by ethicalDeal guest blogger Genevieve Blanchet
(photo by Genevieve Blanchet)
Eating cherries by the handful is one of the pleasures of summer. Cherry season, which spans six to eight weeks, give us fruits that are sweet, lush, juicy, often heart-shaped and irresistible.
Cherries are a stone fruit, member of the prune family. Most edible cherries are derived from either the prunus avium – sweet cherry – or from the prunus cerasus, the sour cherry. Sour cherries are much more easy to grow than sweet cherries because a late frost can devastate the crop.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, cherries are a blood tonic and help increase blood circulation. Sometimes referred as the “fruit of fire”, they are seen as sweet and warm, warming and strengthening the stomach to counteract fatigue.
There is interest in using fresh cherries or cherry juice to reduce inflammation, remove excess body acids and to treat gout. Cherries are an excellent source of vitamin C and iron and are high in antioxidant making them a “superfruit”.
Because cherries are so tender and juicy, they are best eaten freshly picked. While some fruits get sweeter after harvest, cherries don’t. Once picked, a cherry’s sugars do not increase. It is best to store in paper bag, refrigerate as soon as possible and use quickly.
While you’re enjoying a bowl of fresh cherries, keep the stems to make a great detox tea. Cherry stem has anti‐inflammatory properties and antioxidant benefits for the liver. Drinking tea made with cherry stems helps elimination and reduces water retention.
To make the tea, place a small handful of cherry stems in a pot and pour one liter of boiling water over and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Drink it hot or cold – it’s very refreshing!
While fresh cherries are in the market, try making this traditional French dessert! Try to add some sour cherries to increase the vibrant colour and flavour.
Halfway between custard and cake, this traditional dessert will bring the French countryside to your table with its subtle richness.
1 ¼ pounds fresh cherries, pitted
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp Sucanat or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup unbleached white flour
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven at 400F.
Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Toss cherries with 1 tablespoon sugar and spread evenly in baking dish. Combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, almond extract and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour batter over cherries. Place star anise over top. Bake clafoutis until puffed and golden 45 to 55 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack.
About the author:
Geneviève Blanchet is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She blends Asian tradition and modern western nutritional science with the wisdom of healing herbs. She is passionate about eating fresh, seasonal and nutrient-rich food and would like to share what she’s learned with you. www.lepetitchou.ca
Tags: genevieve blanchet recipe