• Brisia @bridgingpalates

A Cheer for Cherries!


The summer months are approaching and if there’s one fruit that really stands out to me in the summer months, it's the Cherry. With May's unusual weather, it doesn't feel like summer. The sudden and recent rainstorms and winter like conditions have hit cherry crops and farmers.

This year’s cherry season was looking promising with orchards doubling the amount of cherries from last year. But the weather took a turn for the worse, wiping out millions of the early cherry crops. Cherry growers in the central valley are devastated, as 60% of their crops have been destroyed by the rain. Just as millions of cherries were ready and waiting to be picked, the mid-May storm hit the southern Santa Clara to Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley, destroying the anticipated 10 million box harvest.

As The Sacramento Bee reports; “ 'for the grower’s it’s a big part of their income, now that’s gone.' Blodgett said. 'It's a real hit for the county, for the growers and for everyone. There’s work lost for everyone'”.

San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is preparing a disaster declaration in the United States. Cherry growers won't be able to make up their losses but the department of Agriculture farm service agency will offer farmer’s low-interest loans.

For California Cherry Growers this years harvest has been a heartbreaking one and they are on stand by for the cherries to be picked later in the season. The weather will ultimately determine the outcome of their loss and what can be made up for the later season crop.

Cool Cherry Facts:

  • Archeologists found fossilized cherry pits in prehistoric caves throughout Asia and Europe .

  • Records of cherries were recorded by greek author Theophrastus in “The History of Plants” in 300 BC

  • Cherries were brought to America by colonists in the 1600s

  • You can celebrate cherries at the national cherry festival held every July in Traverse City michigan, the “cherry capital of the world”.

8 great benefits of Cherries by Dr. Axe

  1. Promotes weight loss by reducing inflammation, lipids and concentration of fat in your blood.

  2. Boosts heart health from all the antioxidants found in cherries. Antioxidants are known to improve cardiovascular health.

  3. Cherries are a high antioxidant food. One study found that cherries exhibited better anti-inflammatory activity than aspirin.

  4. Treats Gout, an arthritic condition where crystals form in the joints as a result of excess uric acid. Cherries decrease inflammation, inhibit inflammatory pathways and lower plasma urate, the salt from uric acid.

  5. Top anti-inflammatory foods

  6. High in potassium. Potassium is vital for kidney, heart, brain and muscular tissues.

  7. Treats Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Tart cherry juice provides symptom relief for patients with osteoarthritis.

  8. Cherries help your sleep cycle! Cherries contain melatonin, a molecule critical in the sleep-wake cycle.

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Probiotic Cherry Parfait

Vegan

This is a deliciously light and creamy vegan dessert or you can enjoy this as a breakfast bowl. Cherries are in season now, so this is the perfect time to make use of this wonderful summer fruit.

For the Chia Pudding

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cup almond milk (good quality)

1/4 tsp vanilla

3 tsp Agave nectar

Pinch of salt (less than 1/8 tsp)

Mason jar

-Pour almond milk into jar

-Add chia seeds, vanilla, and agave. Close with lid and shake vigorously

--Leave in fridge overnight. Chia will expand and soak up all the liquid

- After chia has expanded, add the salt and stir with a spoon. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking. Flavor will depend on type of Almond milk. I use Califia Farms Original

For the Vegan Cherry Yogurt

1 cup pitted cherries

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 cup soaked raw cashews (measure cashews after they’ve soaked as well. They expand and almost double in size after soaking).

2 Tbsp probiotic coconut yogurt

2-3 tsp agave nectar

Pinch of salt (less than 1/8 tsp)

*Important tip. Use a good quality coconut yogurt. Brand will drastically alter flavor. Use New Earth Super foods Super probiotic non dairy coconut yogurt Original formula (this is best) or The coconut cult Coconuts n’ cream.

-In a blender pour in and add all ingredients. Blend to a creamy smooth consistency.

To Assemble

In a bowl or dessert glass, pour in chia pudding. Then layer with pitted cherries. Spoon on your cherry probiotic yogurt and lastly top with your favorite garnishes, more cherries or whipped cream! :)

For garnishes

Handful of pitted cherries

Your favorite Coconut yogurt, Coconut Whipped Cream or even Vegan Ice Cream!

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California Chicken Salad Wrap

Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free

The deep sweetness of the cherry beautifully compliments the tangy citrus dressing to make a delicious and healthy lunch.

For Chicken Salad

1 cooked chicken breast

2 Tbsp chopped red onion

2 stalks celery

2-3 romain lettuce leaves roughly chopped

2 Tbsp chopped cherries

A pinch of salt for the onions about 1/8 tsp

-In a bowl add onion and salt. Mix and rub salt into onion

-Shred or chop up your cooked chicken breast. Add to bowl

-Add remaining ingredients

For dressing

1 Tbsp balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp Red wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp Braggs liquid Amino Acids

1 tsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp Brewers yeast

1/4 tsp salt

-In a bowl combine all dressing ingredients and stir up with a whisk. Pour into chicken salad bowl and mix together.

For the wraps

Spoon onto your favorite tortilla or wrap.

You can also use Romaine, Butter Lettuce, wilted Collard or other hearty green leaves for a “taco," spread onto celery sticks or spoon onto your favorite chip.

A Very Berry Warming Soup

Vegan Dairy Free Grain Free Gluten Free

Inspired by the winter like cold weather in May this is a refreshing yet warming soup full of antioxidants and nourishing ingredients.

For the soup

1 cup pitted cherries

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews overnight

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

1 tsp Agave Nectar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup water

First Part

-In your blender add 3/4 cup of your pitted cherries, cashews, coconut milk, hemp seeds, Agave and salt

-Blend to a creamy consistency, pour into a bowl and set aside

Second Part

-In the same blender add your blueberries, remaining 1/4 cup of pitted cherries and water. Blend until mixture resembles a smoothie

-Add your blueberry cherry mixture to a small pot and heat on low.

-Add the first batch of creamy cherry mixture to pot and stir. Let heat up for a minute or two.

- Ladle into a bowl and spoon on your favorite Berry Garnish

For Cherry Garnish

Use 1/4 cup pitted cherries

1 Tbsp Pomegranate Juice

1 tsp Agave Nectar

-Add all ingredients to a small pot on medium-high heat. When sugars start to bubble up stir continuously. When juice just starts to evaporate turn heat off and add as a favorite topping to your very berry warming soup or on top of some ice cream! :)


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