Cherry selection, storage and recipes

Fruit should be clean, bright, shiny, and plump with no blemishes. Sweet cherries should have firm, but not hard flesh, while sour cherries should be medium-firm. The darker the color, the sweeter the cherry. Avoid cherries with cuts, bruises, or stale, dry stems. Cherries with the stems intact will have a longer shelf life. Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, and wash just before eating. Before eating fresh sweet cherries, leave them out on the counter for a few hours as the flavor is much better at room temperature. Fresh cherries should be consumed within two to four days. Allow one cup serving of sweet cherries per person when calculating quantities, less for sour cherries.

You can freeze fresh cherries, but they should be pitted first, otherwise they will take on an almond flavor from the pit. Beware the juice when pitting cherries, as it will stain clothing. Freeze whole, pitted sweet cherries in 40 percent syrup (4 cups water plus 3 cups sugar) with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid added per quart of liquid. They can also be pitted and frozen without liquid in plastic bags with all the air removed, and some cooks prefer to freeze separated cherries on a cookie sheet and then pack in bags for freezing.

To freeze sour cherries for pie filling, stir 3/4 cup of sugar into each quart of pitted, whole sour cherries. Pack in rigid airtight containers with 1/2-inch headspace or airtight bags. Frozen cherries will last ten to twelve months in the freezer.

Sweet Cherries

Cherries are delicious and nutritious. They are low in calories and sodium. Cherries have no Cholesterol and practically no fat and provide a good source of Potassium and Vitamin C

Serving Size: 100 grams (3.5 oz.)
Calories   52 - Calories from fat   1g  - Total fat (%)   0.1%  - Sodium (mg)   0 - Cholesterol (mg)   0 - Vitamin C (mg)  5.1


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