Oops! I’m a bit late with this Blog but better late than never as they say:)  Well at least cherries are still in season and available for a bit longer yet! There’s no better fruit to indicate that the festive season is here than Cherries! I love cherries. A lovely client of mine gave me some cherries the other day from Bambra – they were so fresh and beautiful, I ate the whole bag myself:) …Thanks Sharon!

So What’s to Know About Cherries?

Cherry Season:
• In Australia, the cherry season only lasts 100 days!
• In Victoria, the season begins mid-November and goes through until early February

Varieties:
• There are 8 varieties of cherries grown in Victoria and they are all harvested at different times of the season; some are sweeter than others

Selection:
• Choose cherries with stems attached and ensure they are plump, bright, firm and shiny
• Colour will vary according to the variety
• Avoid cherries that are soft, squashed and bruised

Storage:
• Cherries cease to ripen when picked
• Use within 4 days of purchase
• Store loosely packed in an airtight container or plastic bag in the fridge
• Cherries can be frozen with stones removed for up to 6 months

Preparation:
• Only wash immediately before consuming
• Remove stones before cooking to help prevent a broken tooth:)
• Pitt cherries inside a plastic bag or bowl to avoid stains
• Tip: Buy yourself a cherry pitter from a kitchen shop – they are fantastic!

Uses:
• They are great eaten just as they are but they can also be used in fruit salad, drink, salads, salsas, sauces, dressings and desserts
• They add richness, colour and flavour to cooking and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes such as relishes, cakes, tarts, cheesecakes

Quick and Easy Uses:
• Scatter pitted cherries over breakfast yoghurt, cereal or pancakes
• Blend pitted cherries with a handful of almonds, a dollop of yoghurt, a small amount of honey or maple syrup and your choice of milk for a quick breakfast. Add a small amount of rolled oats if desired
• Cherries are great on a cheese platter
• For more traditional cherry recipes, i.e. not quite so much on the healthy side:) – Go to: www.australiancherries.com.au

Health and Wellbeing:
• Cherries are rich in flavour and a great source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C.
• One serve of cherries (150g) provides more than 60% of our daily vitamin C needs.
• They are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
• They are low in calories (if you choose to count calories) – 54 calories per 100 grams
• They may help people with inflammatory conditions due to their antioxidants
• They may even help to slow down the signs of skin ageing

Did you Know?
• There is a Victorian Cherry Trail that includes 13 cherry orchards located in four cherry growing regions in Victoria
• The 4 Victorian Cherry Regions are: Upper Goulburn Valley, Yarra Valley & Ranges, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula
• What a great way to treat yourself to the great tastes and flavours of cherries by going on a Cherry Trail

So as you can see, there’s lots to love about cherries. So go ahead and indulge yourself whilst they are still in season.
If you live in Lara, pop into The Produce Corner – they had some great tasting cherries from Wandin just before Christmas Day – they were yum!

 

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