The arrival of summer means cherries are now in season, returning for another year to be the iconic colour of Christmas.
Australians must cherish the moment this Christmas – the cherry season only lasts 100 days each year. From November through to the end of February, cherries are ripe and in abundant supply.
There are over 50 cherry varieties grown in Australia. Up to 15,000 tonnes are generally picked throughout Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria annually. 80 per cent of these are eaten on home soil!
There are plenty of health-related reasons why Australians adore this quintessential summer fruit.
Colour your daily diet red: New studies show fresh cherries are a rich source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients which promotes anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity benefits.
Guilt-free treat: Cherries only have 250 kilojoules, or 60 calories, per 100 grams. They contain no fat or cholesterol.
Wrinkle fighter: Free radicals help produce lines and wrinkles by destroying the collagen and elastin in skin. Antioxidants, abundantly found in cherries, help to reduce and neutralise these free radicals – slowing the signs of skin ageing.
Now we know the benefits of eating a bowl of cherries, what are the best ways to pick, and then cook them?
How to Choose & Store Cherries:
Buying cherries with the stems attached is important. The colour will change, depending on the variety, however as long as they appear plump and have shiny skin – they’re a good pick. Avoid picking cherries that are soft, bruised, small or hard.
Store cherries packed loosely in an airtight container or plastic bag in the fridge. They should be consumed within 4 days of purchase. If frozen, cherries can last up to 6 months.
Prepare cherries by simply rinsing. They can be served with stones, or pitted. To remove the stones, use a small, sharp knife to cut the side of the cherry and slide the stone out.
Cherry juice tends to stain – so be weary when pitting!
Our favourite cherry creation is the delicious Cherry Soufflé recipe, by Brad Jolly.
Alternatively, head to Australian Cherries for more cherry-friendly recipes:
Cherry Pie Icecream
Black Forest Cupcakes
Healthy Cherry Muffins
Cherry Bircher Muesli
Send us a snap of your cherry creations! @bmagbrisbane #bmag