Do you love cherries? I love cherries, too, but fresh cherries are mainly available in the summer. In the fall, I miss their ruby tone, crunchy texture, bursting flavor, and candy-like sweetness.
The good news is there are several ways to enjoy cherries – whether they’re in season or not. Here are at least 5 ways to enjoy them year-round.
Note: This post was last updated December 30, 2020.
1. Fresh Cherries
Fresh cherries make a healthy, easy side dish, dessert, or snack.
They’re a good source of fiber and vitamin C and contain natural plant chemicals that may benefit health by working against oxidation and inflammation and aiding sleep.
Just portion 1 cup into a bowl, give them a good wash, and pop them in your mouth! If you’re shy about spitting out cherry pits, remove them in advance with a cherry pitter!
C’est dommage – fresh cherries ripen mostly during summer months. However, there are many other ways to enjoy cherries.
2. Cherry Smoothie
Frozen cherries are available all year and are perfect for making smoothies for breakfast or a snack.
My favorite smoothie brings summer and fall flavors together by combining frozen cherries with pomegranate juice.
I make it by blending in a blender until smooth:
- 1 cup of frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
- 1/2 cup of 100% pomegranate juice
- 2/3 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
3. Cherry Oatmeal Topping or Trail Mix
Dried cherries are also available throughout the year and are excellent for making a cozy oatmeal or an energy-packed trail mix.
For cherry oatmeal topping, I top cooked oatmeal with:
- 2 tablespoons of dried cherries, halved
- 1 tablespoon of roasted pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips, chopped
For cherry trail mix, I mix:
- 1/2 cup of dried cherries, halved
- 2 tablespoons of roasted pistachios
- 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips
4. Cherry Cottage Cheese or Yogurt
Canned cherries are available 365 days a year. Although often used for baking pastries, they can be used to liven up plain high-protein foods. For example, one could pair:
- 2 tablespoons of canned pitted dark sweet cherries WITH
- 2/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt OR 3/4 cup of cottage cheese
5. Cherry Water and Cherry Juice
Cherry juice is also readily available. It can be served as a couple splashes added to plain water for flavoring or served over-the-rocks. One could drink:
- 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cherry juice stirred into 1 cup of plain water, OR
- 1 cup of unsweetened cherry juice poured over ice
Perhaps you have a friend or family member or an acquaintance, who’s a cherry fanatic, too. If so, consider these items for a personalized cherry gift or gift basket:
- a cherry pitter for fresh cherries
- a blender for cherry smoothies
- cherry preserves
- cherry tea
- red cloth napkins for lining gift baskets
If you have a group of friends, family members, or acquaintances, who are fans of cherries, consider these bulk items for goodie bags:
- chocolate-dipped cherries
- cherry lip balm
- cherry tealight candles
Do you have any more ideas? Whichever way you choose to enjoy cherries, bon appetit! Until next summer!