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cherries



High and Dry: The Perks of Dried Fruit

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

I just dotted my opened-faced peanut butter sandwich with dried cherries (and a little bit of honey) and wondered, “How much nutrition is left in these cherries, or other dried fruit, for that matter?” Quite a lot, I discovered after consulting recent studies. While vitamins, like vitamin C, may dwindle with drying, phytonutrients—beneficial plant compounds—remain.

dried fruit

Here’s what I found:

Dried Cherries

I buy “sour” or “tart” cherries, and a study in the Journal of Food Science found that these dried fruits are rich in compounds that clobber two types of free radicals, harmful molecules that promote heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.


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Drink Up! These Fizzy Jalapeno Cherry Limeades are a Hot Twist on a Cool Classic

My friend Lacy (and fellow DIR contributor) started posting (bragging) about a large cherry tree in her backyard, and then, of course, came the pictures of the mini cherry pies she’d made with her son.

little cherries

I more or less publicly begged for her to share. And she did! Then two nights later she invited my family over to climb that cherry tree and pick some of our own. We took her up on the offer and left her backyard two hours later with two gallons of fresh picked cherries. Score!

Too hot to bake, and not really sure what else to do with these little ruby-like gems, thirst became my muse. An ordinary cherry limeade wouldn’t do though. I’m a “foodie” after all. I took this cherry limeade to the next level.

jalapeno cherry limeade

What this fizzy cherry limeade needed was a little heat, something to literally spice up the classic. Jalapenos were the fix.
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Throw a Stone at Obesity: How Stone Fruits Support Weight Management

By Kati Mora, MS, RD

Summer is the perfect time to explore fresh produce. Whether you are purchasing it at a local farmers market, your favorite grocery store, or receiving it as part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you don’t want to miss all of the fabulous flavors, aromas, and textures that summer brings through its in-season produce.

Yet some fruits may garnish more of your attention than others, and it can be easy to forget just how many fruits there are to choose from. Nevertheless, it is important to keep an open mind and an open eye out for a variety of fruits to adorn your table with. Why? Because each type of fruit has its own unique nutritional benefits to offer.

For example, let’s talk about stone fruits – or drupes as they are sometimes called. Not sure what a stone fruit is? The best way to remember or identify a stone fruit is to recall if it has a pit or not. Apricots, prunes, cherries, nectarines and peaches would all belong in this category because each of them have a pit or a stone surrounded by a fleshy outside.
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Recipes for National Cherry Month

fruit on white backgroundAlthough there not exactly in season, February is National Cherry Month, and we couldn’t let an opportunity to talk about some of the health benefits of this fruit pass. Cherries, particularly tart cherries like the Montmorency variety, are an excellent source of the antioxidant anthocyanins, which also gives the fruit its red color. In addition to antioxidants, cherries also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, melatonin and beta carotene.

Although the research is very preliminary, one study suggested that concentrated cherry juice may reduce soreness after workouts, and cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain in animal studies.

Research aside, the best way to celebrate National Cherry Month is obviously by incorporating some cherries into a meal this month. Here are a few of our favorite picks from our own recipes collection around the web.


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Bake a Very Cherry Mixed Fruit Crisp for Family Fun Month

Busy families everywhere know how hard it is to get some quality time in nowadays—that’s why it’s important (and tasty!) to celebrate Bake for Family Fun Month. If February is dragging and you’re searching for family-friendly dreary day activities, add some sunshine to your kitchen with a refreshing (and healthy) baking project.

Time-savvy moms can bake brownies from the box or cookies from a tube, but what about a healthier option like fruit crisp? Keep it cheap, healthy and delicious — and you can even let your kids pitch in to help.

DID YOU KNOW?:

  • Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C.  That’s good for your eyes, energy, and skin!
  • Pears cause the fewest allergic reactions of all fruits
  • Very Cherry is the most popular flavor of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans


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