Cherries are in season now so visit your local Farmer's Market so you can get the freshest cherries possible. Because they are so fresh (compared to most grocery stores) you will get the best flavor as well as the most antioxidant benefits.
Here are some tips for buying and storing cherries this season.
Here are some of the varieties of cherries that are available thru late June, at least at my farmers market:
The best way to select cherries is to look for those with their stems still attached, and that seem heavy for their size.
Store your cherries unwashed in the coldest part of your refrigerator for 5 to 6 days. If you can't eat them all, guess what? You can freeze them for up to a whole year!
Freezing them is easy. First rinse them off and drain. Place them on a tray in a single layer and pop them in the freezer. Once they are completely frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag and they will be good for a year.
Here is a recipe you might enjoy for cherry lemonade.
Cherry Lemon Cooler
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh California sweet cherries, halved and pitted
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice, refrigerated
- 1 bottle (1 liter) club soda or seltzer
- Cherries with stems for garnish
- 4 long stems fresh mint
In a small saucepan add the water, sugar and the cherries. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Take off the heat and cool. Pour the mixture through a strainer and place in a mason jar or any jar with a lid. Throw the cherries away.
Place the syrup in the refrigerator until cold.
To Serve: Fill a 16 oz glass with ice. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup syrup and fill the rest of the glass with club soda. Stir. Garnish with mint and cherries.
From the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association