries provide delicious flavor and potential health benefits in these recipes and beyond so you can savor the moment and cherish every bite.

Find more tart cherry snack recipes at ChooseCherries.com.

Tart Cherry Superfood Banana Splits

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups tart cherry juice
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed
  1. Place chocolate chips in bowl.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, bring tart cherry juice to simmer about 20 minutes until reduced to 2/3 cup.
  3. Pour juice into bowl and mix until chocolate chips are melted and sauce is smooth.
  4. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and place on two plates. Spoon 1/2 cup Greek yogurt on each banana then drizzle with 2 tablespoons almond butter and 2 tablespoons tart cherry chocolate sauce.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons granola, 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries and 1/4 cup thawed frozen tart cherries on top of each banana split.

Note: Leftover tart cherry chocolate sauce can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator for later use.

Tart Cherry Brownie Bites

Recipe courtesy of Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Sized Studio on behalf of the U.S. Tart Cherry Industry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 bites

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons tart cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder (optional)
  • melted chocolate (optional)
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine dates; dried tart cherries; walnuts; oats; cocoa powder; seeds, if desired; salt; and nut butter. Pulse 30-60 seconds until ingredients are ground into tiny pieces.
  2. Add tart cherry juice in 1 tablespoon additions, pulsing mixture after each addition, until crumbly dough forms.
  3. Transfer dough to bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Roll dough into 12 balls. Serve plain or finish balls with dusting of cocoa powder or drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired.

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute

Breakfast & Brunch 02 November 2023

A Delicious Way to Support Your Immune System

(Family Features) Bolstering your immune system during winter, when coughs and colds seem to take control, is a must for the entire family. Supporting your wellness can start in a simple place – with the foods you eat and drink.

Consider an easy choice for any season like Florida Orange Juice, which can help you and your loved ones get the vitamins and minerals you need all winter long. With 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C in every 8-ounce serving along with key nutrients like potassium and magnesium, there’s a reason it’s referred to as the “Original Wellness Drink.”

With no added sugar or artificial flavor, it provides the benefits you need without the additives you don’t. It contains natural sugar from the whole fruit for a delicious solution that’s one of nature’s nutrient-rich foods with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Plus, it’s easy to use as a nutritional ingredient in wintertime favorites like this comforting Orange Juice and Coconut Chickpea Soup or to start your day strong with a Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie.

Paired with a healthy lifestyle, 8 ounces of 100% orange juice may help support a healthy immune system as an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin D in fortified juices. Vitamin C is commonly associated with helping maintain and strengthen healthy immune systems by protecting cells and promoting the production and function of immune cells. Meanwhile, vitamin D also plays an important role in regulating immune response by helping immune cells fight off bacteria and viruses.

“Safeguarding your health against the spread of illness is important year-round, especially during colder months when reports of cold and flu increase,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “A key step in supporting your immune system is maintaining a well-balanced diet that is high in essential nutrients. Incorporating an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice can help you meet the recommended daily value of vitamin C and support your hydration.”

Beneficial plant compounds, like those in Florida Orange Juice, along with flavonoids and colorful carotenoids work to support the immune system by fighting inflammation and helping cells communicate, which can help strengthen immune responses when encountering infections.

Additionally, 100% orange juice is a source of phytonutrients like hesperidin, which has been shown in clinical studies to have antioxidant-like properties, heart health benefits and may help reduce inflammation. Hesperidin has also been linked with benefits related to cognitive function, immune system function and bone health.

To find more information and immunity-boosting winter recipes, visit FloridaJuice.com.

Orange Juice and Coconut Chickpea Soup

Servings: 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Florida Orange juice
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. In medium saucepan over medium high, heat olive oil until it shimmers.
  2. Add onions, bell pepper, carrots and salt; cook until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cardamom; cook 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant. Do not brown.
  4. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk and chickpeas; bring to simmer.
  5. Decrease heat to low and cook until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add orange juice, remove from heat and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  7. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie

Servings: 2

  • 8 ounces Florida Orange Juice
  • 4 ounces dark sweet cherries
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice
  1. In blender, puree orange juice, cherries and pomegranate juice then serve.

 

Holiday 05 November 2020

Flavorful Holiday Dishes Prepped in Minutes for Small Gatherings

(Family Features) In what’s certain to be a holiday season unlike any other, you can transform your seasonal menu in 20 minutes of prep time or less by incorporating flavorful ingredients that make ordinary dishes extraordinary, ensuring the holidays are as special and memorable as any other year.

Stress-free holiday entertaining at home begins with ingredients like Holland House Cooking Wines that add an extra boost of flavor to recipes like Tuscan White Bean Soup. Perfect for chilly evenings, this recipe combines pantry staples and enticing seasonings for an easy-to-make soup that simmers in the slow cooker. This Sherry, Ham and Cheese Brunch Bake is another delicious and convenient recipe to feed your family on early holiday mornings. This simple, tasty brunch bake can be easily prepped the night before.

While holiday gatherings may be smaller this year, spending time with family can be made even more special when sharing a homemade, holiday-inspired meal. Sherry Cherry Pork Loin Roast, made in a time-saving slow cooker, provides an easy way to bring your family together for a flavorful holiday meal.

This festive season, Holland House Cooking Wines provide an easy way to delight your family. They’re available in four flavors – Marsala, Sherry, White and Red – made using fine grapes and blended seasonings, aged to perfection, to offer bold flavor to your holiday cooking.

Visit hollandhouseflavors.com to find more holiday-worthy dishes.

Sherry Cherry Pork Loin Roast

Recipe courtesy of Cate Meade of “Cate’s Kitchen Fit”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5-6 hours
Servings: 8-10

  • 7          tablespoons avocado or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 2          large Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4          teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1          pork loin roast (4-4 1/2 pounds), trimmed and patted dry
  • 3          teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

Sherry Cherry Sauce:

  • 3/4       cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 5-6       cloves garlic
  • 1          cup frozen Bing cherries, divided
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 4          tablespoons Holland House Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          bunch fresh parsley, large stems removed, plus additional reserved for garnish
  • 3          tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  1. In large slow cooker on high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, sliced onions and 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Season roast evenly on all sides with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 tea­spoon pepper.
  3. Place large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan. Sear pork loin 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer roast to slow cooker on top of onions.
  4. Cover and cook on low 3 hours.
  5. To make Sherry Cherry Sauce: In blender, blend sherry cooking wine, garlic, 1/2 cup cherries, mustard powder, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, parsley, remaining olive oil, remaining salt and remaining pepper until smooth; set aside.
  6. After pork loin cooks 3 hours, add Sherry Cherry Sauce around pork roast. Cover and cook 2-3 hours on low.
  7. To glaze, brush roast with warm sauce 3-4 times in last hour of cooking.
  8. Once pork reaches internal temperature of 145 F, remove and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.
  9. To finish sauce, remove 1/4 cup cooking liquid and mix with cornstarch to make a slurry. Whisk slurry and remaining cherries into sauce. Cook in slow cooker on high 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Slice roast 1/2-inch thick, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with Sherry Cherry Sauce and braised onions.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Recipe courtesy of Jillian Wade of “Food, Folks & Fun”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Servings: 8

  • 4          cups chicken stock
  • 1          cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1          medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1          cup celery, diced
  • 1          cup carrots, diced
  • 6          large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3          cans (15 1/2 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (13 3/4 ounces) artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 1          teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4          cups kale (about 6 ounces), cleaned, destemmed and chopped
  • 5          ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 8          teaspoons Parmesan cheese, shaved (for garnish)
  1. Place chicken stock, white cooking wine, tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and rosemary in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes before serving soup, stir in kale and cover.
  3. In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta until crispy, about 4 minutes. Move pancetta to paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with pancetta and Parmesan cheese shavings.

Sherry, Ham and Cheese Brunch Bake

Recipe courtesy of Jillian Wade of “Food, Folks & Fun”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 8          tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing pan, divided
  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 2          large shallots, minced
  • 1/2       cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1          package (20 ounces) frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 2          cups (8 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8          ounces precooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8          large eggs
  • 1 1/4    cups whole milk
  • 1/2       teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2          tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 1          teaspoon fresh chopped dill, for garnish (optional)
  • 2          teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
  1. Move oven rack to middle position and preheat to 400 F. Generously grease 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.
  2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, add olive oil and preheat pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooking wine and cook until liquid is evaporated, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add frozen hash browns to prepared baking dish. Pour melted butter over potatoes and add salt, pepper and caramelized shallots.
  5. Use spoon to mix well. Bake 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through and some edges are beginning to brown. Remove potatoes from oven and reduce temperature to 325 F.
  6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese evenly over potatoes followed by ham.
  7. In large measuring cup or small bowl, vigorously whisk eggs, milk, mustard powder and dill until fully combined and eggs become frothy, about 1 minute.
  8. Pour egg mixture evenly over potatoes, cheese and ham. Store covered in refrigerator if prepping night before.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until edges of casserole are golden brown and center of casserole is set.
  10. Cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with chopped dill and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Source: Holland House

Breakfast & Brunch 28 April 2020

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Easier Mornings

(Family Features) If you’re juggling a new set of responsibilities right now, you’re not alone. Those busy mornings may still pose challenges even if your commute no longer exists.

Making breakfast in advance can give you a few extra minutes to move your body, center your mind or simply hit the snooze button one more time and still put a delicious, nutritious breakfast on the table. Aim to use ingredients with a mix of protein, fiber and good fats to keep you full and energized for whatever the day has in store. 

Take morning meal prep off your plate for days at a time by making a batch of No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars or Savory Walnut Egg Cups, which can be made with mostly pantry staples or frozen ingredients to help limit trips to the grocery store.

Find more make-ahead recipes for any meal of the day at walnuts.org/meal-prep. 

Savory Walnut Egg Cups

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 12

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2    cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4       cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons cold water
  • 9          large eggs
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1          tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 1          cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1          small red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4       cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F and generously spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In bowl of food processor, pulse oats until fine and flour-like. Add walnuts and pulse until blended with oat flour. Pulse in olive oil, salt and water until mixture comes together.
  3. Spoon walnut-oat crust mixture evenly (about 1 1/4 tablespoons each) into each muffin cup and press into bottom and partially up sides. Bake 25 minutes until crust begins to brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
  4. In large bowl, whisk eggs, garlic powder, oregano and mustard until well combined. Stir in spinach, bell pepper and cheese.
  5. Fill each muffin cup evenly with egg-veggie mixture and bake 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Cool slightly on wire rack before removing egg cups by carefully inserting sharp knife between crust and muffin pan.

No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars

Total time:15 minutes
Servings: 9

  • 1/2       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          cup (about 12) pitted medjool dates
  • 1/2       cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 2          tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. In large food processor bowl, combine oats, dates, walnuts, cherries, cocoa powder and salt. Process 1-2 minutes, or until mixture resembles crumbly dough.
  2. Turn mixture onto wax paper and shape evenly into 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
  3. Chill at least 1 hour and cut into nine bars.

Source:  California Walnuts

Dessert 31 January 2020

Sweet, Luscious Snacks for Loved Ones

Valentine’s Day eats and treats

(Family Features) Valentine’s Day naturally brings thoughts of hearts, flowers, sweetness and love. Because it also occurs during American Heart Month, it’s a perfect opportunity to start taking care of your own heart and the hearts of loved ones.

Part of the charm of the day’s celebrations is in giving family and friends flavorful foods to enjoy from chocolates and candies to other sugary treats. However, the festivities don’t have to be completely focused on unhealthy bites in order to make someone feel special.

This year, it can be easy to share in the fun of Valentine’s Day by serving those you love with sweet, seasonal treats. For example, these Frosted Watermelon Cutouts make for ideal snacks for children and adults alike whether it’s an after-school treat or a sweet dessert with just three ingredients, heart-shaped cookie cutters and minimal time spent in the kitchen.

If you’re really looking to impress that special someone, this Watermelon and Chocolate Dessert Board calls for creativity and plenty of tasty morsels like berries, cashews, almonds and dark chocolate. Without any baking or cooking required, simply spread out the ingredients for a platter that’s just as visually appealing as it is appetizing.

Both recipes include the benefits of watermelon, which boasts plenty of vitamin C to boost the immune system’s defenses as a cholesterol-free, fat-free and sodium-free food. Plus, watermelon draws its red color from the powerful antioxidant lycopene (12.7 mg per serving), which may help protect cells from damage, and the healthy treat is American Heart Association Heart-Check Certified with just 80 calories per serving, making it the perfect centerpiece for Valentine’s Day recipes.

Find more Valentine’s Day inspiration and recipes at watermelon.org.

Frosted Watermelon Cutouts

  • 1          seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-3/4-inch thick slices
  • 4          brownie bites
  • 1          cup frosting (any flavor)
  1. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices or simply use cut watermelon wedges, if desired. Top heart shapes with brownie bites and add frosting as desired.

Watermelon and Chocolate Dessert Board

Servings: 6-8

  • 1/2       medium seedless watermelon, cut into wedges and cubes
  • 1          cup fresh raspberries
  • 1          cup fresh red cherries
  • 1          cup strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4       cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3       cup roasted, salted cashews
  • 1          cup chocolate covered almonds
  • 1          bar dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 1          cup coconut chips
  • mint leaves, for garnish
  1. On serving board, arrange watermelon in center and surround with raspberries, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, cashews, almonds, chocolate and coconut chips. Scatter mint leaves around board for garnish.

Source:  Watermelon Board

Tips 28 August 2019

10 Tips to Recognize Ripe Fruits

Keeping fresh fruit around the house provides a healthier alternative when your sweet tooth comes calling. Understanding how and when to buy at the peak of ripeness (or just before, in some cases) can help you avoid food waste while keeping your doctor happy.

Consider these simple tips for recognizing ripe fruits:

  • Strawberries: Check the area at the top of the berry near the stem and leaves. A ripe strawberry is fully red; green or white near the top means the fruit is underripe.
  • Watermelon: The “field spot,” or the area where the melon sat on the ground, should be yellow, and a tap on the rind should produce a hollow sound.
  • Cherries: Flesh should appear dark with a crimson color and feel firm.
  • Blueberries: Similar to cherries, color should deepen to dark blue. A reddish or pink color may be visible in unripe berries.
  • Blackberries: Look for a smooth texture without any red appearance. Because blackberries don’t ripen after being picked, they tend to spoil quickly.
  • Cantaloupe: You should detect a sweet smell, and the melon should feel heavy upon lifting.
  • Peaches: A sweet, fragrant odor should be apparent. Skin should feel tender but not soft.
  • Pineapple: Smell is again an important factor for pineapple – a sweet scent shows it’s ready, but a vinegary one likely means it’s overripe.
  • Raspberries: Generally follow the same rules as blackberries. Best eaten within a couple days of purchase, a bright red color represents ripe berries.
  • Bananas: A ripe banana features a peel lightly spotted without significant bruising. Your best bet may be to purchase bananas still slightly green and allow them to ripen at home.

Find more food tips, tricks, recipes and videos at Culinary.net.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Videos 09 August 2019

Cherry Coffee Cake

Add some sweetness to your breakfast routine with this delicious and easy-to-make Cherry Coffee Cake.

Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Cherry Coffee Cake

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          can (12.4 ounces) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 1 1/2    cups (21-ounce can) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2       cup slivered almonds or pecans (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Separate cinnamon roll dough into eight rolls; cut each roll into quarters.
  4. Place dough rounded-side down in pan.
  5. Spoon pie filling over rolls. Sprinkle almond slivers or pecans over cherry filling, if desired.
  6. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Invert onto plate or cutting board. Invert again onto serving plate.
  8. Remove lid from icing. Microwave 3-10 seconds. Stir icing and drizzle over warm coffee cake.
  9. Serve warm.

Source: Culinary.net

Meal Ideas 12 July 2019

A Sweet Superfruit for Summer Meals

(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor but also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.

Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.

The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite. Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.

Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at nwcherries.com.

Cherry Sauce

Servings: 16

  • 3/4       cup water
  • 3/4       cup maple syrup
  • 4          cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
  • 4          cups dried cranberries
  • 4          peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3          tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • raspberries (optional)
  1. In medium saucepot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.
  2. Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.
  3. Cool 30 minutes-1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.
  4. Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

 

Cherry Bruschetta

Servings: 6

  • 18        slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4       cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cherry Sauce)
Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers (Cherry Bruschetta)

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Beverages 29 June 2018

Make Summer Sweeter with Fresh Cherries

(Family Features) Summer and cherries seem to go hand-in-hand, and using fresh fruits can help boost seasonal food and drink recipes.

Whether you use them as a snack, as a special ingredient in recipes or to inspire new dishes, Northwest-grown sweet cherries are one delightful way to celebrate the summer season.

Many grocery store shelves are full of these sweet, seasonal treats. Ripened on the tree and generally harvested, packed and ready for sale within just one day, it can be difficult to find a fresher summer fruit.

Cherry recipes can be enjoyed outside the summer months, too – simply rinse, pack and freeze an extra bag or two of cherries to harness the sweet flavor and health benefits in your appetizers, desserts and sweet or savory sauces throughout the year.

Impress your guests this summer with this ice-cold Cherry Lavender Spritzer. Or try Roasted Cherry Sauce for an accompaniment to your favorite barbecued meat, as an ice cream topper or paired with a cheese plate; it’s one way to have everyone asking for more.

Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.
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Cherry Lavender Spritzer

Servings: 6

  • 4          cups pitted and halved Northwest sweet cherries
  • 2          cups water
  • 3          tablespoons lavender
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 6          Northwest sweet cherries with stems
  • 6          sprigs lavender blossoms
  1. In small saucepan, combine cherries, water, lavender and sugar. Heat mixture until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool completely. Strain and reserve liquid. 
  2. For each drink, combine 4 ounces cherry-lavender mixture and 4 ounces crushed ice in tall 12-ounce cocktail glass; top each with club soda. Garnish each drink with one cherry with stem and one sprig lavender blossoms.

Variation: To make alcoholic version, shake or stir strained cherry-lavender mixture and ice with 9 ounces vodka. Strain into 8-ounce martini glasses, top each with club soda and garnish each with one cherry with stem and one sprig lavender blossoms.
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Roasted Cherry Sauce

Makes: 1 cup

  • 2          cups pitted Northwest sweet cherries
  • 2/3       cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. On foil-lined baking sheet, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, salt and black pepper; toss to mix.
  2. Place in oven and roast until cherries start to release juices and become soft, about 10 minutes. Cool before serving.

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Appetizers & Sides 08 June 2017

A Sweet Cherry Season

(Family Features) Whether fresh cherries are a favorite or a treat you’ve yet to try, the time to enjoy them is now.

Orchards in the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s largest growing region, experienced a long, cool spring, which often translates into more time and energy a tree can put into the fruit. When combined with the superior growing conditions characteristic to the area, this season’s fruit showcases what Northwest cherries are known for: their large size and sweet flavor profile.

Popular varieties grown in the Northwest include the mahogany-red Bings and super-sweet, yellow Rainiers. Rainier cherries, with their unique golden color and red blush, tend to ripen earlier in the year. Growers pick Rainier cherries over multiple weeks, selecting the ripest fruit each time.

Other varieties include the early-ripening Chelans and Tietons, followed by the often larger and darker Skeenas, Sweethearts and Lapins. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (which has juice that doesn’t stain) you can typically spot sweet cherries by their dark red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

Great taste aside, sweet cherries are a healthful addition to summer picnics, parties and barbecues thanks to their fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power. They make for a snack that both grownups and little ones can enjoy straight out of the bowl thanks to their stem “handle” and can perk up appetizers, salads, desserts, sweet or savory sauces and more.

Outside of summer get-togethers, cherries make for a better-for-you late-night snack option as well. A cup of fresh, sweet cherries contains only 90 calories along with a low glycemic index of 22 making their cold, sweet crunch a tasty way to satisfy hunger cravings. Plus, they boast melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep patterns.

Fresh cherries should be kept in a sealed bag or container, and keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. To extend the cherry season and enjoy their health benefits after summer fades, buy an extra bag or two and preserve cherries by rinsing, packing and freezing them.

Basic freezing instructions

  1. Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
  2. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
  4. Add frozen cherries to smoothies or juices, or defrost and put in hot cereal, pies, turnovers, cobblers and more. Or enjoy as a frozen, sweet late-night treat.

To create a festive cherry dish for the summer season, try this Cherry Bruschetta as a snack or appetizer. Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.

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Cherry Bruschetta

Serves: 8

  • 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice of cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of sliced basil. Serve warm or cold.

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

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