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Are you freezing cherries to eat this winter? They taste so good now, they’ll taste even better later. Cherries contribute a good supply of anti-oxidants. They help reduce inflammation, help prevent heart disease and cancer and the list just goes on and on. You need all the antioxidants and all the nutrients you can consume if you have any health problems or want to help prevent them. What can taste better than cherries?
Cherries Are Rather Expensive!
You can buy cherries and freeze your own for much less than the cost of already frozen cherries.
Talk with the Produce Manager at your grocery store. Ask if he can buy seconds for you. You want the ones that are too large, not a typical shape, twins. They are as tasty and good as the usual ones. Just because they do not look perfect they cost less.
- Can you buy cherries from him by the box (case) for less?
- Pick your own. It makes a great family trip and the children will know they helped prepare food for winter.
- Grow your own. It may be several years before you have enough.
When you get your cherries, collect the cookie sheets, wax paper, several bowls, a cake pan, a small sharp knife and your cherry pitter.
Yes there are some hand pitters. One type pits 4 cherries at once but you place each cherry. Another is like a pair of pliers and pits one cherry at a time. Some people use a knitting needle to push the seed out. The latest I saw was someone using a toothpick to loosen the cherry meat from around the seed. All are extremely time consuming !
If you plan on freezing cherries every year you may want to get a NorPro Cherry Pitter available from Amazon.com for around $18. After about 10 years of use and many, many boxes of cherries the spring broke on my pitter last year right at the end of the season. A call to NorPro and the replacement spring was sent out immediately. The service was great.
We set out the cookie sheets and wax paper. Then we set up the pitter with a cake pan to catch the cherries. We plan on 2 or 3 layers of cherries per cookie sheet with wax paper between each layer.
OK, if you are ready, lets rinse the cherries and pull out the stems. Place a handful of cherries in the hopper and push the plunger. The cherry is pitted and rolls down into the pan and the seed goes into the little cup under the pitter.
If someone washes and removes the stems, the whole process goes much faster.
Pour the pitted cherries on the cookie sheet one layer deep. Top with a sheet of wax paper and cover the 2nd sheet with cherries.. You can usually get a third row balanced too.
When they are frozen pick up the 4 corners of wax paper and fill your container (ziploc bags, plastic containers or canning jars) with delicious frozen cherries!
You can probably find a different way to eat your cherries every day. Here are a few ideas – Just eat cherries, frozen or thawed with or without cream or whipped cream
- Use as fruit in Smoothies
- Make cherry preserves
- Eat Cherry Berry pie
- Make Cherry Vanilla ice cream
- In, on or under vanilla or chocolate pudding
- In bread pudding
- Made into a sauce
- In a fruit salad
You have food in your freezer that tastes delicious. It will be so easy to enjoy this winter simply because you took the time and put in the effort this summer to freeze cherries while they were in season.
This winter you will be glad you found an easier way to process your cherries that provides you with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and tastes like summer.
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore