Using Up Your Cherry Harvest
If you are lucky enough to have a fruiting cherry tree in your yard, you may now have too many cherries for your family to eat before they go bad or before the birds eat them. Here are ways to preserve, cook, freeze or get rid of your abundance. This is a guide for using up your cherry harvest.
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I wash, pit and halve the cherries. Then place them cut side up on a dehydrator; close but not on top of each other. Dry for about 2 days until leathery. Put on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes to cool down. Then put in a large plastic bag overnight. If there is any moisture in the plastic bag, put back in the dehydrator for a few more hours.
Keep testing until there is no moisture in the bag, so that there will be no mold. After this I put them in a wide mouth jar, and vacuum seal. Will keep at least a year.
Source: Various dehydrator books and friends. These might keep longer than a year, but I've always eaten them by year's end. Good luck!
By Ms. Carmen
Pit them as you begin to harvest them, put in a freezer bag and freeze. Tastes great months later!
By Louise from Utica, NY
Below are some helpful tips, facts and a recipe about those delicious cherries that will be ripe on the tree before you know it.
- Look for a supple exterior and a bright color. Keep them dry and discard any crushed fruit .
- Avoid cherries with blemishes, rotted or mushy skins, or those that appear either hard and light-colored or soft, shriveled, and dull.
- Look for cherries that are plump with firm, smooth, and brightly colored skins. *Good quality cherries should have green stems attached.
- Cherries do not ripen further after harvest.
- Cherries bruise easily; handle with care.
- Both the sweet and sour types should be refrigerated as soon as possible, although the sweets are more durable. Chilling not only preserves, but also seems to improve the flavor.
- Raw sweet cherries: 1 cup contains 81 calories, and is a source of Vitamin C and potassium.
- Rinse in cool water and drain, in a single layer, on paper towel.
- Both sweet and sour can be made into jams, preserves or brandied.
- Rich in bio-flavonoids and ellagic acid. Studies show cherries to be a good source of antioxidants and darker cherries will have higher levels than red/yellow ones.
- Fat-free, Saturated fat-free, Sodium-free,Cholesterol-free, A good source of fiber.
A Quick Cherry Snack Recipe
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup smoked almonds
- 1 cup honey roasted peanuts
Mix all together for a great snack.
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