Berries have been crowned a ‘super-fruit’ and rightly so. The health market has jumped on this and produced extracts and juices for us but you can enjoy these super-fruits in their natural, unprocessed form for less money!
Berries are brilliant to snack on, use in meals, smoothies, and sweet treats. They are so versatile and bursting with goodness and flavour. I try to always keep a bag in the freezer so I can snack on them when ever I want. Read on to find out why you should be consuming this super-fruit on a regular basis as well, and what fantastic things you can do with them!
Why Are Cherries a’ Super-Fruit’?
Cherries are fast overtaking Goji-berries as the next super-food, and cherry extracts and supplements are widely available. Here’s why…
Their deep ruby red colour that just screams “eat me”, tells us they are crammed with anti-oxidant compounds to defend us from damaging free-radicals, often far more than other fruits. Like dark chocolate, they also pack a flavonoid punch, which helps our body to function correctly. Specifically, anthocyanins and quercetin, which is anti-inflammatory! Cherries can also provide vitamin C, beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries/strawberries) potassium, magnesium, iron, fibre and folate.
These are the kind of attributes that make this all-in-one red health bomb a brilliant natural sports recovery product, with its anti-oxidants working in conjunction with plenty of vitamin C to strengthen collagen and keep colds and other viruses at bay.
A recent clinical study from the University of Michigan has reinforced the heart health benefits of cherries. The study found that a diet incorporating cherries lowered body weight, reduced body fat (and “belly” fat!!), inflammation and cholesterol. The result was that the antioxidant activity in adults was increased after eating one and a half servings of cherries, thereby reducing the risks associated with heart disease.
Try These Simple Cherry Recipes
Berries can be highly fertilised, but if you cannot buy organic, I recently discovered on ZentoFitness that soaking your fruit in a splash Apple Cider Vinegar and water can help to strip away any chemicals from the fruit without altering the taste.
Like all berries, cherries are so easy to consume. One of my favourite ways is just simply eating them straight. Here are a couple of cherry recipes I favour:
Chocolate Cherry Bomb – a healthy desert that will blow your taste buds away
Ingredients: 500g whole cherries with stalks still on, 250g of organic dark chocolate
- Rinse the cherries or soak in an Apple cider vinegar/water mixture, and let them dry. Put the cherries to one side on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Heat your chocolate in a heatproof bowl resting just above a pan of simmering water, and mix as the chocolate melts.
- Dip your cherries one by one into your melted chocolate to give each a generous coating. Then place each cherry onto the baking tray, allowing them to dry (putting them in the fridge should speed things up!)
- Enjoy this flavoursome, flavonoid packed treat for desert or just an energy snack!
Cherry Smooth – A great post-workout shake!
Ingredients: 250g (handful) frozen cherries, 5 tbsp natural full-fat Greek yoghurt, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1tbsp organic cocoa powder/cocoa nibs, 1 banana or apple (optional for added sweetness)
- Whiz these ingredients together in your blender until you have a smooth, liquid consistency. Add water or ice cubes if you want it a bit more liquid. Drink this refreshing, revitalising smoothie right away!
Hope you enjoy those recipes, and please share any of your favourite cooking methods with cherries or any other berries!