A cherry tree begins producing fruit at four years of age. It will then produce 30-50 quarts of cherries per year.
- Cherries are part of the Rosaceae botanical family.
- Cherries are considered stone fruits as they contain a stone enclosed by fruit with flesh. Other stone fruits in the Rosaceae family include almonds, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums.
- Cherries fall into two categories — sweet cherries or sour cherries.
- Bing and Rainier are the two main varieties of sweet cherries found in grocery stores.
- Sour or tart cherries can be found frozen, canned, or juiced at your local grocer and are typically used in baked good recipes.
- Cherries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and copper.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant which supports wound healing, immune function, and the formation of collagen and connective tissue.
- Fiber helps to maintain bowel health by normalizing bowel movements. It can also help lower cholesterol levels and aid in controlling blood sugar levels.
- Copper is also an antioxidant which aids in bone formation, energy production, iron metabolism, nervous system function, and collagen and connective tissue formation.
How to Purchase, Prepare, and Store
- Purchase cherries at your grocer or local farmers market during the summer months.
- Choose cherries that are plump with bright green stems. Avoid those that are soft, wrinkled, or bruised.
- Remove the stems and wash immediately before use. Remove the pit prior to consuming.
- Store cherries in the refrigerator in an uncovered container. Cherries should stay good for up to a week. Do not wash cherries prior to storing in the refrigerator.
- Eat sweet cherries fresh, add to fruit salads, smoothies, salsas, or use in recipes to make your favorite deserts.
- Sour cherries are typically not found fresh at grocery stores. They can be used in your favorite baking recipes.
1 cup cherries, raw (150 g)
- Calcium: 19.5 mg
- Iron: 0.54 mg
- Magnesium: 16.5 mg
- Phosphorus: 31.5 mg
- Folate: 6 µg
- Vitamin A: 4.5 µg