the goodness of cherries
I’m not sure that any fruit says “summer” quite like cherries. I remember being a kid and stopping at the roadside cherry stands en route to our favourite camping destinations. Nothing cooled you down (or quieted the kids) quite like a bag of fresh, organic, juicy cherries. Never mind the red juice smeared on smiling faces! Cherries are a delightful treat that truly are a seasonal joy.
These little fruits manage to pack in a lot of important nutrients! These super healthy snacks contain ample calcium for a growing baby’s bones. They are also full of antioxidants to boost baby’s immune system (that’s what gives cherries their vibrant red colour), vitamin C, iron and potassium. Cherries are also great for getting digestion going – but use in moderation!
How to Choose Cherries
Look for bright, smooth fruits that are unblemished and shiny. Since they are a very delicate fruit, it is important to always inspect before purchasing; indents and dull skins can indicate rotting. A general rule is the darker the cherry, the sweeter it tastes.
It is important to keep cherries in the refrigerator if not being immediately consumed. Cherries are very sensitive to temperature change and if kept at room temperature, they won’t last long.
Cherries are also great to freeze, but they must be pitted beforehand. After pitting and freezing, cherries take on almost an almond-like flavour.
Prepping Cherries for Baby
Big kids and adults don’t need to do any prep prior to gobbling up these goodies, but since they have pits, it is important to properly prepare cherries before feeding to your baby.
To pit cherries, insert the tip of a vegetable peeler in the stem-end of the fruit. Rotate the peeler around the pit and scoop it out. You can then cut the cherries in half or dice to the desired size for your baby.
Simple Cherry Pureé for Baby
Put about a ½ pound of prepared cherries (washed and pitted) into a saucepan with a cup of water. Boil and allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the juices run freely and the cherries are soft.
Let the cherries cool, then pureé in a blender!
Cherries for Adults
Although I highly recommend simply consuming raw cherries as is, they can also be incorporated into many different recipes. Make a cherry sauce to complement pork or roast or why not try a cherry-glazed salmon? We wouldn’t want to forget good old-fashioned cherry pie and cherry crumble. Cherries can be added to smoothies, ice cream and frozen yogurt for a decadent dessert!
Founder, Baby Gourmet Foods
Jen is the mother of two well-fed children and has a passion for all things culinary. She is also an inspirational speaker to women, busy moms and entrepreneurs.
Look for bright, smooth fruits that are unblemished and shiny.